Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Domestic radon remediation of U.K. dwellings by sub-slab depressurisation: evidence for a baseline contribution from constructional materials

Groves-Kirkby, C. J., Denman, A. R., Phillips, P. S., Tornberg, R., Woolridge, A. C. and Crockett, R. G. M. (2008) Domestic radon remediation of U.K. dwellings by sub-slab depressurisation: evidence for a baseline contribution from constructional materials. Environment International. 34(3), pp. 428-436. 0160-4120.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: To quantify the effectiveness of Sub-Slab Depressurisation, widely used in the United Kingdom (U.K.) to mitigate indoor radon gas levels in residential properties, a study was made of radon concentration data collected from a set of 170 homes situated in Radon Affected Areas in Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties, remediated using conventional sump/pump technology. A high incidence of satisfactory remediation outcomes was achieved, with 100% of the houses remediated demonstrating post-remediation radon concentrations below the U.K. domestic Action Level of 200 Bq m− 3, while more than 75% of the sample exhibited radon mitigation factors (defined as the ratio of radon concentrations following and prior to remediation) < 0.2. Two systematic trends are identified. Firstly, absolute radon concentration reduction following remediation is directly proportional to initial radon concentration, with a mean reduction factor of 0.96 and a residual component of around 75 Bq m− 3. Secondly, houses with lower initial radon concentrations demonstrate poorer (higher) mitigation factors. These observations support a model in which the total indoor radon concentration within a dwelling can be represented by two principal components, one susceptible to mitigation by sub-slab depressurisation, the other remaining essentially unaffected. The first component can be identified with radon emanating from the subsoil and bedrock geologies, percolating through the foundations of the dwelling as a component of the soil-gas, and potentially capable of being attenuated by sub-slab depressurisation or radon-barrier remediation technologies. The second contribution can be identified with radon emanating from materials used in the construction of the dwelling with a further contribution from the natural background level, and is essentially unaffected by ground-level remediation strategies. Modelling of a multi-component radon dependency using ground-radon attenuation factors derived from the experimental data, in conjunction with typical background and structural-radon levels, yields behaviour in good agreement with the observed dependence of mitigation factor on initial radon concentration
Uncontrolled Keywords: Radon; Remediation; Sub-slab depressurisation; Building materials
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE300 Environmental management
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA565 Environmental health
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering > TD885.5 Radon pollution
T Technology > TH Building construction > TH6014 Environmental engineering of buildings. Sanitary engineering of buildings
Creators: Groves-Kirkby, Chris J, Denman, Anthony R, Phillips, Paul S, Tornberg, R, Woolridge, Anne C and Crockett, Robin G M
Publisher: Elsevier
Northamptonshire and East Midlands: Environment
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for Research into Sustainable Wastes Management
Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Environmental Science
Research Centres > Environment Research Group
Date: April 2008
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 428-436
Journal or Publication Title: Environment International
Volume: 34
Number: 3
Language: English
ISSN: 0160-4120
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item