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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2012 Nov;152(1-3):243-6. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncs231. Epub 2012 Aug 26.

Preliminary results from an indoor radon thoron survey in Hungary.

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Institute of Radiochemistry and Radioecology, University of Pannonia, PO Box 158, H-8201 Veszprem, Hungary.


More than half of the radiation dose of natural origin comes from radon. However, according to some surveys in certain cases, the radiation dose originating from thoron may be considerable. Among the factors disturbing the measurement of radon, the presence of thoron may also influence the measured radon value, making the estimated radiation exposure imprecise. Thoron has previously been surveyed, mainly in Asia; however, recent surveys for some European locations have found that significant thoron concentrations also need to be considered. In this survey, several types of commercially available SSNTDs (solid-state nuclear track detectors) capable of measuring both radon and thoron were placed at the same time in 73 houses and 7 workplaces in Hungary with 3-month exposition periods. In order to measure thoron, the distance of the detector sets was fixed as 15-20 cm from the walls. The radon concentration was measured with five types of SSNTDs: NRPB, NRPB SSI, Raduet, DTPS and DRPS. The first four types had relatively good accordance (within ± 10 %), but the results of the DRPS detectors were considerably lower when compared with other detectors for radon concentrations over 100 Bq m(-3). The thoron averages were provided by two different types of detectors: Raduet and DTPS. The difference between their average results was more than 30 % and was six times the maximum values. Therefore, the thoron measurement results were judged to be erroneous, and their measurement protocol should be clearly established for future work.

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