OT: radon...

i don't know very much about radon, but the house my father and I are renovating was tested for radon, and had levels @ 8.8 PPM (not sure if the units are correct). THIS is the monitor the inspector used.
what is the dangerous levels?

I was kind of thinking of buying a sparkfun Geiger counter...

~Travis

Get it while you can; Trump has threatened to gut the agency...

https://iaq.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/212104747-Explain-working-levels-WL-and-picocuries-per-liter-of-air-pCi-L-

General information...

Your local health department probably has test kits. Get a few and set them up in a few locations. This will give you a better idea of what you are dealing with. Radon mitigation is not rocket science. I designed and built a system for very high levels (138 Pico curies per liter) and got it down under 5.

And the comment about Trump is stupid.

It takes quite a while for health problems to develop, if ever. The big concern is for little kids that are exposed constantly. Worrying is probably public health enemy number one.

Imagining is worse than doing.

TKall:
And the comment about Trump is stupid.

Has he made a commitment to keep the EPA's website intact?

8.8ppm seems quite high! Way high in fact. Perhaps the units are picocuries per liter? 8.8 pCi/L is moderately high. TKall is right though. Everything about trump is stupid.

Hi,
Radon, google it for Australia.
My local reading in last survey was 6 Bq/m3

www.arpansa.gov.au/RadiationProtection/Factsheets/is_RadonMap.cfm

We can get test its as well, never been a news breaking problem.

The recommended ACTION LEVELS

  • 200 Bq m⁻³ for households, and 1000 Bq m⁻³ for workplaces.

Tom... :slight_smile:

Little basement fans should sort even high levels...

Allan

ChrisTenone:
8.8ppm seems quite high! Way high in fact.

It is very high.
A geiger counter is likely to be useless for domestic use although i suspect at that level it would work.
It is a job for a specialist test co.
My old house had radon mitigation which was a hole in the concrete base with a ventilation pipe , no fan.

New house approx 800 yards away did not need it, council has a map of local area which dictates measures to be taken for new build's.

EDIT

I lived in that house for 25 years before an extension required it.
No problems to date . :slight_smile:

Hi,

The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity. One becquerel is defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. The becquerel is therefore equivalent to an inverse second, s−1. The becquerel is named after Henri Becquerel, who shared a Nobel Prize with Pierre Curie and Marie Curie in 1903 for their work in discovering radioactivity.[1]

Tom.... :slight_smile:

Boardburner2:
It is very high.
A geiger counter is likely to be useless for domestic use although i suspect at that level it would work.
It is a job for a specialist test co.
My old house had radon mitigation which was a hole in the concrete base with a ventilation pipe , no fan.

New house approx 800 yards away did not need it, council has a map of local area which dictates measures to be taken for new build’s.

EDIT

I lived in that house for 25 years before an extension required it.
No problems to date . :slight_smile:

I suspect the actual units were either pCi/L or Bq/m3. 8.8 in expressed either units is within the normal range (1pCi/L = 37 Bq/m3.)

Boardburner2:
It is very high.
A geiger counter is likely to be useless for domestic use although i suspect at that level it would work.
It is a job for a specialist test co.

Just to qualify that,

A lot of cheap geiger counters have glass envelopes which makes them useless for alpha particle detection.
The sparkfun one has the required mica window for this.and may work with a long enough test time.

The sensitive counters utilise a pancake detector.

Boardburner2:
...
The sensitive counters utilise a pancake detector.

Or a scintillation counter.

ChrisTenone:
Or a scintillation counter.

I am curious about this and somewhat out of date.

Are scintillation counters portable these days ?
From memory they were lab instruments in my day.
Not that i remember much though.

They come in both styles. Back when we taught nuclear chemistry we used a benchtop instrument that consisted of a tube, filter and sample holder (about 8 inches tall and 5x5 deep and wide) and a counter that was the size and shape of an old stereo. I also have one that looks similar to a scrooch gun. When I get back to work on Tuesday, I'll post a picture of it. It weighs about 5 pounds without the batteries, so "portable" gets quoted.

From memory the simplest ones were a zinc sulphide screen and a very sensitive photodetector - a photomultiplier in the old days.

No idea how a modern one works.

Allan

allanhurst:
From memory the simplest ones were a zinc sulphide screen and a very sensitive photodetector - a photomultiplier in the old days.

No idea how a modern one works.

Allan

They still work the same way, but instead of zinc sulfide, the scintillating material is usually a doped iodide salt.

Here is the picture I promised a few posts above:

And here is another cool toy from the past, a radium spinthariscope, that lets you directly see the scintillations when radium decays a few millimeters above a ZnS plate:

I don't recommend holding this thing up to your eye for very long! It makes the geiger counter go wild.

“DELUX SCINTILLATOR”

What does the plain model do?

Tom… :o

My school physics lab had one like that back in the 60's. You had to sit in the dark for 20 minutes or so for your eyes to settle, then you could see little specks of light.

Goes to show how good eyes are - that's not many photons.

Sadly, mine are probably a lot worse now

Allan