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Health Phys. 1994 Apr;66(4):433-8.

Radon in outdoor air in Nevada.

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  • 1Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, National Research Council/HA 372, Washington, DC 20007.


Measurements of radon at 50 sites with varying geology indicate that outdoor air in Nevada is comparable to that measured nationwide by Hopper et al. (1991). The statewide median of 15 Bq m-3 (0.4 pCi L-1) is essentially the same as the nationwide median. The range is considerable: from 2.6-52 Bq m-3 (0.07-1.40 pCi L-1). Variations in these measurements can generally be correlated with different concentrations of radon in soils and uranium and its progeny in rocks. Silica-rich igneous rocks (rhyolites and granites) appear to be the main sources of high levels of radon in outdoor air in Nevada. Concentrations of radon in outdoor air generally correlate with levels of radon in soil gas. Measurements taken from heights of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 m above the ground suggest that radon in outdoor air reflects the local geology throughout this range of heights. Towns for which > 20% of the homes have indoor-air radon concentrations > 48 Bq m-3 (4 pCi L-1) generally have relatively high soil-gas radon, relatively high outdoor-air radon, or both.

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