Measurement of 222Rn and 220Rn exhalation rate from soil samples of Kumaun Hills, India

  • Poonam Semwal
  • Kuldeep Singh
  • T. K. Agarwal
  • Manish Joshi
  • Preeti Pant
  • Tushar Kandari
  • R. C. Ramola
Research Article - Special Issue


The source terms, i.e., exhalation and emanation from soil and building materials are the primary contributors to the radon (222Rn)/thoron (220Rn) concentration levels in the dwellings, while the ecological constraints like ventilation rate, temperature, pressure, humidity, etc., are the influencing factors. The present study is focused on Almora District of Kumaun, located in Himalayan belt of Uttarakhand, India. For the measurement of 222Rn and 220Rn exhalation rates, 24 soil samples were collected from different locations. Gamma radiation level was measured at each of these locations. Chamber technique associated with Smart Rn Duo portable monitor was employed for the estimation of 222Rn and 220Rn exhalation rates. Radionuclides (226Ra, 232Th and 40K) concentrations were also measured in soil samples using NaI(Tl) scintillation based gamma ray spectrometry. The mass exhalation rate for 222Rn was varying between 16 and 54 mBq/kg/h, while the 220Rn surface exhalation rate was in the range of 0.65–6.43 Bq/m2/s. Measured gamma dose rate for the same region varied from 0.10 to 0.31 µSv/h. Inter-correlation of exhalation rates and intra-correlation with background gamma levels were studied.


Radiation Exhalation rate Emanation rate Gamma dose rate 



The investigators acknowledge the Board of Research in Nuclear Science (BRNS), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Mumbai, India, for extending their laboratory facilities for conducting the experimental work.


The present research was funded by Board of Research in Nuclear Science (BRNS), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Mumbai, India [Project no. 2013/36/61-BRNS/2470].


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences & Polish Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Poonam Semwal
    • 1
  • Kuldeep Singh
    • 1
  • T. K. Agarwal
    • 2
  • Manish Joshi
    • 2
  • Preeti Pant
    • 3
  • Tushar Kandari
    • 3
  • R. C. Ramola
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsGovt P.G CollegeNew TehriIndia
  2. 2.Radiological Physics and Advisory DivisionBhabha Atomic Research CenterMumbaiIndia
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsHNB, Garhwal UniversityTehri GarhwalIndia

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