WP4: Radon priority areas

The aim of this work package is to analyse and develop methodologies for the identification of radon priority areas (RPA) and to investigate the relationships between indoor Rn concentration and quantities related to geogenic Rn (see WP3, Task 3.2).

Article 103 of the EU–BSS requires that member states shall identify areas, where the radon concentration in a significant number of buildings is expected to exceed the relevant national reference level – referred to as radon priority areas (RPAs) in this document. The definition of RPAs will influence political and technical decisions, which in turn will have economic effects in these countries, such as mandatory radon measurements in workplaces in these areas according to Art. 54 EU-BSS, as well as mandatory preventive measures or priority of awareness programs.

As the definition of RPA in the EU-BSS allows a wide range of interpretation, different concepts and methodologies have been proposed and some already adopted. Therefore, the work package will include a collection of information and its comparative discussion about the methods for radon mapping and delineation of RPA which are being used already in different countries or regions. It will be evaluated what purpose they can be used for (e.g. workplaces, preventive measures, public radon exposure) and if and how certain methods, developed in one country for a specific purpose, could be used or adapted for other purposes or in other countries or regions. Strategies to deal with RPAs which have been defined inconsistently across borders will be developed and suggested. In addition, approaches for European-wide mapping methods will be evaluated and further developed, based on available data (see WP3), which could be used for a European map or for countries that have limited radon related data which could serve for RPA definition, but nevertheless need to delineate them according to the EU-BSS.

Delineation of RPAs is generally considered an essential tool in the overall target of the project to reduce the radon risk of the population. Given its possibly important economic, logistic and political consequences, RPA definition has become a highly politicized issue in some countries. One step in the quality-assured implementation of EU-BSS requirements should therefore be proper discussion and involvement of stakeholder interests, since this provides the necessary condition for a Rn policy that satisfies the needs of a society. While the overall aspects of impact to society are subject to WPN-1, specific issues which imply action on a technical level, shall be addressed in this WP.

This project connects necessary steps in the implementation of the EU-BSS, from metrology until delineation of RPA. Quality assured delineation of RPAs is necessary, as will be the basis for (economical relevant) decisions and actions (e.g. measurements at workplaces) according to the EU-BSS. Therefore, traceability of measurements and calibration is essential also for quality assured delineation of RPA for liability.

Task 4.1: Concepts for the definitions of Rn priority areas

Task 4.2: Relationship between indoor Radon concentration and geogenic Radon

Task 4.3: New developments in estimation of Rn priority areas

Task 4.4: Harmonization of radon priority areas across borders