Published 26.10.2009 , updated: 26.10.2009, 17:02
Radon down to low levels poses a risk for lung cancer. Remedial measures and radon prevention in new building should be promoted to bring the radon level indoors as low as reasonably achievable according to new recommendations from the Nordic radiation authorities.
Radon concentrations measured in dwellings located in Nordic countries are among the highest in the world. In Sweden the estimated number of dwellings exceeding 200 Bq/m3 is about 450 000; in Finland more than 200 000; in Denmark about 65 000 and in Norway 170 000. In Iceland it is estimated that no dwellings have radon levels above 200 Bq/m3 due to the Icelandic bedrock being primarily composed of basalt.
New studies confirm that almost two thirds (63 procent) of the lung cancer deaths attributed to radon occur among people exposed to less than 200 Bq/m3 – a level under which earlier no measures were recommended. Calculations now show that if all dwellings with radon concentrations exceeding 200 Bq/m3 in the Nordic countries had the radon levels reduced to 100 Bq/m3, 360 lung cancer deaths could be avoided each year.
The Nordic radiation authorities now make a joint recommendation on prevention and mitigation of radon dwellings. The recommendation states that: