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The knowledge of the natural radioactivity of building materials is important for the determination of population exposure to radiations and for the assessment of the possible radiological hazards to human health. Building materials contribute to natural radiation exposure, either by gamma radiation from 40K, 238U and 232Th and their decay products to an external whole body dose exposure, or by radon exhalation to an internal dose exposure due to deposition of radon decay products in the human lung tissue. Over the last years, the building industry has developed new building materials that may contain significant quantities of naturally or technologically enhanced levels of radioactivity. For that reason, it is important to evaluate the amount of natural radioactivity present in the building materials, which are used in the construction of dwellings. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the radium activity concentration in ornamental rocks and composites, commonly used as building materials in the Iberian Peninsula versus radon (222Rn) exhalation rates by using passive and active measuring techniques. For the assessment of the potential radiological hazards, both the alpha index and the emanation fraction are also determined. This work was carried out in cooperation with the Applied Physics Department of the Extremadura University.

 PSR 10


Contact person(s): Eva Andrade, Mário Reis

More details in:

  • Miró, C., Andrade, E., Reis, M. and Madruga, M. J. (2014). Development of a couple of methods for measuring radon exhalation from building materials commonly used in the Iberian Peninsula. Radiation Protection Dosimetry, pp.1-4. doi:10.1093/rpd/ncu063.