Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2011-0031-3167, evaluation of radon levels at a U.S. government facility - Maine.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 2011-0031-3167, 2012 Dec; :1-9
In December 2010, NIOSH received an HHE request from the union representing employees at a government facility in Maine. NIOSH was asked to evaluate employees' exposure to radon gas during normal work activities at the facility (e.g., inspecting vehicles and materials, collecting duties, and confiscating contraband). The primary employee health concern at this facility was exposure to naturally-occurring radon gas. We evaluated the facility on January 31 - February 2, 2012. We observed work practices and measured radon levels in the occupied work areas and the typically unoccupied basement. The radon measurements were recorded at 10-minute intervals over approximately 48 hours. We also placed long-term Radtrak® radon detectors in the work area, basement, and outdoors; these detectors were collected on May 30, 2012, and analyzed by the manufacturer. Radon levels averaged 0.8 +/- 1.7 pCi/L in the first floor work area and higher (3.8 +/- 3.9 pCi/L) in the basement on February 1-2, 2012. The radon levels did not fluctuate substantially during the day. No detectable levels of radon were found in the outdoor inspection lane over a 4-month sampling period. Over 4 months, radon levels in the first floor work area averaged 0.6 pCi/L, while the basement average was 7.5 pCi/L. All of these radon levels are well below the OSHA PEL of 100 pCi/L. The radon levels in the occupied first floor were also below the EPA residential guideline of 4 pCi/L, but the levels in the unoccupied basement were above the EPA guideline. Following the principle of keeping exposures to ionizing radiation as low as possible, we recommend that employees minimize the time they spend in the basement.
Region-1; Radiation-exposure; Radon-daughters; Work-areas; Work-practices; Workplace-monitoring; Radiation-levels; Radiation-sources;
Author Keywords: Public finance activities; radiation; radon; radon progeny; exposure; Radtrak®
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health