Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying
Field measurements of the concentration and activity size distribution of radon decay products were conducted in a one-story house located in the Princeton, NJ area. Radon concentration and particle number concentration were also measured. The concentration and activity-weighted size distribution of radon decay products were determined using a microcomputer-controlled, semi-continuous screen diffusion battery system with 6 parallel sampler/detector units. A condensation nuclei counter was used for the measurements of indoor panicle number concentration. Several measurements were made in the living room as well as more than one hundred measurements in the master bedroom of the Princeton house. Aerosols were generated from taking a shower, burning a candle, smoldering a cigarette, vacuuming, and cooking. Therefore, the influence of various indoor panicle sources on the behavior of radon decay products was investigated. With panicles generated from typical household activities, Potential Alpha Energy Concentration (PAEC) increases and the unattached fraction decreases. Larger panicles generated from cigarette smoke and cooking dramatically shifted most of the radon decay products into the attached mode (15-500 nm). With regard to the higher attachment rate, the size distributions of radon decay products remained stable for long periods of time after particle generation. On the other hand, aerosols produced from candle burning and vacuuming were much smaller, with an average attachment diameter of 15 nm. These panicles did decrease the unattached fraction, especially during the aerosol generation period. However, the size distributions of radon decay products returned to the background condition within ISO minutes after the end of particle generation. In these cases, the panicles had a higher deposition rate and a lower attachment rate. The dose of alpha radiation per unit radon concentration resulting from each of these aerosol conditions was calculated using the measured activity size distributions and the most recent James dosimetric model. These doses to basal cells at a breathing rate of 0.45 m3 hr1 ranged from 3 to 14 μGy Bq−1 hr while the dose to secretory cells at a breathing rate of 1.5 m3 hr1 ranged from 13 to 77 μGy Bq−1 hr for the various aerosol conditions.
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