skip to main content

Title: Contamination of individuals by radon daughters: a preliminary study

Body radon daughter contamination reflects relative individual respiratory exposures to radon daughters; counts can be related both to household radon levels and to lung cancer risk factors such as sex and tobacco smoking. Radon daughters were counted by gamma spectroscopy from 180 adult residents of eastern Pennsylvania. A seven-position, 35-min scan was conducted in a mobile body counter, generally during afternoon or evening hours. Track-etch detectors for household radon were distributed, and were recovered from 80% of the subjects. Over 75% of the population had environmentally enhanced radon daughter contamination. House radon levels were strongly related, as anticipated, to radon daughter contamination in the 112 subjects for whom both sets of measurements were available (p less than .001); basement measurements were as strongly related to personal contamination as were living area measurements; bedroom measurements were slightly more strongly correlated. Both sex (p less than .02) and cigarette smoking (p less than .01) significantly modified the relationships, after nonlinear adjustment for travel times. Using a logarithmic model, a given house living-area radon level was associated in females with body contamination by radon daughters 2-3 times that in males. Nonsmokers had 2-4 times higher levels of contamination than smokers. Results are formore » the total of internal and external contamination, these being highly correlated in preliminary experiments. Time usage and activity patterns of the subjects are believed to be important in explaining these findings, and may become important variables in radon risk assessment.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7125525
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Arch. Environ. Health; (United States); Journal Volume: 43:2
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab., IL (USA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; HOUSES; RADIATION MONITORING; LUNGS; NEOPLASMS; RADIOINDUCTION; RADON; RADIATION HAZARDS; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; RISK ASSESSMENT; DAUGHTER PRODUCTS; ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE; GAMMA SPECTROSCOPY; INDOOR AIR POLLUTION; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; PENNSYLVANIA; SEX DEPENDENCE; TOBACCO SMOKES; AEROSOLS; AIR POLLUTION; BODY; BUILDINGS; COLLOIDS; DISEASES; DISPERSIONS; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; ELEMENTS; FEDERAL REGION III; FLUIDS; GASES; HAZARDS; HEALTH HAZARDS; ISOTOPES; MONITORING; NONMETALS; NORTH AMERICA; ORGANS; POLLUTION; RARE GASES; RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS; RESIDUES; RESPIRATORY SYSTEM; SMOKES; SOLS; SPECTROSCOPY; USA 560161* -- Radionuclide Effects, Kinetics, & Toxicology-- Man; 500300 -- Environment, Atmospheric-- Radioactive Materials Monitoring & Transport-- (-1989)