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Indoor Air. 2003 Jun;13(2):118-27.

Modeling ventilation and radon in new Dutch dwellings.

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1
National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM/LSO), 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands. martien.janssen@rivm.nl

Abstract

Indoor radon concentrations were estimated for various ventilation conditions, the differences being mainly related to the airtightness of the dwelling and the ventilation behavior of its occupants. The estimations were aimed at describing the variation in air change rates and radon concentrations to be expected in the representative newly built Dutch dwellings and identifying the most important parameters determining air change rate and indoor radon concentration. The model estimations were compared with measurements. Most of the air was predicted to enter the model dwelling through leaks in the building shell, independent of the ventilation conditions of the dwelling. Opening the air inlets was shown to be an efficient way to increase infiltration and thus to decrease radon concentration. The effect of increasing the mechanical ventilation rate was considerably less than opening the air inlets. The mechanical ventilation sets the lower limit to the air change rate of the dwelling, and is effective in reducing the radon concentration when natural infiltration is low. Opening inside doors proved to be effective in preventing peak concentrations in poorly ventilated rooms. As the airtightness of newly built dwellings is still being improved, higher radon concentrations are to be expected in the near future and the effect of occupant behavior on indoor radon concentrations is likely to increase. According to the model estimations soil-borne radon played a moderate role, which is in line with measurements.

PMID:
12756005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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