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Title: Radon levels in dwellings in chalk terrain : development and analysis of distributional and causal models
Author: Killip, Ian Richmond.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3599 1885
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis investigates the range, distribution and causes of high radon levels in dwellings in the Brighton area of Southeast England. Indoor radon levels were measured in more than 1000 homes. The results show that high radon levels can arise in an area previously considered to offer low radon potential from local geological sources. Climate and building-related factors were found to affect significantly the radon levels in dwellings. Multiple regression was used to determine the influence of the various factors on indoor radon levels and an empirical model developed to predict indoor radon levels. The radon hazard, independent of building-related effects, was determined for each surveyed location by adjusting the radon measurement to that expected on the ground floor of a 'model' dwelling. This standardised set of radon levels was entered into a geographical information system (GIS) and related to surface geology. The geometric mean radon level for each lithological unit was plotted to produce a radon hazard map for the area. The highest radon levels were found to be associated with the youngest Chalk Formations, particularly where they meet overlying Tertiary deposits, and with Clay-with-Flints Quaternary deposits in the area. The results were also converted to the radon activity equivalent to that expected from the NRPB's standard dual-detector dwelling survey method and analysed by lognormal modelling to estimate the proportion of dwellings likely to exceed the UK Action Level of 200 Bq/m3 for each lithological unit. The likely percentages of dwellings affected by radon thus obtained were mapped to lithological boundaries to produce a radon potential map. The radon hazard map and the empirical radon model facilitate the prediction of radon levels in dwellings of comparable construction and above similar geology and should further the understanding of the behaviour of radon gas in buildings to allow indoor radon concentrations to be controlled. The radon potential map is directly comparable with those produced by NRPB and BGS and can be used to assist in environmental planning and development control.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environmental health