Anomalous results with the widely used NRPB/SSI-type passive radon dosemeter

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In an industrial hall, with large variations of radon concentration within minutes, simultaneous measurements were done with two types of passive radon detectors and an active radon measuring device. The widely used passive radon detector of the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) [Health Protection Agency (former NRPB) (HPA)]/Statens strålskyddsinstitut (Swedish Radiation Protection Institute) (SSI) type produced anomalous results, seemingly uncorrelated to the radon concentration which was in the order of hundreds of becquerels per metre, usually underestimating but occasionally overestimating. We tried to reproduce similar exposure characteristics in our laboratory, but failed to reproduce the anomalous readings. We suspected, but could not prove, that the anomalous results were due to the combination of high radon concentration gradients, with pressure-driven air exchange between the inside of the detector holder and the outside atmosphere. Moreover, this theory was at least partly contradicted when we drilled holes in the detector holder. Although of interest, this effect is not likely to have substantially influenced any radon surveys, given the unusual nature of the exposure that caused the effect.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-353
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimtery
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2010

ID: 6853897