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Issue 11, 2012
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Study of indoor radon concentrations and associated health risks in the five districts of Hazara division, Pakistan

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Abstract

A total of 200 indoor air samples were collected to measure radon concentration levels and its contribution to the mean effective doses during different seasons of the period 2009–2010 at different sites of the five districts of Hazara division, Pakistan. The major portion of the region is mountainous and is full of thick forests which receives heavy snow fall in winter. The need for conducting the present survey relied on the fact that occupants spend their lives in poorly ventilated indoor environments of the region, especially in the winter season when they use wood fire inside their residences. The measurements of indoor air samples were taken with RAD-7, a solid state α-detector. Radon concentrations in the whole region range from 41 Bq m−3 to 254 Bq m−3 with a geometric mean of 128 Bq m−3. Radon progenies were measured with a surface barrier detector through alpha spectroscopy from which the Equilibrium Factor (EF) for radon and Radon Decay Products (RDPs) for the smoke-bearing as well as smoke-free indoor environments were deduced. The respective mean values of EF were calculated as 0.49 ± 0.08 and 0.40 ± 0.07. The mean effective doses from indoor air of Abbottabad, Mansehra, Haripur, Battgram and Kohistan districts were calculated as 3.5 ± 1.2, 3.7 ± 0.7, 3.9 ± 1.0, 3.6 ± 1.1 and 3.9 ± 0.7 mSv a−1 respectively, with the maximum value of 5.1 ± 1.8 mSv a−1 in Kohistan district during winter and the minimum value of 2.9 ± 1.0 mSv a−1 in Abbottabad district during summer. The annual exposure dose to the inhabitants of the locality lies below the upper bound of 10 mSv a−1, as recommended by ICRP-65, and may not pose any significant threat to the public health.

Graphical abstract: Study of indoor radon concentrations and associated health risks in the five districts of Hazara division, Pakistan

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jun 2012, accepted on 30 Aug 2012 and first published on 31 Aug 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2EM30445G
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2012,14, 3015-3023
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    Study of indoor radon concentrations and associated health risks in the five districts of Hazara division, Pakistan

    F. Khan, N. Ali, E. U. Khan, N. U. Khattak, I. A. Raja, M. A. Baloch and M. U. Rajput, J. Environ. Monit., 2012, 14, 3015
    DOI: 10.1039/C2EM30445G

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