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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2012 Aug;151(1):172-4. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncr442. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Soil radon measurements in the Canadian cities.

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Radiation Protection Bureau, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


Radon has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking. Information on indoor radon concentrations is required to assess the lung cancer burden due to radon exposure. Since radon in soil is believed to be the main source of radon in homes, measurements of soil gas radon concentrations can be used to estimate variations in radon potential of indoor environments. This study reports surveys of natural background variation in soil radon levels in four cities, Montreal, Gatineau, Kingston and the largest Canadian city of Toronto. A total of 212 sites were surveyed. The average soil gas radon concentrations varied significantly from site to site, and ranged from below detection limit to 157 kBq m(-3). For each site, the soil radon potential (SRP) index was determined with the average soil radon concentration and average soil permeability measured. The average SRP indexes are 20±16, 12±11, 8±9 and 12±10 for Montreal, Gatineau, Kingston and Toronto, respectively. The results provide additional data for the validation of an association between indoor and soil radon potentials and for the development of radon potential map of Canada.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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