Radon, a naturally occurring gas that is found everywhere, is the largest contributor to radiation dose from natural sources world-wide, and the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
Given this, it is not surprising that radon has long been an important subject for radiological protection. A new Summary of ICRP Recommendations on Radon traces ICRP efforts on radon from Publication 24 (1977) to Publication 137, Occupational Intakes of Radionuclides: Part 3 (OIR 3), released earlier this week.
OIR 3 provides dose coefficients for radon and radon progeny:
“For … inhalation of radon and radon progeny in underground mines and in buildings, in most circumstances, the Commission recommends a dose coefficient of 3 mSv per mJ h m-3 (approximately 10 mSv WLM-1) … However, for indoor workplaces where workers are engaged in substantial physical activities, and for workers in tourist caves, the Commission recommends a dose coefficient of 6 mSv per mJ h m-3 (approximately 20 mSv WLM-1)”
Considerably more information is available in OIR 3 and the Summary of Recommendations referred to above.
In the coming weeks, radon will be highlighted on ICRPaedia, creating a central location where interested organisations, professionals, and members of the public can find an easy-to-understand summary of ICRP recommendations on radon.
General inquiries may be directed to Kelsey Cloutier, ICRP Development and Communications Manager.