NH8.3Radon and Other Naturally Occurring Radioactive Hazards
|Convener: Robin Crockett | Co-Convener: Gavin Gillmore|
This session will discuss a variety of impacts and hazard-associated manifestations of radon gas and is the third in a sequence of such meetings organised under UNESCO/IGCP Project 571 'Radon, Health and Natural Hazards'. Radon is a health hazard: as well as being the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking, radon-222 is also an accelerating factor in smoking-related lung cancer risk. In addition, there is evidence that under some circumstances, the shorter half-life isotope radon-220 (thoron) can also present a health hazard.
As a health hazard, radon is chiefly associated with the built environment but there are archaeological aspects which include links between (ancient) mines and the health of mine-workers, caves and their dwellers (historical and modern) and visitors, and also archaeologists in a variety of caves - and excavators more generally.
Radon is also an indicator of other hazards. There are other natural radioactive hazards such as radium (radon is a daughter) and uranium (at the top of the decay series) which gives rise to both radium and radon, often associated with old (metalliferous) mine-working areas and environments. Indeed, radon gas might serve as an indicator of otherwise difficult to identify abandoned mine wastes and workings. There is also a variety of radon responses associated with natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanic activity, and also with other geophysical processes, which have been reported in the literature.
This session will present a broad range of papers including methodological, technological and interpretative aspects, as well as case-study material.