Radon measurement uncertainty: Comparison between passive short-term and active measurement

  • G. M. Reimer
Environmental Radioactivity


The measurement of indoor 222Rn is not as straightforward as commonly perceived. The most commonly used measurement method is a passive, short-term device using activated charcoal that collects gases, typically for 3–7 days. Short-term measurements are popular because a radon determination is often required by a homebuyer and the buying transaction needs to be completed within 30–60 days. From deployment to obtaining the result from a laboratory reading the passive short-term device can take about 2 weeks. Active measurements, in which a portable alpha-particle counter is placed within a house and air pumped through a scintillation cell have been compared to passive short-term measurements and found to be consistent. For transactions requiring faster or immediate results, active counting methods appear to be a reliable method for measurement.


Charcoal Radon Radon Concentration Indoor Radon Passive Device 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Citizens Guide to Radon, U.S EPA Document Number 402-K-02-006, Washington, D.C., September 2005.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    S. B. White, J. W. Bergsten, B. V. Alexander, N. F. Rodman, J. L. Phillips, Health Phys., 62 (1992) 41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Ronca-Battista, P. Magno, P. C. Nyberg, Health Phys., 55 (1985) 67.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    G. M. Reimer, S. L. Szarzi, M. P. Dolan, J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., 236 (1998) 243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    G. M. Reimer, S. L. Szarzi, J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., 264 (2005) 365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colorado School of MinesGoldenUSA

Personalised recommendations