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Radon gas, being a form of natural radiation, is considered by the WHO (World Health Organization) as the second most important cause of lung tumours after cigarette smoke: the greatest risk, in fact, encountered when inhaling radon is cellular degeneration. Leading medical research centres contend that if an environment contains radon in quantities of twice the maximum indicated by European standards (with a limit in the domestic environment and in sensitive areas such as schools and hospitals of 300 Bequerel/m3), the risk of contracting a lung tumour is comparable to that run by the average smoker, while for an individual who already smokes, the probability increases tenfold.

On the subject of radon gas, the WHO states that “at certain concentrations, it is able to make cells go haywire and become carcinogenic”. All this should be considered valid also for other naturally occurring ionizing radiation, especially gamma rays, some of which trace their origins specifically to radon gas, such as Polonium210 (which is also present in gamma radiation, as has been ascertained by the European Transuranic Centre – see issue no. 1, 2007, of Newton magazine). To protect against emissions of radon gas, it is firstly necessary to verify its presence and quantity in the territory (surveys carried out by ARPA in some Italian regions) or in workplaces and in the domestic environment (surveys carried out by organizations specialized in environmental investigations). Once the quantity of radon present has been measured, it is possible to adopt protection systems or other means that allow the reduction of the quantity indoors: for example, if the building is under construction or is being refurbished, a special shield may be applied to the surfaces of the first floor which, apart from blocking rising radon gas, also protects against other natural radiation coming from underground (see the website in the construction sector); if, on the other hand, the building has been completed and it is not possible to undertake reclamation works on the floor, it is possible to resort, for example, to “air depressurization” in the environment, through the construction of “draught chimneys” (on average, one every 8-10 m2), connected to a pump working at pre-set intervals around the clock (work carried out in some schools by ARPA, as reported in the Deeds of the ARPA National Congress held in Novara in June 2012).

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  Riferimenti bibliografici  
Come difenderci dalle radiazioni - N. Limardo
edito da: Casa Energia, luglio 2009

Enhanced deposition of radon daughter nuclei in the vicinity of power frequency electromagnetic field - D.L. Henshaw et al
edito da: Int. J. Radiat Bio, 1996, <. 69: 25-38

Errori nella rilevazione e nella valutazione dei parametri posturo-stabilometrici di origine ambientale - A. Carducci
edito da: tesi di specializzazione per Tecnici di Posturometria, Univ. “Jean Monnet”, Brux

Healt effects of exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation - V. Beir
edito da: Washington, DC, National Research Council, 1990

La radioattivita naturale e i campi elettromagnetici artificiali: sistemi di protezione - E. Galli
edito da: tesi di laurea Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia Universita di Siena, marzo 2009

Panico da Polonio210 - Commissione Europea Ist. Elementi transuranici
edito da: Newton, gennaio 2007

Radon and monocytic leukaemia in England - J.P. Eatough, J.P. Henshaw
edito da: Epidemiol Community Health, 1993

Radon exposure and leukaemia in childhood - J.F. Viel
edito da: Int J. Epidemiol, 1993

Radon: a causative factor in the induction of myeloid leukaemia and other cancers in adults and children? - J.P. Eatough, J.P. Henshaw, R.B. Richardsson
edito da: Lancet, 1990, 335:1008-1012

Salute dell’habitat - N. Limardo
edito da: Anima Edizioni, 2012, 3° ed

Tecnologia quantistica - N. Limardo
edito da: Anima edizioni 2014

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