Geological support to the National Radon Programme (Czech Republic)


Authors: Mikšová J, Barnet I

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 77, issue 1; pages: 13 - 22; Received 10 December 2001; Accepted in revised form 22 January 2002;

Keywords: environmental geology, environment, radioactivity, uranium, radon, zirconium, geological hazards, radioactivity surveys, geoenvironmental maps, radon risk maps, National Radon Programme,

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Radon 222Rn release from bedrock contributes substantially to the internal irradiation of the human body. The negative health impact of unregulated long-term exposure to radon has been proved in epidemiological studies. Because radon is generated by the radioactive decay from uranium-bearing rocks and soils, geological knowledge can contribute to defining the areas with enhanced radon exhalation from rocks and soils. In large plutonic rock bodies accessory minerals such as zircon or zirconium minerals in phonolites are considered to be some of the most intensive sources of radon. A uniform method for soil gas radon measurements applied in the Czech Republic as well as soil gas data processing have enabled us to construct maps of radon risk from bedrock in various scales. Different approaches to the constructing of the maps are discussed in the paper. The prediction of radon risk maps is illustrated using comparisons of indoor radon measurements and bedrock radon data. Detailed radon risk maps primarily serve for locating the indoor radon detectors, which, consequently, leads to advancing the detection of existing dwellings, which have exceeded indoor radon guidance level and their mitigation.