Exerpts from the history of alpha recoils.

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Any confined air volume holding radon ((222)Rn) gas bears a memory of past radon concentrations due to (210)Pb (T(1/2) = 22 y) and its progenies entrapped in all solid objects in the volume. The efforts of quantifying past radon exposures by means of the left-behind long-lived radon progenies started in 1987 with this author's unsuccessful trials of removing (214)Po from radon exposed glass objects. In this contribution the history and different techniques of assessing radon exposure to man in retrospect will be overviewed. The main focus will be on the implantation of alpha recoils into glass surfaces, but also potential traps in radon dwellings will be discussed. It is concluded that for a successful retrospective application, three crucial imperatives must be met, i.e. firstly, the object must persistently store a certain fraction of the created (210)Pb atoms, secondly, be resistant over decades towards disturbances from the outside and thirdly, all (210)Pb atoms analysed must originate from airborne radon only. For large-scale radon epidemiological studies, non-destructive and inexpensive measurement techniques are essential. Large-scale studies cannot be based on objects rarely found in dwellings or not available for measurements.


  • Christer Samuelsson
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Miljövetenskap
Sidor (från-till)531-533
TidskriftJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
StatusPublished - 2011
Peer review utfördJa