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TitlePredicting geographic variations of indoor radon potential across southwestern Ontario using geoscience data
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorFord, K L; Harvey, B J A; Whyte, J; Chen, JORCID logo
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 7795, 2015, 36 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS30L; 30M; 30N; 31C; 31D; 40I; 40J; 40O; 40P; 41A
AreaWindsor; London; Toronto; Kitchener-Waterloo; Hamilton; Barrie; Port Hope; Owen Sound; St Thomas; Chatham-Kent; Kettle Point; Grand Bend
Lat/Long WENS-83.5000 -77.0000 45.0000 42.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; geophysics; radon; radon surveys; radon analysis; uranium; soil surveys; soil gas geochemistry; soils; permeability; gamma-ray surveys; gamma-ray spectrometers
Illustrationslocation maps; histograms; plots
ProgramGSC Central Canada Division
Released2015 05 29
AbstractEstimating indoor radon variations using regional geoscience data for southwestern Ontario generally shows a progressive and clearly positive association. Uranium concentrations measured by airborne gamma ray spectrometry show the strongest positive association with elevated indoor radon concentrations followed by estimated radon potential derived from regional bedrock geology. Comparisons between relative permeability derived from regional surficial geology and indoor radon concentrations were inconclusive. Closer examination suggests that this may not always be the case and that permeability is still an important factor at local scales.
The positive associations between selected regional geoscience datasets, in particular uranium concentrations measured by airborne gamma ray spectrometry and elevated indoor radon concentrations, illustrates their use as effective predictive tools for the identification of areas with increased potential for overexposure to indoor radon, including areas without residential development. These positive associations can be used to support targeted or follow-up radon studies and for future land-use planning decisions.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium that is found in all rocks and soils. According to WHO, long term exposure to high indoor radon levels is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. In 2007, Health Canada initiated a National Radon Program for Canada. As a contribution to this program the GSC acquired new baseline geoscience data in the form of regional airborne gamma ray spectrometry data, and assessed this new data along with other, publically available geoscience data. Analysis of this regional geoscience data with indoor radon measurements collected by Health Canada clearly showed the effectiveness of this data to identify radon prone areas, including those areas with no residential development. Estimating indoor radon potential from geoscience data will allow public health officials to better evaluate regions with elevated radon potential thereby supporting more detailed studies and future land-use planning decisions.

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