Metrology aspects (sampling, storage, transportation, and measurement) of radon in water

  • Michalakis Omirou Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Alexandros Clouvas Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Fokion Leontaris Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; and Institute for the Protection of Terrestrial Infrastructure, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany
Keywords: radon measurements, radon losses, radon tightness, gamma spectroscopy, emanometry, effect of ambient temperature on radon loss


Background: Radon can enter homes using water during normal household activities, and it contributes to increasing the radon concentration of the adjacent space. Because of its gaseous form, it can easily escape during one of the procedures preceding its measurement (sampling, transport, and storage) and during its measurement resulting in its underestimation, which could lead to an underestimated dose calculation.

Objectives: This study focused on quantifying and evaluating radon losses during sampling, transporting, and storing radon in water samples. Also, in terms of measuring radon in water activity concentration, two emanometry methods were compared to the direct method of gamma-ray spectrometry.

Design and Methods: In terms of sampling, two methods were examined and compared. Road transport effect on radon losses was studied by measuring the radon in water concentration of radon-rich samples before and after their transportation at different ambient temperatures. Different materials (PET, glass, aluminum) were examined for their radon tightness by repetitive measurements and interpolation of the recorded data. Also, the effect of ambient temperature (1 to 40°C) on radon losses was studied during the storage phase. To compare radon in water measuring methods, water from the original bottle was poured carefully into the different sample containers that each method requires and measured by each method.

Results and Conclusions: Sampling is the factor that can cause the most significant radon losses. Radon tightness investigation of different materials showed no significant differences in their ability to preserve radon inside the container, as their fitting curves followed the literature radon decay curve. Ambient temperature (1 to 40 °C) did not appear to affect radon losses during the storage phase. Unlike the storage phase, significant radon losses were observed during road transport at ambient temperatures of 31°C and above. Therefore, measures should be taken to avoid radon losses for ambient temperatures of 31°C and above when road transport is considered (e.g., using thermally insulated boxes and cooling elements). From the comparison of the two emanometry methods with gamma-ray spectrometry, it was found that all methods provide equal results within standard uncertainties.


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How to Cite
Omirou M., Clouvas A., & Leontaris F. (2022). Metrology aspects (sampling, storage, transportation, and measurement) of radon in water. Journal of the European Radon Association, 3.
Original Research Articles