Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
19 Apr 2010
 | 19 Apr 2010

A reconnaissance study of radon concentrations in Hamadan city, Iran

G. K. Gillmore and N. Jabarivasal

Abstract. This paper presents results of a reconnaissance study that used CR-39 alpha track-etch detectors to measure radon concentrations in dwellings in Hamadan, western Iran, significantly, built on permeable alluvial fan deposits. The indoor radon levels recorded varied from 4 (i.e. below the lower limit of detection for the method) to 364 Bq/m3 with a mean value of 108 Bq/m3 which is 2.5 times the average global population-weighted indoor radon concentration – these data augment the very few published studies on indoor radon levels in Iran. The maximum radon concentration in Hamadan occurs during the winter period (January to March) with lower concentrations during the autumn. The effective dose equivalent to the population in Hamadan is estimated from this study to be in the region of 2.7 mSv/y, which is above the guidelines for dose to a member of the public of 1 mSv/y suggested by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) in 1993. This study supports other work in a number of countries that indicates such permeable "surficial" deposits as being of intermediate to high radon potential. In western Iran, the presence of hammered clay floors, the widespread presence of excavated qanats, the textural properties of surficial deposits and human behaviour intended to cope with winds are likely to be important factors influencing radon concentrations in older buildings.