The effect of natural ventilation on radon and radon progeny levels in houses

A. Cavallo, K. Gadsby, T Agami Reddy, R. Socolow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In contradiction to the widely held assumption that ventilation is ineffective as a means of reducing indoor radon concentrations, experiments in a research house have shown that the basement radon level can be reduced by a factor of 5-10 using only natural ventilation. Measurements of the outdoor-basement pressure differential and the radon entry rate show that this unexpectedly large reduction in indoor radon levels is caused by two complementary physical processes. The first mechanism is the obvious one: dilution. Radon concentrations are lowered by the addition of uncontaminated outdoor air. The second mechanism is less evident: an open basement window reduces basement depressurisation. This decreases the rate at which radon-laden soil gas is drawn into the house. It was also found that the radon entry rate is a linear function of basement depressurisation up to a differential pressure of about 4 Pa, as would be expected for laminar soil gas flow; opening two basement windows approximately doubles the building air exchange rate and reduces the radon entry rate by up to a factor of 5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-573
Number of pages5
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Volume45
Issue number1-4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Radon
progeny
ventilation
radon
Ventilation
basements
entry
differential pressure
pressure reduction
soils
Soil
Gases
Air
Physical Phenomena
Soils
Pressure
air
Dilution
gas flow
Flow of gases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this

The effect of natural ventilation on radon and radon progeny levels in houses. / Cavallo, A.; Gadsby, K.; Reddy, T Agami; Socolow, R.

In: Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Vol. 45, No. 1-4 SUPPL., 1992, p. 569-573.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cavallo, A, Gadsby, K, Reddy, TA & Socolow, R 1992, 'The effect of natural ventilation on radon and radon progeny levels in houses', Radiation Protection Dosimetry, vol. 45, no. 1-4 SUPPL., pp. 569-573.
Cavallo, A. ; Gadsby, K. ; Reddy, T Agami ; Socolow, R. / The effect of natural ventilation on radon and radon progeny levels in houses. In: Radiation Protection Dosimetry. 1992 ; Vol. 45, No. 1-4 SUPPL. pp. 569-573.
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