There are different regulations establishing the measures to guarantee health and safety inside a building. Usually, protection against radon has its own section.
Buildings and radon gas
Summarizing what has been said in previous articles: radon is a radioactive gas that comes from rocky soils. It is difficult to detect and it accumulates inside buildings and enclosed spaces, being a potential risk for people’s health.
If there is not an anti-radon barrier, radon can access the interior of the
buildings. This can occur due to many different failings, such as hollows in
facades and the outdoor air being contaminated or basement walls having
lack of sealing and radon is present in the soil that is in contact with the
International legislative framework
The European Commission, in Euratom 90/143, recommends that concentrations of 400 Bq/m3 in existing buildings and 200 Bq/m3 in new buildings should not be exceeded.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection presented a review of the levels of exposure to radon in 2009. This revision reduces the maximum level of 600 Bq/m3 to 300 Bq/m3 for homes. For workplaces, protective measures should be implemented starting at 1,000 Bq/m3.
There is consensus in the international scientific community about which are the most influential factors in the concentration of radon inside buildings:
- Geological: radon gas concentration in the soil, degree of fracturing, and air permeability;
- Constructive: existence of basement, presence of barriers against radon;
- Atmospheric: differences in pressure between the gas retained on the ground and outside.
Many countries are establishing maximum concentrations of radon for the
interior of buildings and developing guidelines on problem-solutions,
highlighting the importance of preventive actions.
Protection against radon gas in new buildings
There are two ways of approaching the problem of radon gas for newly built constructions, which are, to remove the gas that exists in the surroundings or to prevent it from passing through the enclosure of the building.
That is to say:
- Remove the gases coming from the ground.
- Use anti-radon barriers.
Protection against radon in existing buildings
After an exhaustive study of the problem, some possible solutions would be:
- Sealing of joints, cracks and passages to facilities
- Isolation of basements and garages.
- Installation of mechanical ventilation systems
- Applying anti-radon barriers
Synthesia Technology: anti-radon barriers
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