Smoking is considered a risk factor for lung cancer. Radon also. However, the risk posed by the invisible Gas, know the least. By the end of the year, the countries need to identify now areas with increased Radon concentration.
Radon is a radioactive Gas from the subsoil. It is formed deep in the earth by the decay of uranium, is constantly increasing from contaminated soils to the top. It comes in Free in the air, it does no harm. It is different, if it can penetrate through cracks, pipes, and Openings in the building.
Especially in the basement, the radio active noble gases to the danger. The health risks associated with Radon be underestimated, according to the Federal office for radiation protection (BfS) as before. Because Radon is after Smoking the second leading cause of lung cancer – it causes the BfS estimated that around five per cent of all deaths from this type of cancer in Germany. The Gas is also the largest source of the average annual radiation exposure.
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In the body Radon and its radio reach active decay products Polonium, bismuth and lead through the respiratory air. The derived products will be stored in the lung tissue and decay there, it is alpha radiation, the DNA and damage DNA and can cause cancer.
The radiation protection act obliges the country until the end of the year areas of release, where increased Radon concentration of more than 300 becquerels per cubic meter can be measured. There is, for example, of workplaces in the ground floor or basement level to be the measure of obligation. Commercial and public buildings have a duty. Private people don’t.
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According to the radiation protection act from the value of 300 becquerels of Radon per cubic meter of air indoors, measures must be taken to reduce exposure, according to the BfS. However, this “reference value” is not insurance to ensure that assets of which are harmless. “There is no threshold for Radon is harmful,” says Radon-expert Ingo Fesenbeck, head of the radon laboratory at the Karlsruhe Institute for technology (KIT).
“The higher the concentration and the longer one is exposed to, the higher the risk of developing lung cancer is.” Clearly the 2000 becquerels of Radon per cubic metre of air, measured in premises of a kindergarten in the South Baden Lörrach goods. It was closed in February 2018. In other daycare centers and schools in the city, the installation of ventilation systems enough.
Where the load is particularly high
Radon is not distributed in the subsoil evenly. Its presence is dependent on Geology and soil characteristics. In the North German plain, the concentrations are lower than in the Central mountains of granite and shale rocks. So there is, according to the state Institute for the environment of Baden-Württemberg (LUBW), higher radon amounts such as in the southern black forest and the Swabian Alb. High radon concentrations can occur, generally, in mines and in water treatment systems.
The BfS informs on maps using regional average concentrations.
The following map of the authority showing the radon concentration in the soil air, a metre under the earth’s surface:
A further map of the BfS, the average radon concentration in dwellings in Germany has. The authority has, however, explicitly state that the card is no statement to concentrations in individual buildings be taken. This requires individual measurements.
“In a well-sealed building in the black forest, a lower Radon can be the concentration of as in an older house with more entry points than a less radon-containing soil,” says KIT-expert Fesenbeck. Especially the basement are potential Radon-memory.
Especially in an energetically renovated the house measurements should be carried out. “Because, if the air exchange was approximately minimized by a new window, and from the ground, Radon flows into the house, it can have a similar effect as in the case of a cheese bell.”
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To find out whether your household is at risk
To find out if you are at risk in your household, recommends the BfS measurement. This, according to the office of “cheap and easy” – however, is quite lengthy. For the measurement in the Affected place for at least a year-long passive measurement devices in the rooms you use the most, such as living room, bedroom or dining room.
A little faster it goes with an active measuring devices. They show by their short duration of a few hours to a few days although only a snapshot, but are good for a first Overview.
The Federal office for radiation protection lists on its Homepage, when a building is particularly susceptible to high Radon concentrations in indoor if it is spaces, namely, it
- located in an area, where in many buildings has a high concentration of Radon is
- no continuous base plate made of concrete has
- prior to 1960, was built and no modern moisture insulation
- is not a basement or recreation rooms in the basement are
- obvious routes of Entry for soil gas (columns, cracks, natural stone and vaulted, open-plan basement floors, non-sealed pipe penetrations, Connections to underground cavities) are present.
How can you protect yourself?
“Radon is a health risk, against which you can self-approach,” emphasizes the BfS President Inge Paulini. The following measures can help:
- regularly ventilate
- Cracks and Openings in basement and ground floor to seal it
- a possible pressure eliminate
- radon density of building materials to choose
- Establishment of drainage systems or Radon well radon-containing air is sucked from under the building
- an expert, who is familiar with Radon
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