ITA   |   ENG

P49. Radon and natural radioactivity: implications from the geogenic sources to the human health risk


Congressi SGI-SIMP

  • Alessandra Sciarra - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Roma
  • Livio Ruggiero - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - Roma
  • Eleonora Benà - Università degli studi di Padova
Natural radioactivity fully affects our environment due to cosmic radiation from space, the interaction between the cosmic radiation and the atmosphere (e.g. 14C, 7Be, 3H) and the terrestrial source from soil and minerals in rocks linked to and the alpha decay processes of the principal primordial radionuclides (e.g. 238U, 232Th, 40K). Among the terrestrial sources, radon (222Rn) gas is considered the major source of ionizing radiations exposure to the population and an indoor air pollutant due to its harmful effects on human health (cancerogenic, W.H.O.).
In particular, the Geogenic Radon (GR) exerts the main control on Indoor Radon Concentrations (IRC), as a consequence, the identification of areas characterized by enhanced Geogenic Radon is critical in hazard assessment. For this reason, the studies of radon transport and migration mechanisms are used in various fields of the geosciences, (e.g. air, soil, water and indoor measurements) and represents a powerful investigation tool as concerns the radiation protection. In fact, radon migration and transport in-soil and the surface emission are controlled by geogenic and tectonic sources
 radon migration along permeable pathways (e.g. seismically active and not-active faults, fractured zones) may enhance the Rn content at surface modifying the shallow distribution of the geogenic activities. In contrast, the indoor radon concentrations at surface are defined by other anthropogenic and meteorological factors (e.g. permeability, buildings and architectural features, ventilation, occupation patterns).
This session aims, into details, to improve the knowledge of radon concentration and migration mechanisms in the different geological compartments (e.g. minerals, rocks, soil, water) with the further implications in the IRC to assess health hazard from radon exposure, including: (i) the study of the different GR sources and components
 (ii) the Geogenic Radon Potential (GRP) mapping
 (iii) the identification of the Radon Priority Areas (RPA)
 (iv) the radon health hazard assessment (EURATOM 59/2013)
 (v) groundwater contamination
 (vi) volcanic and active system monitoring and surveillance
 (vii) atmospheric tracing, including of greenhouse gases and pollutants.
Contributions on novel methods and instrumentation for environmental radioactivity monitoring are also encouraged.
Natural radioactivity, radon, geogenic radon potential, indoor radon