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Distribution of airborne radon-222 concentrations in U.S. homes

Nero, A. V. and Schwehr, M. B. and Nazaroff, W. W. and Revzan, K. L. (1986) Distribution of airborne radon-222 concentrations in U.S. homes. Science, 234 (4779). pp. 992-997. ISSN 0036-8075. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141223-100135137

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Abstract

Apparently large exposures of the general public to the radioactive decay products of radon-222 present in indoor air have led to systematical appraisal of monitoring data from U.S. single-family homes; several ways of aggregating data were used that take into account differences in sample selection and season of measurements. The resulting distribution of annual-average radon-222 concentrations can be characterized by an arithmetic mean of 1.5 picocurie per liter (55 becquerels per cubic meter) and a long tail with 1 to 3% of homes exceeding 8 picocuries per liter, or by a geometric mean of 0.9 picocurie per liter and a geometric standard deviation of about 2.8. The standard deviation in the means is 15%, estimated from the number and variability of the available data sets, but the total uncertainty is larger because these data may not be representative. Available dose-response data suggest that an average of 1.5 picocuries per liter contributes about 0.3% lifetime risk of lung cancer and that, in the million homes with the highest concentrations, where annual exposures approximate or exceed those received by underground uranium miners, long-term occupants suffer an added lifetime risk of at least 2%, reaching extraordinary values at the highest concentrations observed.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.3775373DOIArticle
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/234/4779/992PublisherArticle
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1698164JSTORArticle
Additional Information:© 1986 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 18 June 1986; accepted 15 September 1986. We are grateful to those who provided us with data before publication. Supported by Department of Energy contract DE-AC03-76SF00098.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC03-76SF00098
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141223-100135137
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141223-100135137
Official Citation:Distribution of airborne radon-222 concentrations in U.S. homes AV Nero, MB Schwehr, WW Nazaroff, and KL Revzan Science 21 November 1986: 234 (4779), 992-997. [DOI:10.1126/science.3775373]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:53141
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Dec 2014 18:44
Last Modified:23 Dec 2014 18:44

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