Development of a geogenic radon hazard index—concept, history, experiences

TitleDevelopment of a geogenic radon hazard index—concept, history, experiences
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBossew, P., Cinelli Giorgia, Ciotoli G., Crowley Q.G., de Cort M., Medina J.E., Gruber V., Petermann E., and Tollefsen T.
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Keywordsair pollutant, Air Pollutants, Air pollution, analytic method, cancer, classification, concentration (composition), concept analysis, conceptual framework, environmental exposure, environmental policy, Europe, geogenic radon hazard index, geogenic source, hazard assessment, health hazard, health risk, home environment, Human activities, Indoor, indoor air pollution, indoor radon, machine learning, multicriteria decision analysis, Multivariate analysis, Nicotiana tabacum, prediction, Principal component analysis, public health, Radiation exposure, radiation monitoring, Radioactive, Radon, resource allocation, review, risk factor, Taxonomy, Validation study, workplace

Exposure to indoor radon at home and in workplaces constitutes a serious public health risk and is the second most prevalent cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking. Indoor radon concentration is to a large extent controlled by so-called geogenic radon, which is radon generated in the ground. While indoor radon has been mapped in many parts of Europe, this is not the case for its geogenic control, which has been surveyed exhaustively in only a few countries or regions. Since geogenic radon is an important predictor of indoor radon, knowing the local potential of geogenic radon can assist radon mitigation policy in allocating resources and tuning regulations to focus on where it needs to be prioritized. The contribution of geogenic to indoor radon can be quantified in different ways: the geogenic radon potential (GRP) and the geogenic radon hazard index (GRHI). Both are constructed from geogenic quantities, with their differences tending to be, but not always, their type of geographical support and optimality as indoor radon predictors. An important feature of the GRHI is consistency across borders between regions with different data availability and Rn survey policies, which has so far impeded the creation of a European map of geogenic radon. The GRHI can be understood as a generalization or extension of the GRP. In this paper, the concepts of GRP and GRHI are discussed and a review of previous GRHI approaches is presented, including methods of GRHI estimation and some preliminary results. A methodology to create GRHI maps that cover most of Europe appears at hand and appropriate; however, further fine tuning and validation remains on the agenda. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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