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Radon in Workplaces New Measurements and Devices

radon at workplace


The existing passive radon monitors, their relative calibration facilities together with the past intercomparison exercises have been mission-oriented towards radon measurements in dwellings. These monitors have been successfully applied throughout the world for radon measurements in homes, characterized by temperatures in the range from 20 to 25°C and a relative humidity less than 50 R.H. A multitude of different problems may arise when these passive monitors are used in environment other than homes, such as in soil and in workplaces, where large humidity up to 100 RH and temperatures anywhere from 0°C to 40°C may be encountered.

Under severe environmental conditions, different measurement errors may occur which have remained concealed to date. These errors may be caused by a drastic change of both the radon diffusivity through them and for the monitor housing respectively. permeation membranes or the radon absorption by the plastics, used for the track detector. For the compliance to the assessment of the occupational exposures, it is necessary to eliminate all the possible sources of errors, which may be conducive to litigation. Another important shortcoming of the existing passive monitors is difficult to turn them on/off daily, as required for radon measurements in workplaces.

Finally, most of the problems, listed above, can be solved by the exploitation of a new generation of passive monitors, known as Rn film-badges. These monitors are similar and often identical to neutron film-badges, which have proved to be very successful throughout the world for the personnel neutron dosimetry. In particular, the present paper will describe the unique characteristics of these radon film badges, such as compactness, fast time response, any desired response sensitivity, simplicity in turning them on and off, etc.

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Finally, these problems can be solved by using a radon-free bag, which can be uniquely simple when designed for
an Rn film-badge, because of its small sizes (namely less than 1 cm3 ). In this case, a radon-free bag can be obtained
simply by using about one gram of activated charcoal with an absorption coefficient of about 4000cm3 /g, enclosed in the bag. In practice, under the equilibrium situation, one gram of activated charcoal adsorbs essentially all the radon i.e. it absorbs all but 1/4000 of radon. However, the key strategy is to avoid the use of activated charcoal, since, in addition to its handling difficulties, it requires a too long time to achieve the adsorption equilibrium.

By contrast, the activated carbon fiber cloth, in addition, to be very simple to handle, is characterized by surface-to-volume ratio hundreds of time larger than that of activated charcoal, thus ensuring a fast equilibrium adsorption. Moreover, this radon free bag is also very useful to drastically reduce the exposure of the monitors in case they are enclosed in a Rnleaky bag.

In this case, the radon entered into the bag will be essentially adsorbed all but a very small fraction, by the activated carbon fiber cloth. Incidentally, the transparent water-proof bags, used for smartphones, with special regards to those equipped with pressure-types of sealing, are of great interest as the radon-free bag. As an important aside, these small transparent bags, in addition, to be very strong and inexpensive, making it very easy to inspect the correct use of the personal radon dosimeter of each worker

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The Three-Body Structure of 2n and 2p Halo Nuclei


Radon in workplaces, personnel neutron dosimetry, radon film badges, radon risk assessment


L Tommasino and G Espinosa


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