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Radon hazards, geology, and exposure of cave users: a case study and some theoretical perspectives

Gillmore, G. K., Sperrin, M., Phillips, P. S. and Denman, A. R. (2000) Radon hazards, geology, and exposure of cave users: a case study and some theoretical perspectives. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 46, pp. 279-288. 0147-6513.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: The concerns over the risks to human health from radon in underground caves are poorly documented, unlike in workplace or domestic environments where exposures are relatively well known. In U.K. caves, radon has been identified as occurring at elevated levels; but with the exception of major show caves, its impact and risk to the many groups who use the caves have thus far received inadequate attention. This paper presents a survey performed in a relatively 99low-risk:: geographical area of the United Kingdom and quanti5es the risk of exposure in this cave environment. Radon levels up to 12,552 Bq m23 were measured: Such concentrations are very high but are likely to underestimate the levels in many other parts of the cave system, for reasons associated with cave architecture and meteorology. This study con5rms previous workers: conclusions that long-term users of deep caves, as opposed to rock shelters, are at risk. Annual doses to certain groups of cave users have been calculated to be as high as 120 mSv, a very high value. The study also demonstrates that there is variation both within and between caves as a result of subtleties of the bedrock geology, fault patterns, and weathering. This paper sets out a theoretical model. (2000 Academic Press Key Words: radon; geology; caves; carboniferous limestone; Mendip Hills, Swildon:s Hole.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Radon, geology, caves, carboniferous limestone, Mendip Hills, Swildon's Hole
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1247.R33 Toxicology. Radon
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering > TD885.5 Radon pollution
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography > GB400 Geomorphology. Landforms. Terrain > GB561 Other natural landforms: Floodplains, caves, deserts, dunes > GB601.2 Caves
Creators: Gillmore, Gavin K, Sperrin, M, Phillips, Paul S and Denman, Anthony R
Publisher: Elsevier
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: 2000
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 279-288
Journal or Publication Title: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume: 46
Language: English
ISSN: 0147-6513
Status: Published / Disseminated

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