Natural Hazards

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 341–355 | Cite as

Reliability of inexpensive charcoal and alpha-track radon monitors

  • Douglas G. Mose
  • George W. Mushrush
  • Charles E. Chrosniak


A comparison between single short-term radon measurements and annual radon measurements in basements shows that significant uncertainties should be associated with the short-term measurements. Activated charcoal radon monitors which measure radon over a 3 to 7 day interval yield measurements that should carry a ± 90% uncertainty in terms of estimating annual radon concentration. Alpha-track radon monitors which measure radon over a 3 month interval should carry a ± 30% uncertainty. Decisions about home purchases, home remediation and the development of risk characterizations may often be incorrect if currently popular but unrealistically low estimates of uncertainty are applied to short-term radon measurements. Optimal results are obtained from year-long alpha-track measurements.

Key words

Radon uranium 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas G. Mose
    • 1
  • George W. Mushrush
    • 1
  • Charles E. Chrosniak
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Basic and Applied ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxU.S.A.

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