2009:04 Radon in DWELLINGS in the Republic of Kalmykia. Results from the National Radon Survey 2006-2007

The National Radon Survey in the Republic of Kalmykia, Russian Federation during 2006 – 2007 was carried out in a cooperation project between the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI) and the Russian Institute of Radiation Hygiene (RIRH). This work was financed by the Russian Institute of Radiation Hygiene and the Swedish Agency for Development Cooperation (SIDA).

In August 2006 SSI, RIRH, federal and local authorities carried out a field study in Kalmykia when radon daughter measurements (equilibrium equivalent radon concentrations in the air) and gamma radiation measurements were made in 103 buildings. Gamma spectrometry measurements were made at several sites. During the visit the cooperating parties devoted some time to the education of local authorities on radon related issues. During three months in the winter season 2006-2007, long term radon trace measurements were made in 525 randomly chosen dwellings in the Republic of Kalmykia. The radon gas activity varied between 3 and 973 Bq/m3, with a mean value of 122 Bq/m3. In 19 of a total of 835 measurement points, the radon activity exceeded the maximum permitted value in Russia of 200 Bq/m3 of EERC. The year-round radon trace measurement were made in 20 houses in Elista, the capital of the Republic of Kalmykia, for comparison with the three-month measurements.

The year-round measurements showed some higher values for the radon activity, and a correction factor of 0.85 was applied. Using data on the number of people living in detached houses and apartments, and applying the radon activities measured, the number of new lung cancer cases caused by radon was calculated to be 20 to 40 of the 100 new cases reported annually.