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Human beings are continuously exposed to ionising radiation originating from natural or artificial sources. Uranium-238 and Thorium-232 found in building materials are important sources of radon and thoron in the indoor environment. The concentration levels of radon, thoron and thoron progeny were measured in mud-walled, metallic or iron sheet-walled and stone-walled modern houses in Kilimambogo region, Kenya for 3 months. Radon and thoron concentration levels were measured using passive radon-thoron discriminative monitors (RADUET), while thoron progeny concentrations as the equilibrium equivalent thoron concentration (EETC) were measured using thoron progeny monitors. The mean radon concentration levels in mud, metallic and stone-walled dwellings were 67 ± 11, 60 ± 10 and 75 ± 10 Bq m-3, respectively. The mean thoron concentration levels in the corresponding dwellings were 195 ± 36, 71 ± 24 and 161 ± 31 Bq m-3, respectively, while EETCs were 12 ± 2, 3 ± 1 and 7 ± 1 Bq m-3, respectively. The annual effective doses for radon were 1.3 ± 0.2, 1.1 ± 0.1 and 1.4 ± 0.2 mSv y-1 in mud, metallic and stone-walled houses while those from thoron estimated from EETC were 2.4 ± 0.4, 0.5 ± 0.1 and 1.5 ± 0.2 mSv y-1 in the corresponding houses, respectively.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Radiation protection dosimetry
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Radon. A naturally radioactive element with atomic symbol Rn, atomic number 86, and atomic weight 222. It is a member of the noble gas family and released during the decay of radium and found in soil. There is a link between exposure to radon and lung cancer.
Short-lived radioactive decay products of radon that include 216-Po, 214-Pb, 214-Bi, and 214-Po. They have an effective half-life of about 30 minutes and are solids that can deposit on the bronchial airways during inhalation and exhalation. This results in exposure of the respiratory airways to alpha radiation and can lead to diseases of the respiratory system, including lung cancer. (From Casarett and Doull's Toxicology, 4th ed, p740)
The ratio of the dose that produces toxicity to the dose that produces a clinically desired or effective response.
The dose amount of poisonous or toxic substance or dose of ionizing radiation required to kill 50% of the tested population.
An anticonvulsant effective in absence seizures, but generally reserved for refractory cases because of its toxicity. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p378)