The effect of new building regulations on indoor radon in radonprone municipalities

  • Hallvard Haanes Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Østerås, Norway
  • Trine Kolstad Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Østerås, Norway
  • Ingvild Egen Finne Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Østerås, Norway
  • Bård Olsen Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Østerås, Norway
Keywords: radon-prone areas, Indoor radon, Radon prevention, Radon membrane, Radon sump, Ventilation


Radon is an important contributor to public radiation dose and it is important to monitor levels in homes and introduce measures to reduce radon concentration levels, both overall and where levels are especially high. In Norway, new building regulations were introduced in 2010, which required balanced ventilation and preventive measures to reduce indoor radon levels, including a radon barrier toward the ground and pressure reducing features beneath the building that prevent soil gas from entering (radon sump). Investigations of randomly selected homes all across Norway have shown that houses built under these new regulations have significantly lower radon levels. However, a few municipalities in Norway are especially radon-prone and have houses with particularly high levels. It is crucial to verify the effect of the new regulations in these municipalities, which we have done in this study. Here, we show that both preventive radon measures and balanced ventilation and the building regulations of 2010 have significant effects on reducing the radon levels in the houses of the public. Noticeably for management, houses with a well-ventilated crawl space, which have been exempt from the required preventive measures, still in some cases have levels above action and maximum recommended levels


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Nazaroff WW. Radon transport from soil to air. Rev Geophys 1992; 30(2): 137–60. doi: 10.1029/92RG00055

  2. Porstendörfer J. Properties and behaviour of radon and thoron and their decay products in the air. J Aerosol Sci 1994; 25(2): 219–63. doi: 10.1016/0021-8502(94)90077-9

  3. Tanner AB. Radon migration in the ground: a supplementary review. In: Gesell TF, Lowder WM, eds. Natural radiation environment III. vol 1. CONF-780422. Washington, DC: Department of Energy; 1980. pp. 5–56.

  4. UNSCEAR. Effects of ionizing radiation. Volume II, Annex E: sources-to-effects assessment for radon in homes and workplaces. UNSCEAR report to the General Assembly, with annexes. New York, NY: United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation; 2006.

  5. BEIR-VI. Health effects of exposure to radon. BEIR-VI report. Washington, DC: Committee on Health risks of Exposure to Radon. National Research Council; 1999.

  6. Darby S, Hill D, Auvinen A, Barros-Dios JM, Baysson H, Bochicchio F, et al. Radon in homes and risk of lung cancer: collaborative analysis of individual data from 13 European case-control studies. BMJ 2005; 330(7485): 223. doi: 10.1136/bmj.38308.477650.63

  7. Darby S, Hill D, Deo H, Auvinen A, Barros-Dios JM, Baysson H, et al. Residential radon and lung cancer – detailed results of a collaborative analysis of individual data on 7148 persons with lung cancer and 14,208 persons without lung cancer from 13 epidemiologic studies in Europe. Scand J Work Environ Health 2006; 32 Suppl 1: 1–83.

  8. NRPA. Strålevernets nye anbefalinger for radon i Norge: (in Norwegian). Østerås: Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority; Stråleverninfo 2009; 25.

  9. Norwegian Ministries. Strategy for the reduction of radon exposure in Norway. Oslo: Norwegian Ministry of Labour, Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services and Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Norwegian Government Administration Services Publication; 2010.

  10. DIBK. Byggteknisk forskrift (TEK17) med veiledning (in Norwegian). 2017. Available from: [cited 10 September 2021].

  11. Finne IE, Kolstad T, Larsson M, Olsen B, Prendergast J, Rudjord AL. Significant reduction in indoor radon in newly built houses. J Environ Radioact 2019; 196: 259–63. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.01.013

  12. Jensen CL, Sundal AV, Ånestad K. Radon i uteluft. Presentasjon av resultater fra radonmålinger i uteluft i seks utvalgte områder i Norge (in Norwegian). Strålevernrapport 2006; 20. (Østerås: Statens Strålevern).

  13. Watson RJ, Smethurst MA, Ganerød GV, Finne I, Rudjord AL. The use of mapped geology as a predictor of radon potential in Norway. J Environ Radioact 2017; 166: 341–54. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2016.05.031

  14. Strand T, Lunder Jensen C, Ånestad K, Ruden L, Beate Ramberg G. High radon areas in Norway. Int Congr Ser 2005; 1276(0): 212–4. doi: 10.1016/j.ics.2004.10.027

  15. Sundal AV, Henriksen H, Lauritzen SE, Soldal O, Strand T, Valen V. Geological and geochemical factors affecting radon concentrations in dwellings located on permeable glacial sediments – a case study from Kinsarvik, Norway. Env Geol 2004; 45(6): 843–58. doi: 10.1007/s00254-003-0944-5

  16. Sundal AV, Jensen CL, Anestad K, Strand T. Anomalously high radon concentrations in dwellings located on permeable glacial sediments. J Radiol Protect 2007; 27(3): 287–98. doi: 10.1088/0952-4746/27/3/003

  17. Sundal AV, Henriksen H, Soldal O, Strand T. The influence of geological factors on indoor radon concentrations in Norway. Sci Tot Environ 2004; 328(1): 41–53. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.02.011

  18. NRPA. Measurement protocol for radon in dwellings (In Norwegian). Østerås, Norway: Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority; 2013.

  19. NRPA. Kartlegging av radon i 114 kommuner (In Norwewgian). Østerås: Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority; Strålevernrapport 2001; 6.

  20. R Core Team. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. In: Computing RFfS. Vienna, Austria. Available from: [cited March 2021].

  21. Hegyi G, Laczi M. Using full models, stepwise regression and model selection in ecological data sets: Monte Carlo simulations. Ann Zool Fenn 2015; 52(5/6): 257–79. doi: 10.5735/086.052.0502

  22. Arvela H, Holmgren O, Reisbacka H. Radon prevention in new construction in Finland: a nationwide sample survey in 2009. Radiat Prot Dosimetry 2011; 148(4): 465–74. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncr192

  23. Scivyer CR. Radon protection for new buildings: a practical solution from the UK. Sci Tot Environ 2001; 272(1): 91–6. doi: 10.1016/S0048-9697(01)00670-2

How to Cite
Haanes H., Kolstad T., Finne I. E., & Olsen B. (2022). The effect of new building regulations on indoor radon in radonprone municipalities. Journal of the European Radon Association, 3.
Original Research Articles