Citation
Radon information system for new house construction

Material Information

Title:
Radon information system for new house construction
Creator:
Li, Win-Gine
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xv, 215 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Concretes ( jstor )
Construction joints ( jstor )
Construction materials ( jstor )
Databases ( jstor )
Expert systems ( jstor )
Houses ( jstor )
Knowledge bases ( jstor )
Radon ( jstor )
Research methods ( jstor )
Soils ( jstor )
City of Tallahassee ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1995.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 207-214).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Win- Gine Li.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
002087555 ( ALEPH )
AKS6077 ( NOTIS )
34698291 ( OCLC )
AA00004968_00001 ( sobekcm )

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Full Text












RADON INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR NEW HOUSE CONSTRUCTION


By



WIN-GINE LI













A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY




UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1995




RADON INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR NEW HOUSE CONSTRUCTION
By
WIN-GINE LI
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1995


To my parents and in memory of my younger brother


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was sponsored by the Florida Department of
Community Affairs, whose funding is sincerely appreciated. I
wish to thank the colleagues who worked on the project with
me. Special thanks are due to Dr. David Hintenlang, Mr.
Kaiss Al-Ahmady and Mrs. Huong Iselin from the Department of
Nuclear Engineering and Sciences for their support and
encouragement.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Fazil
T. Najafi, the committee chairman, for his compassionate
guidance and patience in making this study possible. I
sincerely thank Dr. Paul Thompson, Dr. Mang Tia, Dr. John
Staudhammer and Dr. Elroy Bolduc for serving as my committee
members. I thank them for taking their precious time in
helping me complete this work.
My family has supported me so much for more than six
years from thousands of miles away. Their love and
encouragement have motivated me to complete this work. I
deeply appreciate their sacrifices and support both
financially and spiritually.
My host parents, Rachel and Scott Gray, have given me
much love during my stay in the United States. I would like
to thank the Lord for His everlasting love to make this work
possible. Also, Dr. Fadi Nassar, Mr. Xiaoyu Fu, Mr. Quan-
111


Yang Yao, Dr. Wei-Tong Chen, Mr. Bill Epstein, Ms. Candance
Leggett, Ms. Irene Scarso, and all my
consideration and support have made me feel
from home.
friends whose
comfortable far
IV


TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii
LIST OF TABLES ix
LIST OF FIGURES xi
ABSTRACT vxi
CHAPTER
1 INTRODUCTION 1
Research Overview 1
Statement of Problem 1
Radon Information Is Not Well Organized and
Accessible 3
Objective of Work 3
Scope of Work 4
Description of Chapters 5
RADON RISK IN HEALTH AND ITS CAUSES 7
Introduction 7
What Is Radon? 7
Potential Radon Exposure Risks 7
Chronological Studies and Statements of Radon Risks.... 10
Radon and Liability 15
Radon Decay Chain 16
Radon Damage Mechanism 18
Radon Measurement Units 20
Radon Concentration 20
Radon Progeny 21
Radioactive Decay 22
Decay Relationship between Parent and Daughter.... 23
Summary 25
3 RADON TRANSPORT IN STRUCTURES 26
Introduction 26
Review of Literature 26
Research Subjects 28
Sources that Contribute to Indoor Radon 29
v


Radon Transport in Substructures 2 9
Radon in Soil and Its Movement 29
Radon Emanation Coefficients 31
Indoor Radon Prediction Model 32
Soil Permeability 33
Radon Flows Through Different Soil Layers 38
A Proposed Mitigation Method 40
Soil Permeability in Different Depths 40
Radon from Geological Consideration 42
Geological Elevated Radon Summary 43
A Generalized Geological Map for the State of
Florida 45
Phosphate Region and Indoor Radon Levels in
Florida 50
Summary of Radon Transport in Substructures 50
Radon Transport in Superstructures 50
Radon Transport through Concrete Floor Slab 53
House Water 55
Emanation from Building Materials 56
House Ventilation 58
Ventilation Rates and Indoor Radon Concentrations ... 59
Radon Entry Rate 59
Pressure-driven Flow 64
Summary of Radon Transport in Superstructures 68
4 ANALYSIS OF HOUSE RADON AND CRACK STUDY 71
Introduction 71
House Physical Characteristics and Soil Radon 71
Soil Data Analysis 75
Crack Study 77
Crack Research Process 78
Data Analysis 79
Correlation Analysis 81
Calculation of Crack Parameters 84
Comparison of Crack Characteristics with Indoor
Radon 84
Potential Crack Radon Entry Analysis 84
Crack Resistance Analysis 88
Crack Study Summary 90
Infiltration and Indoor Radon Test Results 91
Two Radon Research Experiments 95
Effectiveness of Tube Length on the Measurement of
Radon Concentration 97
Equipment Used 97
Testing Procedures 97
vi


Site Selection and Testing 98
Test Results 98
Discussion of the Experiment 101
Indoor Radon Concentration Variation Due to
Pressurization 102
Objective of the Experiment 102
Experimental Procedure 102
Experimental Results 103
Discussion of the Experiment 103
Summary 105
5 CONSTRUCTION METHODS 106
Introduction 106
State-Of-The-Art Construction Mitigation Methods 106
Enkavent Mat Method 107
Installation Procedures 108
Suction Pit Method 108
Perforated Pipe Method Ill
Mechanical Barrier Ill
Change of Foundation Soil 115
Fill Materials or Layered Natural Soils 116
Construction Materials 117
Costs Comparisons 118
Planned Mechanical Systems 118
A New Radon Mitigation Method 121
Summary 123
6 ESTABLISHMENT OF KNOWLEDGE BASE 124
Introduction 124
Effective Information Retrieving 125
Expert System Applications 125
Advantages of Managing Radon Information by Expert
Systems 125
Performance Improvement and Knowledge Transferring
through Expert Systems 12 6
The Structure of Knowledge-Based Expert Systems .... 127
Objective of the Knowledge Base Development 129
Knowledge Acquisition 13 0
Selection of Knowledge Domain 130
Control Mechanism of This System 132
Database Development 132
Identify Target Users 133
Establish Problem Boundaries 133
Obtain Expert Support 135
Organize the Facts from the Knowledge Databases 135
Vll


Design Rules 137
System Development 13 9
Homeowner Database 139
Contractor Database 143
Researcher Database 145
Sample Applications of the Expert System 149
System Testing and Validation 156
Summary 157
7 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 159
Summary and Conclusion 159
Effectiveness of the Radon Mitigation Methods 159
Cost-Effectiveness of the Mitigation Systems 160
Advantages of Radon Information System 160
Recommendations 161
Author's Contribution to the Advancement of Radon
Knowledge 161
APPENDICES
A STATISTICS PROGRAMS 163
Testing Equality of Four ACH Experiments 163
Indoor Radon and Its Correlation Tests 166
Sample Program Output: Normality 167
Sample Program Output: Correlation 169
B HYPERTALK PROGRAMS 170
HyperTalk Scripts 170
C EXAMPLE OF KNOWLEDGE BASE 192
Crack Sealant Knowledge Base 192
Crack Treatment Knowledge Base 195
Indoor Radon Prediction Knowledge Base 203
LIST OF REFERENCES 207
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 215
viii


LIST OF TABLES
Table P^ge
2.1 Organ Dose Ratios and Absolute Risk 9
2.2 Major Radon Studies and Statements 12
2.3 Radon Isotopes and Their Half-lives 19
2.4 Properties of Radon Progeny 19
2.5 Definition of Working Level 21
3.1 Soil Permeability 37
3.2 Utilization and Costs of Water Radon Mitigation
Methods 57
3.3 Radon Emanation Rates 58
3.4 House Radon Entry Data 65
4.1 House Characteristics (Project of 1992) 72
4.2 Radon Test Results (Project of 1992) 73
4.3 House Characteristics (Project of 1993) 74
4.4 Radon Test Results(Project of 1993) 75
4.5 Crack Classification 78
4.6 House Characteristics 82
4.7 House Basic Statistics in the Crack Study 83
4.8 Correlations between Factors 83
4.9 Crack Resistance in Three Projects 90
4.10 Infiltration Rate and Indoor Radon Concentration.. ..93
IX


4.11Multiple Comparison of Means
94
4.12 Tube Lengths and Their Calculated Radon Readings
(0-25 ft) 99
4.13 Tube Lengths and Their Calculated Radon Readings
(25-50 ft) 100
5.1 Soil Changing Analysis 116
5.2 Costs of the Enkavent Mat System 119
5.3 Costs of the Suction Pit System 120
6.1 Radon Index Matrix 146
6.2 Probable Indoor Radon Level 147
6.3 Decision Table of the Indoor Radon Prediction 158
x


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure gags
2.1 Radon Gas Damage Mechanism 8
2.2 Decay Flow Chart of Uranium 17
3.1 Major Research Subjects 28
3.2 Soil Gas Radon Entry Mechanism and Affecting
Parameters 3 0
3.3 Effect of Moisture Content on the Relative Radon
Emanation Coefficient [Nazaroff 1992] 32
3.4 Indoor Radon Prediction by Using Soil Radon 34
3.5 Soil Gas Radon Mitigation by Perforated Pipe
Systems 41
3.6 Permeability Distribution of Different Pressure 42
3.7 Average Indoor Radon Levels vs. Soil Radon
Concentrations 44
3.8 Average Indoor Radon Concentration vs. Soil Radon
Concentration 44
3.9 Generalized Geology Map of Florida [Otton 1993] 46
3.10 Generalized Surface Materials Map for the State of
Florida [Otton 1993] 49
3.11 Phosphate Distribution in Florida [Roessler et al.
1983] 51
3.12 Indoor Radon Levels of Florida [DCA 1994] 52
3.13 Indoor Radon vs. House Ventilation Rate 60
3.14 Radon Entry Rate for House "Robin Lane" 62
3.15 Radon Entry Rate for House "Summit Oaks" 63
xi


3.16 Across Slab Differential Pressure for House
"Summit Oaks" 69
3.17 Across Slab Differential Pressure for House "Robin
Lane" 70
4.1 Distribution of Indoor Radon versus Subslab Radon. ...76
4.2 Indoor Radon versus Subslab Radon 77
4.3 Crack Map of House "Summit Oaks" 80
4.4 Calculation of Total Crack Equivalent Area 85
4.5 Average Subslab Radon and Indoor Radon
Concentration 86
4.6 Indoor Radon/Subslab Radon vs. Total Equivalent
Crack Area 86
4.7 Crack Resistances of the Houses Tested 89
4.8 Indoor Radon Levels vs. Infiltration Rates 96
4.9 Correlation between Indoor Radon and Infiltration
Rates 96
4.10 Tube Lengths and Their Radon Readings 101
4.11 Radon Concentrations with Respect to Pressure
Changes 104
5.1 Enkavent Mat Placement 109
5.2 Typical Enkavent Mat Layouts 110
5.3 Suction Pit Placement 112
5.4 Mechanical Barrier 114
5.5 Solid Concrete Block Barrier and Vapor Barrier
Installation Layout 117
5.6 A Schematic Illustrating the Application of an
Electrially Induced Soil-Gas Barrier 122
6.1 The Basic Structure of a Knowledge-based Expert
System 128
XI1


131
6.2 Knowledge Base Expert System Establishment
Procedures
6.3 Schematic Diagram of the Interface System 133
6.4 Hierarchical Structure of HyperCard 13 8
6.5 Entity Relationship Diagram of HyperCard Elements. ...138
6.6 Data Transferring Between Stacks 139
6.7 Illustration of System Menu 141
6.8 Key Elements of Homeowner Database 141
6.9 Hierarchical Flow Chart of Homeowner Database 142
6.10 Key Elements of Contractor Database 144
6.11 Program Output of Radon Index 14 7
6.12 Functions of Mitigation Methods Database 148
6.13 Key Elements of Researcher Database 148
6.14 Linkage of HyperCard and MacSmarts Expert System. ...150
6.15 Expert System Output (crack.fig.lb) for Crack
Treatments 152
xiii


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
RADON INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR NEW HOUSE CONSTRUCTION
By
Win-Gine Li
May, 1995
Chairman: Dr. F. T. Najafi
Major Department: Civil Engineering
Exposure to a high level of radon gas has been found to
be a health threat. Researchers have concentrated on
investigating the factors that affect radon entry and to
designing mitigation methods in preventing radon intrusion.
This research focused on radon gas prevention in new
residential houses. Subjects related to house structures
were thoroughly examined from substructures to
superstructures. The major factors in the substructures
investigated are soil type, soil moisture content, soil
permeability, soil radium content, and geology, while in
superstructures the factors investigated are concrete slab
characteristics, floor cracks, types of building material,
xiv


house water, house ventilation, and pressure differentials.
Based on the results of the University of Florida research
projects, the data were analyzed. Correlations between
various factors that might have an effect on radon entry
were analyzed statistically. The parameters include soil
radon, subslab radon, floor cracks and foundation type. In
addition, the precision of radon measurements was discussed.
The results have shown that the radon mitigation systems
have successfully brought down indoor radon levels below the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's standard.
Recent construction mitigation methods were reviewed.
The methods are mostly based on the projects of the
University of Florida and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. The installation procedures, materials used and
costs of suction pit and Enkavent mat methods were all
detailed in the content. A computer-aided design, Radon
Information System, has been developed for use in
construction for preventing radon intrusion. Procedures and
materials used for constructing a radon resistant house were
incorporated in the system. Radon Information System was
developed for diagnosing radon problems and providing
information available upon request. The system provides
object-oriented databases in conjunction with an expert
system to deal with radon problems. Final conclusion about
the effectiveness of the radon mitigation methods and
suggestions for future research subjects were described.
xv


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Research Overview
This chapter provides an overview of the entire
research, describes the principal problem, and reveals the
reasons this research is needed. A historical review of
previous research and a brief introduction of each chapter
are also presented.
Statement of Problem
Radon is a radioactive gas which occurs in nature and
can not be seen, smelled or tasted. Radon can be found in
soils, and it can migrate through foundation slabs and enter
houses. In an enclosed space, radon can accumulate. The risk
of developing lung cancer from exposure to radon depends
upon the concentration of radon and the length of time
people are exposed. In general, the risk increases as the
level of radon and the length of exposure increase. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that radon
gas is responsible for 5,000 to 20,000 deaths annually in
the United States. Although this is a large number, it
represents less than 10% of total lung cancer deaths and
1


2
only 2% of all cancer deaths [Bodansky et al. 1987] Based
on the available information, the U.S. EPA suggests that
homes with levels above 4 pCi/L (picocuries/liter) are
harmful to human beings [EPA 1986].
The soil is the primary source of indoor radon in
single-family houses in the United States [Nero and Nazaroff
1984] Pressure-driven flow is a principal means by which
soil gas enters houses; it is expected to be the predominant
source of radon in houses with elevated concentration
[Garbesi and Sextro 1989].
Since radon can migrate from soil through the slab, we
should consider methods to prevent radon entry into houses
while planning to build a new house. Some techniques have
actually been applied during the construction of new houses.
The applicability, cost feasibility, radon-prevention
effectiveness, and durability of the techniques cannot be
fairly assessed. The EPA-sponsored radon prevention projects
in new house construction should provide a better evaluation
of radon prevention alternatives.
The University of Florida (UF) has received research
funds from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to
evaluate the effectiveness of potential building design and
construction criteria. The results will be used to reduce
radon entry into new houses and to develop recommendations
based on the evaluation for future improvement. Fourteen
houses were constructed according to Draft Standard for
Radon Resistant Building Construction in 1992 and twelve


3
houses in 1993. The data sets were analyzed statistically by
the SAS program. However, the research results from the
prior studies were not organized in a way that people could
access them easily.
Radon Information Is Not Well Organized or Accessible
There have been many research projects on radon
problems. Research results have been published in journals
and conference proceedings. However, the radon knowledge
has not stored or organized properly. If these research
findings and the ongoing projects' findings were saved on a
computer, people could share them more easily. In addition,
these facts could be transformed into a knowledge base which
could be utilized to aid in decision making. Therefore,
radon information should be saved on effective computer
programs that will benefit users financially and timely.
Objective of Work
Based on the investigation of previous research
findings and the UF project results, the Radon Information
System (RIS) was developed. It is designed to assist radon
information retrieval, consulting and problem diagnosis.
Also, RIS emphasizes on radon resistant construction methods
for preventing radon intrusion.
Object-oriented databases in conjunction with an expert
system were established in RIS. The databases were based on


4
intensive experiments from previous research and the
Environmental Protection Agency's methods and standards. New
house construction regulations, procedures, scheduling, cost
estimation, and materials used were included in the system.
Graphical construction procedures of mitigation systems and
a potential radon index were also incorporated into the
system. The user-friendly RIS is capable of assisting
builders, contractors, homeowners, and researchers in
obtaining suggested information for decision making.
Scope of Work
A literature review was conducted on methods of
constructing of radon resistant houses. The information was
then transferred into computer knowledge bases. The review
focused on the construction methods used for preventing
radon intrusion. Previous work reviewed consisted of radon
sources and radon movement in soil, house ventilation rates
and pressure differentials from indoor to sublsab. Recent
work reviewed consisted of evaluation of the efficiency of
improved slab construction, construction costs, crack study,
house ventilation rates, pressure differentials from indoor
to sublsab, and subslab depressurization systems. The
results of the various investigations were compared to
similar research in the past to investigate the cause and
effect relationship between building characteristics and
radon entry. The collected data from the literature were
analyzed statistically. The results of this investigation


5
and findings from previous research were incorporated into
computer knowledge bases. In addition to literature review,
the following experimental work were conducted: floor crack
study, pressure differentials tests, and tube length effect
on radon reading tests.
Outline of Chapters
Chapter 1 through Chapter 3 are the background
information of radon from previous research findings. These
findings are precious because they give guidelines and
comparisons for the recent research. Chapter 4 is the
analysis of UF research results. Chapter 5 describes the
most recent mitigation methods. Based on Chapter 1 through
Chapter 5, the important findings and necessary information
are transformed into computer programs and are described in
Chapter 6. A brief description of each chapter is as
follows:
Chapter 1 is the overview of the whole research.
Chapter 2 discusses the radon risks in health and its causes
and sources. The definition of radon measurement units,
radon prevention events, radon decay chain and radon entry
mechanism that affect radon entry are discussed.
Radon entry related subjects in substructures (from
slab to soil) and superstructures (from slab and above) are
all detailed in Chapter 3. Important subjects in
substructure include soil radium content, soil permeability,
and soil moisture content. Slab cracks, building materials,


6
housing water and indoor radon are the key subjects in
superstructures.
Chapter 4 discusses the data obtained from New House
Evaluation Program (NHEP) research projects. The data were
analyzed statistically. In addition, two experiments,
effectiveness of tube length on radon readings and pressure
changes on radon concentrations, are discussed.
The up-to-date construction methods in preventing radon
intrusion are introduced in Chapter 5. Subslab
depressurization methods are all detailed in steps.
Chapter 6 discusses the applications of computer aided
design for radon knowledge consultation. A radon information
system is developed for assistance in radon problems.
Chapter 7 contains the conclusions and recommendations
for future research.


CHAPTER 2
RADON RISK IN HEALTH AND ITS CAUSES
Introduction
People exposed to high radon concentration will most
likely get lung cancer. The potential risk of exposure is
discussed in this chapter. The position of the governmental
agencies toward radon assessment is outlined. The cause of
radon damage is also introduced.
What Is Radon?
Radon (Rn-222) is the decay product of uranium. It is a
radioactive, odorless, colorless, and naturally-occurring
gas. It can contribute to significant damage to respiratory
tissue when there is prolonged exposure to elevated
concentrations of the gas. Constant exposure to high
concentration of radon gas may cause lung cancer. Figure 2.1
illustrates the mechanism of radon damage to lung tissues.
Potential Radon Exposure Risks
The significance of the estimated health effects from
radon daughter exposure to the bronchial epithelium is
7


8
Lungs
Figure 2.1 Radon Gas Damage Mechanism
compared to the corresponding health effects to other parts
of the body. The proportional dose to other organs can be
estimated by first considering the ratio of bronchial
epithelium dose to alveolar dose. Table 2.1 shows the
relative dose to each organ in comparison with the dose to
the critical tissue, which consists of the basal cells of
the bronchial epithelium. Dose to this tissue is often
referred to as the tracheo-bronchial or T-B dose, according
to the International Commission on Radiological Protection's
(ICRP) respiratory tract model. The proportional doses to
other organs are given as fractions of the T-B dose, for the
condition where the body is in equilibrium with the radon


9
containing atmosphere. The T-B dose effect or risk of
concern from radon daughter exposure is lung carcinoma.
Since lung cancer has such a high mortality rate, it is
assumed that morbidity for this dose effect is equivalent to
mortality. Morbidity does not equal mortality for the
corresponding dose to other organs. However, the relative
doses to other organs are insignificant when added to the
risk from T-B dose [Johnson 1973, p.31-33].
Table 2.1 Organ Dose Ratios and Absolute Risk
Organ to T-B
Organ
dose ratio1
Bronchial epithelium
1.0000
Alveoli
0.0291
Liver
0.0013
1 Gonads
0.0009
Bone
0.0005
Bone marrow
0.0011
Kidneys
0.0066
Blood
0.0026
Muscle (soft tissue)
0.0007
Modified from [Johnson 1973, Table 8]
1 Ratio of organ dose to T-B dose for conditions where the body is in
equilibrium with the radon containing atmosphere.


10
Viel observed a statistically significant positive
correlation between myeloid leukaemia mortality in adults
(AML) and radon exposure [Eatough and Henshaw 1994] This
positive correlation with radon exposure is in agreement
with similar observations at country level for AML in
England and Wales for myeloid leukaemia in England. Radon
as a risk factor for tumors, melanoma and kidney cancer is
unclear. Further studies are needed to determine the radon
risks.
Chronological Studies and Statements of Radon Risks
The radon problem did not received serious attention
until the early 1980s. Radon gas is one of the most
dangerous environmental pollutants. Radon risks have been
reviewed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
Registry, the Centers for Disease Control, the EPA, EPA's
independent Science Advisory Board, the International
Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the National
Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Cancer Institute
(NCI), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH) and the Surgeon General (SG) Each of these
parties have reached consistent conclusions about the health


11
threat of radon exposure [HR 1994, p.12]. A chronology of
major events is listed in Table 2.2.
The United States General Accounting Office (GAO) had
testimony on the radon contamination reduction in houses in
1988. The testimony concluded that federal agencies involved
with housing have responded differently to radon hazards.
The overall federal housing response to the radon problem
has been fragmented and been on small scale. The Congress
should bring greater attention to the radon problem and
order federal agencies to take more responsibilities about
the radon issue [GAO 1988].
A hearing was held in 1990 on federal efforts to
promote radon testing. This hearing provided a closer look
at the radon problem and directed the funding and research
guidelines [HR 1990]. The House Representative bill (HR)
2448 amends Title III, "Indoor Radon Abatement", of the
Toxic Substances Control Act (ASCA) It requires the EPA
Administrator to establish a mandatory performance and
proficiency program for radon products and services [HR
1993, p.45] The Administrator will make available to the
public a list of those measurements and mitigation products
which have met minimum performance criteria. In addition, it


12
Table 2.2 Major Radon Studies and Statements
Year
Agent
Statements
1986
EPA
1. Released "Citizen's Guide" on
Radon.
2. Estimated 5,000 to 20,000 deaths
annually. Action Level of 4 pCi/L.
1987
ICRP
ICRP report concluded that radon poses
a greater cancer risk than assumed by
EPA.
NIOSH
Reported "significant health risks".
Occupational standard: 1 WLM/year^.
1988
NAS
1. NAS report (BIER IV) found greater
risks than previously assumed by EPA.
2. Based on miners studies, estimated
potential lung cancer risk.
3. Recognized the difference between
mining and domestic environment:
remains unsolved.
EPA
A new estimate of 8,000 to 43,00
deaths annually. Averaged 21,600
deaths.
SG
Issues "A national health problem"
that estimates thousands of deaths
each year.
2 One Working Level Month (WLM) per year is approximately equivalent to
4 pCi/L.


13
Table 2.2 Continued
Year
Agent
Statements
1991
NAS
Based on a comparison between mines and
homes, estimates 30% reduction in homes
compared to the first report.
EPA
Completed national residential radon survey.
Revised its estimate from 1.29 to 1.25 pCi/L.
1992
EPA
1. EPA & CDC issue a revised "Citizen's
Guide" to radon.
2. Estimates radon causes 7,000 to 30,000
deaths annually, average of 14,000 deaths.
3. EPA's SAB reviews the revised EPA risk
estimate and concluded "a solid, well-
documented and defensible central estimate."
ATSDR
Concludes that "even conservative estimates
suggest radon in one of the most important
causes of death. Reports that 14% of all
current cases of lung cancer could be
attributable to radon.
1993
ICRP
A draft ICRP report finds the risks of radon
exposure to be essentially the same as
estimated by EPA and CDC in 1992. Action
level at 5 pCi/L.
1994
NCI
Estimates 15,000 deaths from lung cancer
each year; approximately 10% of all lung
cancers.
NAS
Recommends a re-analysis of the health
risks associated with radon based on the
accumulation of new evidence. The re-analysis
includes multi-disciplinary models for radon
carcinogenesis.
Modified from [HR 1994, p.12-14]


14
requires the Administrator to establish user fees on persons
manufacturing or importing devices, or offering services
covered by the performance and proficiency program.
There are four major tasks of HR 2448:
1) examine existing public awareness programs concerning
radon;
2) act as a coordinating body for the donation of resources
to assist in programs and strategies to raise outlets to
increase radon awareness;
3) encourage media outlets to increase radon awareness;
4) evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness and assist in the
update of such programs and strategies.
In the "Radon Awareness and Disclosure Act of 1994,"
the HR 2448 amends Title III of the Toxic Substances Control
Act (15 U.S.C. 2661 et Seq.) to improve the accuracy of
radon testing products and services, to develop a strategy
to identify and reduce exceptionally high indoor radon
levels, to promote and facilitate the testing and mitigation
of vulnerable premises, to promote radon resistant
construction in high radon areas, and to create a commission
to promote increased public awareness of the health threats
of radon exposure [HR 1994, p.ll].


15
Radon and Liability
There have been several law involving radon problems.
In Wayne Vs. TVA 730 F.2d 392 (5th Cir. 1984), cert denied,
496 U.S., 1159 (1985) homeowners brought product liability
and negligence action against a phosphate slag producer
whose slag was used to make concrete bricks for the
construction of their homes. The verdict was in favor of
defendants, holding that homeowners' claims were barred by
the Tennessee Statute of Limitations applicable to product
liability actions; in Robles Vs. Environmental Protection
Agency 484 F.2d 843 (4th Cir. 1973) a homeowner sued the EPA
to get results of a radioactive survey and the names and
addresses of those owning homes exceeding EPA safety
guidelines. The circuit court judge held that information
gathered by EPA and relating to homes where uranium tailings
had been used for fill was not exempt from disclosure; in
Nobel Vs. Marvin E. Kanze, Inc., Civ. No. 02428, at 1
(Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Pa. 1983) the
homeowner sued a contractor after finding radon entering
through a crack in the ventilation system.
In the Nobel case, the homeowner sued for damages
including expenditures of money and time to detect the


16
source of the radon gas, the cost of mitigation for high
radon levels, repair and other expenses after mitigation [HR
1990, p.157].
Most real estate professionals and mortgage bankers do
not require radon tests thereby leaving themselves and their
stockholders open to actions on negligence and liability
theory. Without a well-structured and phased plan to test
structures for radon, homebuilders, realtors, bankers,
construction companies and homesellers will face a
significantly worse position relative to liability and
negligence litigation in the long run. Congress and the
Administration should be aware of the basis for expected
tort action on radon. It is essential to have federal
regulation to save litigation costs.
Radon Decay Chain
Radon is formed directly from the radioactive decay of
Radium (Ra) The original source is Uranium (U) After a
series of decays, Rn (222Rn) is formed and becomes the most
serious decay product of Uranium. The decay flow chart of
Uranium is illustrated in Figure 2.2. Radon has three major
isotopes: 222Radon, 219Radon, and 21Radon which are the


17
Figure 2.2. Decay Flow Chart of Uranium


18
most abundant in nature. The half-lives of the three
isotopes are illustrated in Table 2.3 Modified from [Lao
1990] .
Most radon comes from soil or rocks and enters into
houses through cracks or penetrations. The traveling time
is the critical factor of radon progeny entry. Therefore,
the half-life of 219Rn, and 210Rn are both less than one
minute and they are less likely to enter the house before
they decay. However, 222Rn has chances of seeping into the
house.
Therefore,
radon refers to 222Rn in general.
One
should
be aware
that the progeny of 222Rn
(from 21Po
to
210 pb)
all have
half-lives less than 30
minutes.
If
inhaled, they are most likely to decay to 210pb before
removal by lung clearance mechanisms. The properties of
radon progeny are shown in Table 2.4 [Lao 1990, Qu 1993] .
Radon Damage Mechanism
The short-lived radon progeny could be harmful if
inhaled because these elements could eject energy from a or P
particles. For example, the energy ejected from a 218pQ atom
disintegrating at the lung tissues deposits 7.7 Mev of
ionizing energy in the tissue. The damage to lung tissues


19
Table 2.3 Radon Isotopes and Their Half-lives
Isotope
Half-life 1
222Radon
3.83 days
219Radon
55 seconds
210Radon
4 seconds
Modified from Lao [1990]
Table 2.4 Properties of Radon Progeny-
Nuclide
Radiation ray
Half-life
Potential a
Energy/atom(Mev)
222Rn
a
3.825 days
4.06
218po
a
3.11 min.
13.7
214pb
P-
26.8 min.
7.7
214Bi
P-
19.9 min.
7.7
214Po
a
164 p,sec.
7.7
Modified from Lao [1990], Qu [1993]


20
caused by the ionizing radiation of a particles is measured
in units of the a energy. Internal irradiation by a
particles is believed to be the cause of radon-induced lung
cancers. Because the penetration power of an a particle is
very poor, it loses virtually all its energy at one point in
the lung tissue. The a particles that are stopped by soft
tissues deposit a large number of ions within a few cell
diameters. This could kill a cell or cause mutation [Lao
1990, p.13] .
Radon Measurement Units
The measurement units of radon concentration (222Rn)
and radon progeny are pCi/L and Working Level, respectively.
Radon Concentration
Radon concentration is measured in pCi/L or Bq/m2.
Curies (Ci) was named after Marie Curie (1867-1934) and
Pierre Curie (1859-1906). The conversion factors are listed
below
1 Bq = 1 disintegration/second
1 Curie (Ci) = 3.7 x lO1^ Bq
1 pCi = 0.037 Bq


21
1 pCi/L = 37 Bq/m3
Radon Progeny
Working Level (WL) is the unit for measuring the
concentration of radon decay products. It is equivalent to
1.3 x 105 Mev of potential a energy from the short-lived
progeny per liter of air. In addition, one WL is in balance
with exactly 100 pCi/L of 222Rn. The definition of WL is
illustrated in Table 2.5 [Lao 1990, p.14]. According to
Table 2.5, the total potential a energy per 100 pCi/L is
5
approximately 1.3 x 10 Mev.
Table 2.5 Definition of Working Level
Element
No. of atoms
per 100 pCi/L
of 222Rn
Potential a
energy per
atom (Mev)
Potential a
energy per 100
pCi/L of radon
(Mev x 105)
218p0
977
13.7
0.134
214Pb
8,585
7.7
0.661
214Bi
6,311
7.7
0.486
214Po
0
7.7
0
Total
1.281


22
Radioactive Decay
The time rate of change of a radioactive material is
defined as N (number/m3). The probability per unit time that
a nucleus will decay is defined as X which is independent
from any known physical or chemical process. The first order
differential equation is derived as [Lao 1990] ,
-dN/dt = XN dt
In(N) = Xt + C (2-1)
Boundary conditions: at t=0, N=N0, Plug in (2-1)
C = In(N0)
N (t) = N0 e-^ (2-2)
When t = T/2, N = 1/2 NQ
where T/2 is the time period of a radioactive material to
decay to half its mass through the radioactive decay
process.
Plug in (2-2)
T/2 = In2/X (2-3)
The half-life of a decay product can be calculated from
equation (2-3). For example, the decay constant for 222Rn is
0.00755 (h_1), the half-life of 222Rn is


23
T/2 = ln2/(0.00755)
= 91.81 hours
= 3.83 days
Decay Relationship between Parent and Daughter
The relationship of 222Rn with its decay product P0 is
formulated as [Al-Ahmady 1994]
dNpo/dt = Xpn Npn A.po Npo (2-4)
= N0^ e_^'Rnt ^Po NPo
where = N0Rne_^'Rat/ at t = 0.
Rearrange equation (2-4) as follows,
dNpo/dt + kp0 Npo = Xrh NVeV. (2"5)
Solving for the homogeneous solution for equation (2-5),
dNpo/dt + lpo Npo = o
NPo = c e~^p0t
Assume that the particular solution for equation (2-5) is
Np0 = K e^Rn1 plug in equation (2-5),
K ^ ^Rn^ e"?tRnt + ^p0 (r e^Rn^ = ^-Rn NRn e^Rnt
K ^Po-^W = ^Rn NRn
K = ^Rn NRn/(^Po-^Rn)


24
Therefore, Npo c e + [Artl N Rn/(A-po^Rn)]e ^Rn" (2-6)
Boundary conditions: when t=0, Npo=0. Solving equation (2-
6) ,
C = A-rh N^/^pQ-^Rn) .
Substitute C back into equation (2-6), then
Np0 = [A,Rn N0Rn/(Ap0-?iRn)] (e^Rn" -e"'>lpot) ^2-7)
APo = ^Po NPo, where APo is the Activity rate (numbers/sec.
m ). When t = tm, APo reaches maximum. Where tm is the time
of maximum activity. To find tm, let dAPo/dt = 0.
[?tRn NRn/(A.p0-A.Rn)] [-A.Rne~A.Rntm + _kp0 e~^p0tm)] = 0
tm = In (A-p0/A,Rn) )/(A.p0_A.Rn)) (2-8)
By re-arranging this equation,
^-Po NPo/ (^Rn NRn) = [Apo/ (A.p0-A-Rn)] [1- e (^p0-^W t) (2-9)
When t > o, A,po Npo/(A.Rn N0Rn) = ^pQ/(^pQ-A.Rn) (2-10)
Transit equilibrium activity concentration is balanced
when the ratio of daughter to parent activity is constant.
Special case, if
^1/2 ^fl/2 d = daughter, p = parent, then
A-d > > A.p.


25
Therefore, equation (2-10) becomes
^Po NPo/ (^Rn NRn) = 1 (2-11)
This is the secular equilibrium special case of transient equilibrium
when the daughter and parent activities are equal.
For example, Tl/2 (Ra) = 1600 years, Tl/2 (Rn) =3.83 days,
^Po =1.18 E-6 /day, ^Rn = 0.181 /day
^Po NPo/(^Rn NRn) = 0.181 /(0.181-1.18 E-6) = 1.000007
and tm = In (0.181 / 1.18 E-6)/(0.181 1.18 E-6) s 66 days.
Summary
This chapter discussed radon risks, radon related legal
issues, and radon sources. Radon decay chain and its damage
mechanism were also presented.


CHAPTER 3
RADON TRANSPORT IN STRUCTURES
Introduction
This chapter focuses on substructure and superstructure
parameters to the radon entry. The important issues in
substructures are soil and soil radium content. Soil has
been found to be the key factor that affect radon intrusion.
Radium content in soil and its transport is introduced. The
major factors affecting indoor radon levels in
superstructures are concrete slab type, building materials,
house water and pressure-driven flow.
Review of Literature
Since the mid-1970's, the electric power industry has
been working on ways to give customers better choices for
controlling the quality of their indoor environment. This
work focused in part on evaluating the effects of building
design and systems operations on indoor radon levels [Harper
et al. 1988] .
House radon concentrations depend on a variety of
factors (e.g., radon availability in the soil, interaction
of building and soil, weather forces affecting radon entry).
Research studies, sponsored by the Electric Power Research
26


27
Institute (EPRI) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA),
and principally conducted by GEOMET Technologies, Inc., and
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have examined the effects of
siting, building design and space condition operations on
indoor radon levels. These studies also examined the
effectiveness of different radon and progeny control
approaches. Soil is the principal source of indoor radon in
single-family houses in the United States [Nero and Nazaroff
1984] Pressure-driven flow is a principal means by which
soil gas enters houses; it is expected to be the predominant
source of radon in houses with elevated concentration. There
are three principal causes of basement depressurization
[Garbesi and Sextro 1989] : thermal differences between
indoors and outdoors, wind loading on the building
superstructure, and imbalanced building ventilation.
Soil-gas entry due to basement depressurization has
been experimentally demonstrated by Nazaroff et al. (1987).
Entry pathways have been assumed to be penetrations, gaps,
or cracks in the building substructure. A demonstration of
a previously neglected pathway for soil-gas entry into
houses is pressure-driven flow through permeable, and below-
grade building materials. Such a flow, distributed over the
wall area, could occur via porous building materials or via
a network of small cracks. If this pathway is ignored in the
modeling of soil-gas entry into buildings, predictions of
the soil-gas entry rate could be substantially too low
[Garbesi and Sextro 1989].


28
Research Subjects
This research focused on the relationship of the
construction to the radon intrusion. The analysis was based
on the research projects of New House Evaluation Program of
Florida. The research analyzed all aspects of building
behavior from substructure to superstructure. The subjects
investigated are illustrated in Figure 3.1. Major subjects
researched include:
1) Soil
2) Concrete slab
3) Penetrations (plumbing, joints)
4) Building materials
5) Pressure differentials (HVAC systems, ventilation,
wind, temperature)
Figure 3.1 Major Research Subjects


29
Sources that Contribute to Indoor Radon
The sources that contribute to indoor radon
concentration are:
1) Soil
2) Building Materials
3) House water
4) Ambient air
Radon Transport in Substructures
Radon in soil will be discussed in detail and the
related movement parameters will also be discussed. Soil
radium content, radon emanation coefficients, and soil
permeability will be introduced.
Radon in Soil and Its Movement
For most houses with high indoor radon concentrations,
soil is the principal source of radon [Nero and Nazaroff
1984; Nazaroff et al. 1988; Revzan and Fisk 1992] Soil
radon gas is estimated to contribute 85% 90% of indoor
radon among the sources [Clarkin and Brennan 1991]. Since a
large percentage of radon source comes from soil, the main
focus of the radon source is on the soil of the building
site. Figure 3.2 illustrates the radon sources and the
factors that affect their entry. Considering the sources
that affect the concentrations of soil radon, the
radioactive decay of radium is the primary contributor.


30
Figure 3.2 Soil Gas Radon Entry Mechanism and Affecting
Parameters


31
Elevated soil radium concentrations may cause higher
rates of radon generation in the soil air; therefore, the
soil radium concentration should be considered in the
foundation soil.
Radon Emanation Coefficients
The fraction of radon generated from soil grains that
enters the pore volume of the soil is the emanation
coefficient. Emanation coefficients for soil range from 0.05
to 0.7 [Rogers et al. 1989; Nazaroff 1992] The emanation
coefficients for 48 Florida soil samples averaged 0.33
[Rogers and Nielson 1991a, p.3-3]. Moisture content has
been demonstrated to have a large effect on the emanation
coefficient of radon from uranium ore tailings, concrete,
and soil [Nazaroff 1992, p.143] The emanation coefficient
is much lower if the source material is dry rather than
moist. Moisture content dependence to emanation coefficient
is presented in Figure 3.3 [Nazaroff 1992, Fig.5]. The
figure suggests that high moisture content soil has higher
emanation coefficient than low moisture content soil. The
reason for this could be a lower recoil range for radon in
water than in air. Temperature changes have been found to be
a factor in determining the radon emanation coefficient.
When soil temperature was increased from 5C to 50^c, the
emanation coefficient increased by 55% [Nazaroff 1992] .


32
Moisture content (vol. %)
0 5 10 15
Moisture content (wt %)
Figure 3.3 Effect of Moisture Content on the Relative
Radon Emanation Coefficient [Nazaroff 1992]
However, the soil temperature does not change much. This
effect could be neglected.
Indoor Radon Prediction Model
Pressure driven from the house due to appliances,
thermal gradients, heating and air conditioning systems or
winds, pull the soil air with its radon gas into the house.
The movement of the air depends on the soil
permeability. The higher the soil permeability, the easier


33
the gas moves. An indoor radon prediction model was made by
Mose [Mose et al. 1992] using soil radon and soil
permeability1. The prediction model was successful for most
of the houses in northern Virginia and southern Maryland.
The prediction model is shown in Figure 3.4. Mose et al.
(1992) proclaimed that their estimates are very useful for
indoor radon prediction. However, the indoor radon
concentration is affected by more factors than their model
took into account. Therefore, more parameters should be
taken into account in order to have a better prediction. The
parameters, such as soil permeability, soil radium content
and foundation type are crucial to the indoor radon
elevation.
Soil Permeability
Soil permeability is associated with soil porosity,
moisture, and grain-size distribution. A theoretic equation
for soil permeability for laminar flow in saturated course
grained soils is described as [Scott 1969]:
K = [1/ (5.0 Ss2)] [n3/(n-l)2] [Yw/ri]
Where
k = K (r|/yw)
K = Hydraulic conductivity (m/hour)
k = Soil permeability (m2)
1 The permeability of this case is defined as inch/hour which is the
velocity of the fluid flows through the soil.


34
Soil radon
(pCi/L)
Poential indoor radon risk(pCi/L
Low (0 5)
Medium (5 -15)
High (15 and above)
Figure 3.4 Indoor Radon Prediction by Using Soil Radon2
[Mose et al. 1992]
2 The permeability (in/hr) of this case is sometimes defined as
hydraulic conductivity.


35
Ss = Surface are of the particles in unit volume
of the solid material
n = porosity
yw = unit weight of water
r| = viscosity of water.
For sandy soils, Hazen suggested that the approximate
value of K is given by [Scott 1969]:
K = C (Dio)2
where
C = a coefficient varying between 0.01 and 0.015
= effective size of soil in mm
An empirical model for predicting soil gas permeability
is defined as [Rogers and Nielson 1991b]:
k = (p/110)2 d4/2 exp(-12 m4)
where
k = soil gas permeability (cm2)
p = total soil porosity (dimensionless)
d = arithmetic mean grain diameter (cm),
excluding >#4 mesh material
m = moisture saturation fraction (dimensionless).
The radon diffusion coefficient factor is derived by
Rogers [Rogers and Nielson 1991b] as:
14p
D = 0.11 exp(-6mp-6mp )
where
D = radon diffusion coefficient (cm2/sec).
Subslab soils are ranged from coarse sand to fine clay.
The smaller particle silts and clays have higher ambient


36
moisture contents and generally lower permeability and
diffusion coefficients; therefore, radon gas in the soil air
cannot move as easily to the entry points onto the house.
Both K and D decrease significantly with moisture for m>0.5.
Soil moisture content is controlled in large part by
precipitation. Fine grained soils such as silts and clays,
have higher moistures under normal environmental conditions.
Therefore, they have lower K and D values than sands. Radon
gas does not move as easily through them. However, for a
specified radon entry rate into a house, the silts and clays
can have higher radium content because more of the radon gas
is held in the soil.
The permeability and diffusion coefficients are closely
related, and exhibit similar trends with soil type, degree
of compacting and moisture. Thus the permeability
coefficients can be used to specify soil conditions in a way
that also includes the effect of diffusion. The average soil
permeability of soils is listed in Table 3.1 [Yegingil 1991,
p181] .
Clay and silt have very low permeabilities and the
radon entry rates are very low compared to the sandy soils.
Revzan and Fisk (1992, p.42) observed that when the soil
permeability is less than 10-12 m2, the soil-gas velocity at
the openings in the basement shell is low and diffusion is
the principal means of radon entry. In this case, the radon
entry will be dependent on the concentration of the soil gas
radon.


37
Table 3.1 Soil Permeability-
Soil type
Soil
permeability
(cm/sec)
Relative Degree of
Permeability
Gravel
IO"3 10'6
High
Clean sand
10'5 10'8
High
Silty sand
10'6 io'10
Medium
Silty
lo"8 io'12
Low
Glacial tilt
io'9 io'15
Low
Marine clay
io'12 io'15
Very low to
practical
impervious
Modified from Yegingil [1991]


38
Radon Flows through Different Soil Layers
In construction practices, a layer of fill earthen
materials is placed between the concrete slab and the top of
the natural soils. The natural soils may consist of several
layered soils. The layered soils have their own properties.
However, the top layer has the most significant impact to
the radon entry. However, if the second layer of soil
contains high radium and the top soil has high permeability,
elevated radon concentrations may occur.
Rogers and Nielson (1991b) measured indoor radon levels
often exceeding 10 pCi/L, even though the radium
concentrations in the sandy soils immediately beneath the
slab are less than 1 pCi/g. Measurements of subslab radon
are several thousand pCi/L, indicating that the radon is
mainly coming from soils in the Hawthorn Formation. Soils
in the Hawthorn Formation have radium concentrations ranging
from 5 to 30 pCi/g in this area. Soil gas radon is a
reliable indicator of a potential radon problem which was
suggested by many researchers [EPA 1991].
Different layers have different soil permeabilities and
which is one of the important factors that affects radon
entry. Soil permeability of different layers may be
calculated as follows [Todd 1980] :
Qx = Ki I Zi + K2 I Z2 + K2 I Z2
= I (Ki Zi + K2 Z2 + K2 Z2)
Also, Qx = Kx I (Zi + Z2 + Z2)


39
where
Qx = Flow rate in the x direction (m2/s)
Ki = Hydraulic conductivity (m/s)
I = Hydraulic gradient
Zi = Depth of Layer i (m)
Kx = Overall hydraulic conductivity in the x direction
k = Permeability
(m2)
#
Surface

I 21
Qx q2
-
X Z2
*3

I Z3
t
Qz
(j.= Dynamic viscosity
p = Fluid density
g = Acceleration of gravity (m/s2)
Therefore,
Kx = (Ki Zi + K2 Z2 + K2 Z2)/(Zi + Z2 + Z2)
k = K p
pg
Assumption: Assume that equation (3.2) holds
Substitute (3.2) into (3.1),
kx = (ki Zi + k2 Z2 + k2 Z2)/(Zi + Z2 + Z2)
In general form, kx = Ski Zi/(SZi)
(3.1)
(3.2)
for gas.
(3.3)


40
Similarly, kz = D Zi /(E(Zi/ki)) (3.4)
The ratio of kx/kz usually falls in the range of 2 to 10 for
alluvium, but values up to 100 or more occur where clay
layers are present [Todd 1980, p.81].
A Proposed Mitigation Method
Because the kx/kz ratios of soils are large, the
horizontal movement of the soil gas radon is faster than
vertical movement. According to this phenomenon, a radon
reduction method is proposed. The proposed method is
illustrated in Figure 3.5. There are two or more vertical
two-inch PVC pipes needed connecting the perforated pipes.
There is a slope of the perforated pipe for ease of gas
movement. The pressure driven flow may dominate the
diffusion movement of the radon gas; however, the perforated
pipes could reduce the pressure differentials between
subslab and indoor (so called pressure break). The
perforated pipes can produce equivalent pressure between
subslab and atmosphere.
In addition, the PVC pipes connect the shower water to
the soil. The pipes discharge water into the soil and keep
soil moisture content high, which could slow radon movement.
Soil Permeability in Different Depths
Soil permeability is affected by soil pressure. Figure
3.6 illustrates the soil permeability distribution under


41
different consolidation pressures [Hoddinott and Lamb 1990].
High pressure tends to reduce soil permeability.
Because of soil pressure, the deeper the soil the
higher the pressure is. However, the soil pressure in the 10
feet range which we consider affecting indoor radon
elevation, does not change drastically. However, the
pressure differentials from indoor to outdoor has been
proven to dominate the transport of the soil gas radon [Lao
1990].
Figure 3.5 Soil Gas Radon Mitigation by Perforated Pipe
Systems


42
12.5 25 50 100 200
Consolidation Pressure (Kpa)
Figure 3.6 Permeability Distribution of Different Pressures
Radon from Geological Consideration
Many researchers have confirmed that the relationship
between geology and indoor radon is complicated and
dependent on climate, terrain, bedrock composition and soil
permeability. Geology controls the chemical composition of
the rocks and soils from which radon is derived. Climate
exerts a strong control over the temperature and moisture
content of soils, thus affecting radon emanation and
physical and chemical weathering of the soils and rocks.
Indoor radon assessments often rely on factors such as
bedrock geology or soil permeability to predict the
potential of an area for radon. Rock types that are most
likely to cause indoor radon problems include carbonaceous
black shales, glauconite-bearing sandstones, certain kinds
of fluvial sandstones and fluvial sediments, phosophorites,


43
chalk, karst-producing carbonate rocks, and so on. Rocks
least likely to cause radon problems are marine quartz, and
certain kinds of non-carbonaceous shales and siltstones,
certain kinds of clays, silica-poor metamorphic and igneous
rocks, and basalts. Mafic rocks are characteristically a
poor radon source. Rocks such as aluminous and feldspathic
gneiss, schist, and phyllite vary but are generally sources
of moderate to high radon. Granites and sheared rocks are
generally sources of very high radon [Gundersen 1993,
p.IVl] Figure 3.7 shows the average soil radon
concentration distribution vs. indoor radon concentrations
[Gundersen 1993, p.IV4].
The glacial lake deposits are composed of fine sand,
silt and clay. A very high correlation between indoor radon
and soil radon was found in Gundersen's research when the
measurements were grouped by glacial deposit and the
measurements were averaged. However, if the measurements
were grouped by bedrock type the regression only yielded an
R=0.21. Therefore, glacial deposits are better predictors
of indoor radon and radon sources in soil than bedrock
geology. Figure 3.8 illustrates the average indoor radon
levels vs. soil radon concentrations [Gundersen 1993,
p.IV5].
Geological Elevated Radon Summary
The rocks which the have highest uranium contents are


Average Indoor Radon pCI/L
44
Figure 3.7 Average Indoor Radon Levels vs. Soil Radon
Concentrations [Gundersen 1993]
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Average Indoor Radon pCi/L
Figure 3.8 Average Indoor Radon Concentration vs. Soil Radon
Concentration [Gundersen 1993]


45
certain types of granite, black (carbonaceous) shales, and
phosphoric rocks. The common range of uranium concentrations
is between 2 to 10 ppm with averages around 3 to 4 [Lao
1990] .
Geological areas having granites with more than 10 ppm
uranium could have a high radon potential. Uraniferous black
shales usually have an average uranium concentration of up
to 20 ppm. Phosphate rocks with 100 ppm uranium are very
common. High-grade phosphates may be a significant source
for elevated radon levels [Lao 1990, p.28].
A Generalized Geological Map for the State of Florida
A research performed by Otton (1993) shows that the
geology of Florida is dominated by fluvial, deltaic, and
marine sedimentary rocks. The older sedimentary rocks,
mostly limestone and dolomite, are exposed in a structural
high centered in Levy County along the western side of
peninsular Florida. Younger sedimentary rocks occur
throughout southern Florida, along the Atlantic coast, and
coastal areas of the western panhandle. A generalized
geology map is shown in Figure 3.9 [Otton 1993, IV-5].
Uraniferous phosphatic sediments occur in the Alachua
Formation, the Hawthorn Group and Bone Valley Formation
[Sweeney and Windham 1979]. Although only a few occurrences
of uranium minerals have been described in Florida, where
these unraniferous phosphatic rocks are mapped, high


46
Figure 3.9 Generalized Geology Map of Florida [Otton 1993]


47
Legend of Figure 3.9
Type
Stratigraphic Unit
General
lithology
Major
litholo
gic unit
Qs
Surfical and terrace
sands. Undifferentiated.
Quartz sands with
varying proportions
of silt, clay,
organic material and
carbonate.
Sand
Qtl
Lake Furt Marl, Miami
Limestones, Key Largo
Limestone, Anastasia
Fort Thompson,
Caloosahatchee, Tamiami
Formation.
Undifferentiated.
Fossiliferous
limestone, maris and
lesser amounts of
sand and clay.
Limestone
Ts
Citronelle and Miccosukee
Formation.
Undifferentiated.
Clays and quartz
sands with lesser
amounts of silts and
gravels.
Sand and
clay
Tm
Chariton, Jackson Bluff,
Red Bay, Yellow River,
and Chipla Formation.
Undifferentiated.
Shell maris, clays
and quartz sands
with minor
limestones.
Marl and
sand
Tp
Bone Valley, Alachua,
Fort Preston and Hawthorn
Formation (Group).
Undifferentiated.
Sands, silts and
clays with lesser
amounts of
limestone, dolomite
and phosphorite.
Phospho-
ritic
clay and
sand
Tl
St. Marks, and
Chattahoochee Formation.
Undifferentiated.
Impure limestones
with sand and lesser
amounts of
limestone, dolomite
and phosphorite.
Limestone
Tol
Suwannee Limestone, Ducan
Church Beds, Byram
Formation and Avon Park
Limestone.
Undifferentiated.
Limestones which may
be slightly sandy or
dolomitic.
Limestone
Tel
Crystal River, Willston,
and Inglis Formation Avon
Park Limestones.
Undifferentiated.
Fossiliferous
limestones and
dolomite
Limestone
and
dolomite


48
concentrations of uranium (up to a few hundred ppm) in near
surface soils and bedrock are known to occur. South Ocala is
described to have this type of rocks [Espenshade 1985] .
Soils containing a few tens to a few hundreds of ppm of
uranium are likely to be strong sources of radon. Surface
materials in southernmost Florida are composed mostly of
peat, sand, and limestone. Sand, silt, shell, and clay are
the primary surface materials along the Atlantic Coastal
areas from Lee County to Pinellas County. Refer to Figure
3.10. Surface materials across most of the state are low in
uranium content with most of the state showing less than 1.5
ppm equivalent uranium (eU).
A strip of land about 60 miles wide along the Atlantic
Coastal margin extending from Jacksonville southward to
Miami is almost entirely below 1.5 ppm. However, the
highland areas in the north and north central part of the
State generally range from 1.0 to 2.0 ppm eU.
Higher readings occur in an area underlain by
phosphatic rocks that extends discontinuously from southern
Polk County northward to southern Columbia County, including
an area of a few hundred square miles averaging greater than
5.5 ppm eU. Dade County underlain by thin sandy soils


49
Figure 3.10. Generalized Surface Materials Map for the
State of Florida [Otton 1993]


50
covering shallow limestone bedrock, has equivalent uranium
values as high as 3.5 ppm.
Phosphate Region and Indoor Radon Levels in Florida
A study of the phosphate region of Florida which was
investigated by Roessler et al. (1983) is shown in Figure
3.11. The indoor radon level of houses in Florida is shown
in Figure 3.12 [DCA 1994] Figure 3.12 shows the tested
results of average indoor radon levels of the Florida
houses. There is a similarity between these two figures;
areas interpreted as highly phosphated have high indoor
radon levels.
Summary_Q.f. Radon Transport In Substructures
Radon sources are mainly from soils and rocks. The
radon levels are affected by permeability, soil moisture
content, radium content, and pressure differentials. Highly
phosphated area have high indoor radon levels as
demonstrated in Figures 3.11 and 3.12.
Radon Transport in Superstructures
The following sections will discuss the factors in
superstructures that are significant to the elevation of
indoor radon. These factors include concrete slab, building
materials, house water, and pressure differentials. These


51
84 82 80
Figure 3.11 Phosphate Distribution in Florida [Roessler et
al. 1983]


DEPARTMENT OF
COMMUNITY
AFFAIRS
RADON PROTECTION
CATEGORIES
H **.
A .
MwlW: fiW# tj*W
M t| M Mil /
MB Or*J^ t^dMf* AiNwft^
4rfr*~ W Pw p (MtkM
B **"
Ln
to
Figure 3.12 Indoor Radon Levels of Florida [DCA 1994], Radon Potential Levels: Color in
Green: Low; Yellow: Moderate; Red: High; Blue: Water.


53
factors have been researched seriously in the FRRP research
projects. The results and their interpretation will be
discussed.
Radon Transport through Concrete Floor Slab
Radon gas can seep into houses because of the pressure-
driven flow through concrete slab cracks, plumbing
penetrations and wall-slab connections. Diffusion of radon
from subslab soil through concrete floor slab and radium
decay of concrete itself may contribute to the concentration
of indoor radon. The ACRES (1978, p.5) report suggested
radon diffusion from or through concrete cannot be a
significant source of radon entry.
Tanner (1990) identified radon diffusion as a
significant mechanism when foundation soil permeabilities
are less than 7 x 10-12 m2. Subsequently, Rogers and
Nielson (1990) investigated diffusion through concrete
floors and the contiguous soil as a significant mechanism
for radon entry for many soils under typical long-term
average foundation pressure gradients. This paper
characterizes the radon generating properties of Florida
concretes. The parameters measured are the radium
concentrations and emanation coefficients of Florida
concretes and their constituents. The radon generation and
transport through Florida residential concretes are examined
for their contribution to indoor radon concentrations. The


54
paper also identifies the main properties of concrete
performance that influence radon migration from the subsoil
into dwellings. In addition, Loureiro et al. (1990) have
compared theoretical diffusion and convection radon
transport in soils to estimate conditions when diffusion is
insignificant.
The diffusion coefficients as measured from the Florida
concrete slabs by Rogers and Nielson (1992) range from 1.8 x
10~4 cm^ S-1 to about 4.6 x 103 cm2 s--*-. In general, the
diffusion coefficient increases with water/cement ratio. The
permeability of the concrete slab is very low and averages
5.34 x 10 "12 cm^. This value falls in the permeability
range of silt clay. Thus, the transport mechanism is mainly
from diffusion. The radium and emanation are the source
index of radon diffusion. The radium ranges from 1.0 pCi/g
to about 2.4 pCi/g. The emanation coefficients averaged 0.07
which is very small.
The measurements in Florida by Rogers and Nielson
(1992) showed radium concentrations averaged 1.52 pCi/g, and
the average emanation coefficients of aggregates are less
than 0.08, which is a very low emanation value; therefore,
their radium contents are less important than the radium in
cement components. Concrete with a radium content less than
2 pCi/g contributes less than 10 percent to the total radon
entry in the example dwelling. The radon transport through
the concrete slab by diffusion and radon diffusion from the


55
concrete slab itself have proven to be minor contributions
to the indoor radon.
House Water
Radon gas can be dissolved in cold water. As was
experienced by the University of Florida research team when
it rained one day before site screening, the reading was
lower than usual and in some cases had extremely low
readings. Radon can be dissolved in water and released in
the air when showering, dishwashing, and washing clothes.
It is estimated that 10,000 pCi/L of radon in water will
contribute about 1 pCi/L of radon to the indoor air [Lao
1990, p.18].
Research also shows that using only well water
presents a problem. For the houses using water from public
utility systems, waterborne radon in general does not
contribute significantly to the indoor radon concentration.
Because the public water is supplied from treatment plants
and stored in storage tanks, after it reaches the houses,
most radon may have decayed already (half-life 3.8 days).
For those houses which have a problem with water radon,
two cost-effective treatment methods that can be utilized to
remove radon from water supplies [Lowry and Lowry 1988] are:
1) Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Adsorption/Decay
2) Aeration.
In the first method (GAC), research shows that this


56
method is successful in reducing radon from over one million
pCi/L to less than 500 pCi/L, for a 99.9% removal
efficiency. The key to the effectiveness of GAC method is
the adsorption/decay steady state that occurs for radon and
its short-lived daughters.
The aeration has three major methods: diffused bubble,
spray, and counter current packed tower. It has been
verified that the diffusion bubble method reduced 250,000
pCi/L of radon to 50 pCi/L [Lowry and Lowry 1988]. The usage
of the GAC or aeration will be determined by the capital and
operation/maintenance (O&M) costs. It is summarized in Table
3.2.
For household supplies, the GAC method is the most
economical alternative. However, with flows greater than
20,000 gpd, packed tower aeration is the most cost-effective
method [Lowry and Lowry 1988]. Housewater may contribute a
significant amount of indoor radon if the water radon level
is high. Most high water radon levels are from wells;
however, nowadays, the use of well water is insignificant in
comparison to the use of municipal water supply.
Emanation from Building Materials
While radon emanation has been studied for more than
two decades, the earlier studies suggested that construction
materials were the most important source of indoor radon
elevation. More recent studies have proved that radon


57
Table 3.2 Utilization and Costs of Water Radon Mitigation
Methods
Supplies
Method
Installation
0 Sc M
Flow (Gpd)
cost ($)
Household
GAC
800
Negligible
50-500
Multi-unit &
Spray
2300
High
small community
500-20,000
Municipal
Pack tower
Vary
High
>20,000
aeration
Modified from Lowry and Lowry [1988]
transport from the soil or rock adjacent to the building is
the major factor. An emanation test was performed by
Fleischer et al. (1984) and suggests that the local
materials contribute much less radon per unit mass than do
the geological materials that surround homes or that are
used indoors for heat storage. Table 3.3 illustrates the
average values of the radon emanation rates. Radon
emanation depends strongly on temperature and relative
humidity [Wu and Medora 1987].
It was found that radon emanation could be reduced when
coatings were applied on the testing materials. The results
showed that when Semi-glass ALKYD Enamel A40-w5 and Epoxy
Paint were applied on the testing block, the emanation rates


58
Table 3.3 Radon Emanation Rates
Material
Emanation rates
(atoms/gm-sec)
Soil
0.0065
Sand
0.0024
Brick
0.0012
Wallboard
0.00014
Stone
0.0012
Modified from Fleischer et al. [1984]
were reduced by 97.5% and 85%, respectively. However, this
test was performed in a closed room which may not be
realistic to the actual emanation rates.
Emanation rates for concrete, brick, and natural gypsum
are 0.0009-0.0003, 0.00001-0.005 and 0.002-0.02,
respectively [Morawska and Philips 1991]. It shows that
gypsum has very high emanation rate in comparing to concrete
and brick. In new construction, materials with high radium
content, such as gypsum and phosphate should be avoided.
House yentila£i-Q.n
Ventilation is defined as the total rate at which
outdoor air enters a house. Ventilation has three components
[Nazaroff et al. 1988; Ward et al. 1993]:
1) Infiltration: uncontrolled leakage of air into a
house which occurs through cracks, and penetrations in the


59
house envelope;
2) Natural ventilation: the flow of air into the house
through open windows and doors;
3) Mechanical ventilation: forced supply or removal of
air by means of blowers or fans.
Ventilation Rates and Indoor Radon Concentrations
It is assumed that increasing ventilation decreases
indoor radon concentration because the higher air change per
hour (ACH) rate dilutes the indoor radon concentration. This
phenomenon was proved in the UF research that in nearly all
cases the general trend was that indoor radon and house
ventilation rates are in opposite directions. Figure 3.13
illustrates the opposition between indoor radon
concentration and house ventilation rate.
Radon Entry Rate
Radon entry rate can be measured by measuring both
radon concentrations and ventilation rates over the same
time periods. The governing equation of the radon entry
rate can be described as [Hintenlang et al. 1994a] :
dC/dt = [R-QC]/V X C (3.5)
where c = indoor radon concentration (Bq/m3)
X = radioactive decay constant of 333Rn
Q = volumetric air flow rate through the structure
(m3/s)


VENTILATION RATE (air changes/hour)
SUMMIT OAKS
VENTILATION RATE & RADON CONCENTRATION
(Thousands)
+ ventilation rate radon concentration
5
5
.5
.5
.5
.5
Figure 3.13 Indoor Radon Vs. House Ventilation Rate [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]
RADON CONCENTRATION (pCi/llter)


61
R = radon entry rate (Bq/s)
V = house volume (m^)
Q is related to the house ventilation rate by:
Q = A.v V with A.v the house ventilation rate.
Equation 3.5 has the steady state solution:
C = R/ [Q+ Xv V]
However, the truly steady state conditions are not achieved
in houses because the ventilation rates are continuously
varying. The solution of equation 3.5 can be solved
numerically for a time interval, At. The discrete form for
this solution is then:
AC (t+ At) = {V1 [R (t) C(t) A.v (t) V] A-d C(t)} At,
rearranging this equation,
R (t) = [ (C (t+At) C (t) /At) + A,d C(t) + A.v C(t)]V (3.6)
By using this solution technique, radon entry rates
were calculated as a function of time for each of the
research houses. Radon entry rate with respect to time is
shown in Figures 3.14. and 3.15. According to Figures 3.14
and 3.15, the calculated radon entry rates are relatively
constant throughout the measurement period. Most houses
exhibit variations between maximum and minimum entry rate no
larger than a factor of two. The periodicity of the radon
entry rate variations are similar to the periodicity of the


HOUSE #8 (LOT 4 ROBIN LANE)
RADON ENTRY RATE
(Thousands)
Figure 3.14 Radon Entry Rate for House Robin Lane [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]
cn
to


HOUSE #6 (LOT 13 SUMMIT OAKS)
Radon Entry Rate
Os
Figure 3.15 Radon Entry Rate for House Summit Oaks [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]


64
radon concentrations and ventilation rate. Besides the
periodic variation, the entry rates for most houses remained
relatively constant throughout the test. No significant
variations of radon entry rate corresponding to changes of
the HVAC operation configuration were observed period
[Hintenlang et al. 1994a, p.114] These results provide
direct evidence that the operating configurations of the
HVAC systems do not affect the radon entry rate in these
structures. The average radon entry rates across the
measurement periods for each of these houses are shown in
Table 3.4. Table 3.4 demonstrates that all of the houses
have similarly small entry rates even in the presence of
indoor depressurization or pressurization. This result
indicates that the passive radon barriers installed in these
houses were effective in limiting radon entry into the
structure's interior.
Pressure-driven Flow
One of the EPA's recent research projects was the
feasibility study of basement pressurization using a forced-
air furnace. The EPA's 2-year systematic study of three
Princeton University research houses clearly demonstrates
that radon entry rates depend directly on basement
depressurization. The results also clarify the role of
natural ventilation in reducing indoor radon concentrations.
Natural ventilation is a simple way to reduce indoor radon


65
Table 3.4 House Radon Entry Data
House
Indoor
Air Change
Radon
Radon Entry
Number
radon
Rate (h-l)
Entry Rate
Flux
(pCi/L)
(Bq/s)
(Bq m~2 s-1)
1
2.3
0.49
8.6
0.046
2
3.0
0.33
9.5
0.044
3
2.2
0.34
4.1
0.017
4
2.7
0.27
4.9
0.034
5
2.5
0.31
5.2
0.024
6
4.2
0.26
5.9
0.032
7
2.7
0.38
6.9
0.032
8
2.8
0.21
2.8
0.025
Average
2.80
0.32
5.99
0.032
Modified from Hintenlang et al. [1994a, p.115]
levels; however, until now, there has been no information on
how much reduction to expect. The natural ventilation
decreases radon levels in two ways:
1) by simple dilution;
2) by providing a pressure difference.
The pressure break reduces both depressurization and
radon entry. In the Pennsylvania project, Radon Mitigation
Branch (RMB) demonstrated that a typical forced-air furnace
system could be installed to pressurize a basement to reduce
radon entry. The system reduced radon levels from 19.3 to
1.5 pCi/L in summer conditions [EPA 1992].


66
Another technique was the application of small fans for
active soil depressurization (ASD) in new houses. The EPA's
proposed model standards for controlling radon in new
buildings include placing a layer of aggregate and barrier
under the slab. By meeting these standards and sealing the
slab, it may be possible to use smaller fans than those now
used for ASD systems in existing houses. Smaller fans cost
less to install and operate, require less space, and may be
quieter.
A third project was a simple model for describing radon
mitigation and entry into houses. This model uses simplified
assumptions about the distribution of radon entry routes and
driving forces to relate indoor radon levels to soil
characteristics. Under these assumptions, the model shows
that:
1) soil permeability is the most important influence on
indoor radon concentrations because soil permeability varies
naturally by five to six orders of magnitude;
2) the area of the radon entry route is not very
important;
3) 90 percent of the total soil gas flow occurs in a
band surrounding the house with a width six times the depth
of the basement;
4) because radon decays, only the volume of soil within
a band, if the width is about two times the basement depth,
actually contributes to indoor levels.


67
The most updated UF research is the Sub-Slab
Depressurization (SSD) systems. This project was finished in
December, 1994. The new house evaluation program was to
develop standards to be adopted in future building codes and
to develop and
test
new protocols
for
measurements
for
future research.
, The
measurements include
soil tests,
soil
permeability,
soil
characterization,
pressure field
extension, crack characterization,
air
infiltration
and
leakage, tracer
gas
testing, short
term
radon tests
and
long-term radon
tests.
Pressure differences generated from the interactions
between the indoor, outdoor and sub-structure area under
different environmental and occupation conditions are
responsible for elevated indoor radon concentrations.
Hintenlang and Al-Ahmady (1992) have verified
experimental evidence that semi-diurnal pressure
differential driven radon entry exists for a slab-on-grade
structure built over low permeability soil. Mathematical
treatments predicting the sub-slab air volume pressures and
the pressure differentials across the slab have been
correlated to the atmospheric tidal barometric pressure
variations and are found to be responsible for significant
increases in indoor radon concentrations [Al-Ahmady 1992,
Hintenlang and Al-Ahmady 1992].
Al-Ahmady and Hintenlang (1994a) have also demonstrated
that temperature induced pressure differences can be a
significant influence on radon driving forces and


68
consequently the indoor radon concentrations under
particular configurations associated with the utilization of
the HVAC system [Al-Ahmady and Hintenlang 1994b]. The
effects of air infiltration rates, that are governed by the
differential pressure across the structure shell, on indoor
radon concentrations can be attributed to the exchange and
dilution of indoor radon with ambient air having much lower
radon concentrations.
Pressure-driven flow has proven to be the major driving
force of radon entry. However, UF research has found no
evidence that suggests the radon entry rate correlates with
across slab differential pressure [Hintenlang et al. 1994a,
p.124]. Figures 3.16 and 3.17 illustrate the differential
pressure data across the slab for houses at Summit Oaks and
Robin Lane. Pressure differentials would be expected to be
the major driving forces for the conventive entry of soil
radon gas, but no correlation is observed. Therefore, we may
infer that the presence of the radon-resistant barriers
implemented in these houses does greatly reduce the
pressure-driven flow of radon.
Summary of Radon Transport in Superstructures
Radon Transport by concrete diffusion is not
significant compared to pressure-driven flow. Most house
water, building materials have minor effect to the elevation
of indoor radon level.


DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE (Pa)
HOUSE #6 (LOT 13 SUMMIT OAKS)
DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE DATA
0 1.44 2.88 4.32 5.76 7.2 8.64 10.08 11.52 12.96 14.4 15.84 17.28 18.72
TIME (MIN.)
(Thousands)
Figure 3.16 Across Slab Differential Pressure for House Summit Oaks [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]


DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE (Pa)
HOUSE #8 (LOT 4 ROBIN LANE)
DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE DATA
15-
HVAC OFF
DOORS OPEN
HVAC FAN ON
INTERIOR DOOR OPEN
HVAC FAN ON
INTERIOR DOORS CLOSED
0.00 0.72 1.44 2.16 2.88 3.60
4.32 5.04 5.76
TIME (MIN.)
(Thousands)
6.48 7.20 7.92 8.64 9.36 10.08
o
Figure 3.17 Across Slab Differential Pressure for House "Robin Lane"
[Hintenlang et al. 1994a]


CHAPTER 4
ANALYSIS OF HOUSE RADON AND CRACK STUDY
Introduction
This chapter analyzes the correlation between various
factors that might have an effect on the entry of radon. The
data are mostly extracted from reports and laboratory
experiments of the research projects in the New House
Evaluation Program of 1992-1993. The effectiveness of the
mitigation methods employed in UF projects is discussed.
House Characteristics and Soil Radon
House physical characteristics which include foundation
type, total crack length, and soil permeability (project
1992) are presented in Table 4.1. The grab counts1 of the
soil radon readings for each house are also listed in Table
4.2 [Najafi et al. 1993]. Soil radon grab counts were taken
four hours after a site screening. The soil permeabilities
are mostly in the range of 1.0 x 10-11 to 1.0 x 10~12 (m2)
which is at the low permeability range (Refer to Chapter 2,
this permeability is in the range of clay soil) Data for
the project of 1993 are illustrated in Tables 4.3 and 4.4.
1 "Grab count" means soil radon taken four hours after sampling.
71


72
Table 4.1 House Characteristics (Project of 1992)
Hous
#
Foundation
type
Total
crack
length
(ft)
Soil permeability
(m2)
Soil
radon
(Grab)
pCi/L
1
Monolithic
13.5
3.92E-12-1.69E-10
690
2
Stemwall
1
1.47E-11-1.13E-11
5300
3
Stemwall
0
8.18E-13-3.45E-11
32000
4
Stemwall
15
4.03E-13-1.93E-13
2700
5
Monolithic
4
2.79E-11-1.18E-11
10000
6
Monolithic
0
6.78E-12-1.46E-11
2100
7
Monolithic
2
9.18E-12-1.10E-11
11000
8
Step slabs
12
8.95E-12-1.5IE-11
2700
9
Stemwall
0
4.OE-13-2.17E-11
1900
10
Stemwall
0
5.43E-10-1.13E-09
5000
11
Monolithic
0
9.63E-10-2.24E-10
1900
12
Stemwall
19
2.83E-10-1.25E-10
2800
13
Monolithic
19
3.12E-12-1.79E-11
1400
14
Stemwall
40
2.01E-13 ~2.58E-12
2800


73
Table 4.2 Radon Test Results (Project of 1992)
House #
Subslab
Crack radon
Indoor
radon
(pCi/L)
radon
(pCi/L)
(pCi/L)
1
820
4
1.2
2
7800
N/A
11.58
3
1000
N/A
2.06
4
400
1
1.92
5
3700
N/A
3.51
6
860
N/A
0.56
7
3700
N/A
0.97
8
1600
7
1.71
9
1900
N/A
2.13
10
2200
N/A
2.52
11
760
N/A
1.61
12
2700
47
1.47
13
510
9
0.93
14
2100
5
2.66
Average
2146
12
2.49
N/A: not available


74
Table 4.3 House Characteristics (Project of 1993)
House
Degree of
Foundation
Total crack
#
cracking
type
length (ft)
1
None
Monolithic
0
2
Moderate
Monolithic
2
3
Extensive
Monolithic
42
4
None
Monolithic
0
5
None
Monolithic
0
6
Small
Stemwall
9
7
Extensive
Monolithic
182
8
Small
Stemwall
26
9
Small
Monolithic
10
10
None
Monolithic
0
11
None
Monolithic
0 ,,
1 12
None
Monolithic
0


75
Table 4.4 Radon Test Results (Project of 1993)
House #
Soil
Crack
Subslab
Indoor
radon
radon (Cch)
radon (Cs)
radon
(pCi/L)
(pCi/L)
(pCi/L)
(pCi/L)
1
1683
N/A
N/A
2.07
2
2935
180
639
2.99
3
1189
257
431
2.24
4
911
N/A
N/A
2.7
5
2896
N/A
N/A
2.52
6
1112
48
2934
4.16
7
921
23
931
N/A
8
6607
7
306
2.72
9
1298
12
1727
N/A
10
1055
N/A
N/A
2.86
11
10661
N/A
N/A
2.6
12
6982
N/A
N/A
N/A
Average
3188
40
2233
2.07
II
N/A: not available
Soil Data Analysis
Soil radon gas is the main source of indoor radon
elevation. However, indoor radon levels are affected by a
complex of soil radon concentrations, soil permeability,
structural type, and construction quality. Regardless of
the combined effects of these parameters, indoor radon


76
levels are compared to soil gas radon and subslab radon
levels (combined data from 1992 and 1993 projects). A simple
linear regression analysis was performed using the following
model [Ott 1988, p.301-311]:
Y = Po + Pi log (x) + 8
where Y = indoor radon
x = soil Radon or Subslab radon
P0 = Y intercept
Pi = slope of the regression line
s = random error.
Figure 4.1 illustrates the poor correlation between
indoor radon and soil radon. Figure 4.2 shows that indoor
radon and subslab radon are poorly correlated.
d
-H
u
a
g
o
TS
(C
Pi
u
o
o
T)
a
Figure 4.1 Distribution of Indoor Radon versus Subslab Radon


77
12
3
10
*H
u
a
8
c
o
TS
6
(0
Pi
4
0
0
r)
a
2
H
O
O 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000
Subslab Radon (pCi/L)
Figure 4.2 Indoor Radon versus Subslab Radon
Crack Study
This analysis is based on the project of the New House
Evaluation Program in 1993 [Hintenlang et al. 1994a] The
crack study consisted of examining 12 new houses built in
the north central Florida area which are located in Alachua
and Marion counties. The purpose of the crack study is to
evaluate the contribution of cracks to the entry of radon
gas. Cracks are one of the most important physical
characteristics to consider in a foundation slab in reducing
indoor radon levels. If a large number of openings due to
cracks are present in a foundation slab, the soil gas radon
entering the building might elevate to an unacceptable


78
level. Therefore, it is necessary to identify and evaluate
the potential impact of cracks on radon entry.
Crack Research Process
The selected houses were checked for cracks one month
after the concrete slab was poured. The first step of the
crack study consisted of a visual inspection and crack
length measurement. After using a broom to brush away dirt
and construction materials, an optical comparator was used
to classify cracks according to their measured width. If
the crack length and width indicated more than surface
cracking, crack testing was performed. Cracks were
classified into four types: hairline, fine, medium, and
wide. The classification is shown in Table 4.5.
Table 4.5 Crack Classification
1
C rack Type
Width (w) (inch)
Hairline
w < 1/64
Fine
1/64 < w < 1/32
Medium
1/32 < w < 1/16
Wide
1/16 < w
All crack types were tested except the hairline crack.
The crack test consisted of two main parts: first, the
pressure differentials were measured as a function of the
flow rate through each crack using the permeameter; second,


79
radon concentration of the subslab soil gas extracted
through the crack was measured using the Pylon and
scintillation cells. A sniff measurement was taken on site
(to serve as a reference) and a grab count was measured from
this sample four hours later. The testing tube selected
should be located directly underneath the crack or as close
to the crack as possible. Subslab radon concentrations were
similarly measured after being extracted from sampling tubes
previously laid beneath the concrete slab.
The house dimensions, crack types, crack lengths, crack
locations, saw cuts and construction joints were documented
for each of the 12 houses. Figure 4.3 illustrates the crack
map of the house located at Summit Oaks. Refer this house
as Summit Oaks.
Data Analysis
Because NHEP-1992 and NHEP-1993 have different
mitigation methods and conditions, and the measurement
precision is different, only NHEP-1993 data were used in the
following analysis. The house data are shown in Table 4.6
and were analyzed statistically. The analyzed results are
listed in Table 4.7. Statistical analysis was performed
using SAS software. The first step consisted of testing the
normality of the data sets. The statistical analysis
indicated that the normalities of the data sets are high
(Refer to Appendix A) It is consequently assumed the data
sets are normal. The second step consisted of testing the


80
Figure 4.3 Crack Map of House Summit Oaks


81
correlation between factors that might affect the entry of
indoor radon. The correlation model is [Ott 1988, p.319-
320] :
Y = (30 + Pi x + £
where
Y = dependent variable
x = independent variable
p0, P-l = regression coefficients
s = random error.
Note :
r2 = coefficient of determination
r = correlation coefficient.
For this analysis, the extreme data were taken out in
order to reduce variation between samples, such as the soil
radon of House Number 11 and the crack length of House
Number 7. The test results are shown in Table 4.8.
Correlation Analysis
The correlation analysis, as shown in Table 4.8,
indicates a low correlation between indoor radon levels and
crack parameters. However, there is a strong correlation (r2
= 0.94) between average indoor radon concentrations and
subslab soil radon concentrations.
This analysis only considered the correlation between
two data sets, i.e., the interrelationship with the third
data set was ignored.


82
Table 4.6 House Characteristics
House #
Crack
Length(in)
TECA
FOM
CE (%)
(Cch/Cs)
1
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
2
24
5.4E-5
9.27E-3
28.17
3
132
1.68E-5
3.81E-3
60
4
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
5
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
6
108
6.23E-5
3.64E-6
1.64
7
1668
9.44E-6
2.83E-5
2.4
8
312
2.99E-4
2.03E-3
2.22
9
120
1.84E-5
2.21E-4
0.69
10
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
11
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
12
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Note: TECA: Total Equivalent Crack Area (in2)
FOG: Figure of Merit (pCi/L-in2 )
CE: Crack Efficiency (%)


83
Table 4.7 House Basic Statistics in the Crack Study-
Variable
Observa
tions
Minimum
Maximum
Mean
Standard
deviation
Crack length
(inch)
11
0
312
63
99
Soil radon
(pCi/L)
11
911
6607
2454
1470
Crack radon
(pCi/L)
12
0
227
40
78
Subslab
radon
(pCi/L)
6
306
2394
1237
1185
Table 4.8 Correlations between Factors
Correlation
Indoor
Soil
Subslab
Crack
Crack
radon
radon
radon
radon
length
Indoor radon
1
-0.102
0.94
-0.02
0.14
Soil radon
-0.102
1
-0.617
-0.173
0.587
Subslab
0.94
-0.617
1
-0.352
-0.307
radon
Crack radon
-0.02
-0.173
-0.352
1
0.163
Crack Length
0.14
0.587
-0.307
0.163
1


84
Calculation of Crack Parameters
Crack parameters are defined as follows:
A = Q/ (K x Ap) n)
where K = 0.29, Ap = 4 pascal, Q = flow rate (m3/s) at
4 pascal, n = slope of log of flow rate vs. log of pressure
differentials (which can be found in the plot, refer to
Figure 4.4)
Total Equivalent Crack Area
= (A x Total Crack Length)/18.5 inch
Figure of Merit = Crack Radon x Total Equivalent Area
Crack Efficiency = Crack Radon /Subslab Radon x 100%
Comparison of Crack Characteristics with Indoor Radon
By comparing the average indoor radon and subslab radon
concentrations it was determined, as expected, that when
subslab radon increases, indoor radon increases as well. The
R2 was 0.88 as shown in Figure 4.5. It should be noted that
only four data sets were available for this analysis. In
Figure 4.6, the ratio of indoor radon and subslab radon is
compared to the total equivalent crack area (T.E.C.A). The
increase of T.E.C.A corresponds to an increase in the ratio
of indoor radon/subslab radon concentrations, which
indicates that crack openings do affect radon entry.
Potential Crack Radon Entry Analysis
By calculating the flow of soil gas entering the test


Full Text
LD
1780
1995
L9j>
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08556 8185



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RADON INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR NEW HOUSE CONSTRUCTION
By
WIN-GINE LI
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1995

To my parents and in memory of my younger brother

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was sponsored by the Florida Department of
Community Affairs, whose funding is sincerely appreciated. I
wish to thank the colleagues who worked on the project with
me. Special thanks are due to Dr. David Hintenlang, Mr.
Kaiss Al-Ahmady and Mrs. Huong Iselin from the Department of
Nuclear Engineering and Sciences for their support and
encouragement.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Fazil
T. Najafi, the committee chairman, for his compassionate
guidance and patience in making this study possible. I
sincerely thank Dr. Paul Thompson, Dr. Mang Tia, Dr. John
Staudhammer and Dr. Elroy Bolduc for serving as my committee
members. I thank them for taking their precious time in
helping me complete this work.
My family has supported me so much for more than six
years from thousands of miles away. Their love and
encouragement have motivated me to complete this work. I
deeply appreciate their sacrifices and support both
financially and spiritually.
My host parents, Rachel and Scott Gray, have given me
much love during my stay in the United States. I would like
to thank the Lord for His everlasting love to make this work
possible. Also, Dr. Fadi Nassar, Mr. Xiaoyu Fu, Mr. Quan-
111

Yang Yao, Dr. Wei-Tong Chen, Mr. Bill Epstein, Ms. Candance
Leggett, Ms. Irene Scarso, and all my
consideration and support have made me feel
from home.
friends whose
comfortable far
IV

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii
LIST OF TABLES ix
LIST OF FIGURES xi
ABSTRACT vxi
CHAPTER
1 INTRODUCTION 1
Research Overview 1
Statement of Problem 1
Radon Information Is Not Well Organized and
Accessible 3
Objective of Work 3
Scope of Work 4
Description of Chapters 5
RADON RISK IN HEALTH AND ITS CAUSES 7
Introduction 7
What Is Radon? 7
Potential Radon Exposure Risks 7
Chronological Studies and Statements of Radon Risks.... 10
Radon and Liability 15
Radon Decay Chain 16
Radon Damage Mechanism 18
Radon Measurement Units 20
Radon Concentration 20
Radon Progeny 21
Radioactive Decay 22
Decay Relationship between Parent and Daughter.... 23
Summary 25
3 RADON TRANSPORT IN STRUCTURES 26
Introduction 26
Review of Literature 26
Research Subjects 28
Sources that Contribute to Indoor Radon 29
v

Radon Transport in Substructures 2 9
Radon in Soil and Its Movement 29
Radon Emanation Coefficients 31
Indoor Radon Prediction Model 32
Soil Permeability 33
Radon Flows Through Different Soil Layers 38
A Proposed Mitigation Method 40
Soil Permeability in Different Depths 40
Radon from Geological Consideration 42
Geological Elevated Radon Summary 43
A Generalized Geological Map for the State of
Florida 45
Phosphate Region and Indoor Radon Levels in
Florida 50
Summary of Radon Transport in Substructures 50
Radon Transport in Superstructures 50
Radon Transport through Concrete Floor Slab 53
House Water 55
Emanation from Building Materials 56
House Ventilation 58
Ventilation Rates and Indoor Radon Concentrations ... 59
Radon Entry Rate 59
Pressure-driven Flow 64
Summary of Radon Transport in Superstructures 68
4 ANALYSIS OF HOUSE RADON AND CRACK STUDY 71
Introduction 71
House Physical Characteristics and Soil Radon 71
Soil Data Analysis 75
Crack Study 77
Crack Research Process 78
Data Analysis 79
Correlation Analysis 81
Calculation of Crack Parameters 84
Comparison of Crack Characteristics with Indoor
Radon 84
Potential Crack Radon Entry Analysis 84
Crack Resistance Analysis 88
Crack Study Summary 90
Infiltration and Indoor Radon Test Results 91
Two Radon Research Experiments 95
Effectiveness of Tube Length on the Measurement of
Radon Concentration 97
Equipment Used 97
Testing Procedures 97
vi

Site Selection and Testing 98
Test Results 98
Discussion of the Experiment 101
Indoor Radon Concentration Variation Due to
Pressurization 102
Objective of the Experiment 102
Experimental Procedure 102
Experimental Results 103
Discussion of the Experiment 103
Summary 105
5 CONSTRUCTION METHODS 106
Introduction 106
State-Of-The-Art Construction Mitigation Methods 106
Enkavent Mat Method 107
Installation Procedures 108
Suction Pit Method 108
Perforated Pipe Method Ill
Mechanical Barrier Ill
Change of Foundation Soil 115
Fill Materials or Layered Natural Soils 116
Construction Materials 117
Costs Comparisons 118
Planned Mechanical Systems 118
A New Radon Mitigation Method 121
Summary 123
6 ESTABLISHMENT OF KNOWLEDGE BASE 124
Introduction 124
Effective Information Retrieving 125
Expert System Applications 125
Advantages of Managing Radon Information by Expert
Systems 125
Performance Improvement and Knowledge Transferring
through Expert Systems 12 6
The Structure of Knowledge-Based Expert Systems .... 127
Objective of the Knowledge Base Development 129
Knowledge Acquisition 13 0
Selection of Knowledge Domain 130
Control Mechanism of This System 132
Database Development 132
Identify Target Users 133
Establish Problem Boundaries 133
Obtain Expert Support 135
Organize the Facts from the Knowledge Databases 135
Vll

Design Rules 137
System Development 13 9
Homeowner Database 139
Contractor Database 143
Researcher Database 145
Sample Applications of the Expert System 149
System Testing and Validation 156
Summary 157
7 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 159
Summary and Conclusion 159
Effectiveness of the Radon Mitigation Methods 159
Cost-Effectiveness of the Mitigation Systems 160
Advantages of Radon Information System 160
Recommendations 161
Author's Contribution to the Advancement of Radon
Knowledge 161
APPENDICES
A STATISTICS PROGRAMS 163
Testing Equality of Four ACH Experiments 163
Indoor Radon and Its Correlation Tests 166
Sample Program Output: Normality 167
Sample Program Output: Correlation 169
B HYPERTALK PROGRAMS 170
HyperTalk Scripts 170
C EXAMPLE OF KNOWLEDGE BASE 192
Crack Sealant Knowledge Base 192
Crack Treatment Knowledge Base 195
Indoor Radon Prediction Knowledge Base 203
LIST OF REFERENCES 207
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 215
viii

LIST OF TABLES
Table P^ge
2.1 Organ Dose Ratios and Absolute Risk 9
2.2 Major Radon Studies and Statements 12
2.3 Radon Isotopes and Their Half-lives 19
2.4 Properties of Radon Progeny 19
2.5 Definition of Working Level 21
3.1 Soil Permeability 37
3.2 Utilization and Costs of Water Radon Mitigation
Methods 57
3.3 Radon Emanation Rates 58
3.4 House Radon Entry Data 65
4.1 House Characteristics (Project of 1992) 72
4.2 Radon Test Results (Project of 1992) 73
4.3 House Characteristics (Project of 1993) 74
4.4 Radon Test Results(Project of 1993) 75
4.5 Crack Classification 78
4.6 House Characteristics 82
4.7 House Basic Statistics in the Crack Study 83
4.8 Correlations between Factors 83
4.9 Crack Resistance in Three Projects 90
4.10 Infiltration Rate and Indoor Radon Concentration.. ..93
IX

4.11Multiple Comparison of Means
94
4.12 Tube Lengths and Their Calculated Radon Readings
(0-25 ft) 99
4.13 Tube Lengths and Their Calculated Radon Readings
(25-50 ft) 100
5.1 Soil Changing Analysis 116
5.2 Costs of the Enkavent Mat System 119
5.3 Costs of the Suction Pit System 120
6.1 Radon Index Matrix 146
6.2 Probable Indoor Radon Level 147
6.3 Decision Table of the Indoor Radon Prediction 158
x

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Baga
2.1 Radon Gas Damage Mechanism 8
2.2 Decay Flow Chart of Uranium 17
3.1 Major Research Subjects 28
3.2 Soil Gas Radon Entry Mechanism and Affecting
Parameters 3 0
3.3 Effect of Moisture Content on the Relative Radon
Emanation Coefficient [Nazaroff 1992] 32
3.4 Indoor Radon Prediction by Using Soil Radon 34
3.5 Soil Gas Radon Mitigation by Perforated Pipe
Systems 41
3.6 Permeability Distribution of Different Pressure 42
3.7 Average Indoor Radon Levels vs. Soil Radon
Concentrations 44
3.8 Average Indoor Radon Concentration vs. Soil Radon
Concentration 44
3.9 Generalized Geology Map of Florida [Otton 1993] 46
3.10 Generalized Surface Materials Map for the State of
Florida [Otton 1993] 49
3.11 Phosphate Distribution in Florida [Roessler et al.
1983] 51
3.12 Indoor Radon Levels of Florida [DCA 1994] 52
3.13 Indoor Radon vs. House Ventilation Rate 60
3.14 Radon Entry Rate for House "Robin Lane" 62
3.15 Radon Entry Rate for House "Summit Oaks" 63
xi

3.16 Across Slab Differential Pressure for House
"Summit Oaks" 69
3.17 Across Slab Differential Pressure for House "Robin
Lane" 70
4.1 Distribution of Indoor Radon versus Subslab Radon. ...76
4.2 Indoor Radon versus Subslab Radon 77
4.3 Crack Map of House "Summit Oaks" 80
4.4 Calculation of Total Crack Equivalent Area 85
4.5 Average Subslab Radon and Indoor Radon
Concentration 86
4.6 Indoor Radon/Subslab Radon vs. Total Equivalent
Crack Area 86
4.7 Crack Resistances of the Houses Tested 89
4.8 Indoor Radon Levels vs. Infiltration Rates 96
4.9 Correlation between Indoor Radon and Infiltration
Rates 96
4.10 Tube Lengths and Their Radon Readings 101
4.11 Radon Concentrations with Respect to Pressure
Changes 104
5.1 Enkavent Mat Placement 109
5.2 Typical Enkavent Mat Layouts 110
5.3 Suction Pit Placement 112
5.4 Mechanical Barrier 114
5.5 Solid Concrete Block Barrier and Vapor Barrier
Installation Layout 117
5.6 A Schematic Illustrating the Application of an
Electrially Induced Soil-Gas Barrier 122
6.1 The Basic Structure of a Knowledge-based Expert
System 128
XI1

131
6.2 Knowledge Base Expert System Establishment
Procedures
6.3 Schematic Diagram of the Interface System 133
6.4 Hierarchical Structure of HyperCard 13 8
6.5 Entity Relationship Diagram of HyperCard Elements. ...138
6.6 Data Transferring Between Stacks 139
6.7 Illustration of System Menu 141
6.8 Key Elements of Homeowner Database 141
6.9 Hierarchical Flow Chart of Homeowner Database 142
6.10 Key Elements of Contractor Database 144
6.11 Program Output of Radon Index 14 7
6.12 Functions of Mitigation Methods Database 148
6.13 Key Elements of Researcher Database 148
6.14 Linkage of HyperCard and MacSmarts Expert System. ...150
6.15 Expert System Output (crack.fig.lb) for Crack
Treatments 152
xiii

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
RADON INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR NEW HOUSE CONSTRUCTION
By
Win-Gine Li
May, 1995
Chairman: Dr. F. T. Najafi
Major Department: Civil Engineering
Exposure to a high level of radon gas has been found to
be a health threat. Researchers have concentrated on
investigating the factors that affect radon entry and to
designing mitigation methods in preventing radon intrusion.
This research focused on radon gas prevention in new
residential houses. Subjects related to house structures
were thoroughly examined from substructures to
superstructures. The major factors in the substructures
investigated are soil type, soil moisture content, soil
permeability, soil radium content, and geology, while in
superstructures the factors investigated are concrete slab
characteristics, floor cracks, types of building material,
xiv

house water, house ventilation, and pressure differentials.
Based on the results of the University of Florida research
projects, the data were analyzed. Correlations between
various factors that might have an effect on radon entry
were analyzed statistically. The parameters include soil
radon, subslab radon, floor cracks and foundation type. In
addition, the precision of radon measurements was discussed.
The results have shown that the radon mitigation systems
have successfully brought down indoor radon levels below the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's standard.
Recent construction mitigation methods were reviewed.
The methods are mostly based on the projects of the
University of Florida and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. The installation procedures, materials used and
costs of suction pit and Enkavent mat methods were all
detailed in the content. A computer-aided design, Radon
Information System, has been developed for use in
construction for preventing radon intrusion. Procedures and
materials used for constructing a radon resistant house were
incorporated in the system. Radon Information System was
developed for diagnosing radon problems and providing
information available upon request. The system provides
object-oriented databases in conjunction with an expert
system to deal with radon problems. Final conclusion about
the effectiveness of the radon mitigation methods and
suggestions for future research subjects were described.
xv

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Research Overview
This chapter provides an overview of the entire
research, describes the principal problem, and reveals the
reasons this research is needed. A historical review of
previous research and a brief introduction of each chapter
are also presented.
Statement of Problem
Radon is a radioactive gas which occurs in nature and
can not be seen, smelled or tasted. Radon can be found in
soils, and it can migrate through foundation slabs and enter
houses. In an enclosed space, radon can accumulate. The risk
of developing lung cancer from exposure to radon depends
upon the concentration of radon and the length of time
people are exposed. In general, the risk increases as the
level of radon and the length of exposure increase. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that radon
gas is responsible for 5,000 to 20,000 deaths annually in
the United States. Although this is a large number, it
represents less than 10% of total lung cancer deaths and
1

2
only 2% of all cancer deaths [Bodansky et al. 1987] . Based
on the available information, the U.S. EPA suggests that
homes with levels above 4 pCi/L (picocuries/liter) are
harmful to human beings [EPA 1986].
The soil is the primary source of indoor radon in
single-family houses in the United States [Nero and Nazaroff
1984] . Pressure-driven flow is a principal means by which
soil gas enters houses; it is expected to be the predominant
source of radon in houses with elevated concentration
[Garbesi and Sextro 1989].
Since radon can migrate from soil through the slab, we
should consider methods to prevent radon entry into houses
while planning to build a new house. Some techniques have
actually been applied during the construction of new houses.
The applicability, cost feasibility, radon-prevention
effectiveness, and durability of the techniques cannot be
fairly assessed. The EPA-sponsored radon prevention projects
in new house construction should provide a better evaluation
of radon prevention alternatives.
The University of Florida (UF) has received research
funds from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to
evaluate the effectiveness of potential building design and
construction criteria. The results will be used to reduce
radon entry into new houses and to develop recommendations
based on the evaluation for future improvement. Fourteen
houses were constructed according to Draft Standard for
Radon Resistant Building Construction in 1992 and twelve

3
houses in 1993. The data sets were analyzed statistically by
the SAS program. However, the research results from the
prior studies were not organized in a way that people could
access them easily.
Radon Information Is Not Well Organized or Accessible
There have been many research projects on radon
problems. Research results have been published in journals
and conference proceedings. However, the radon knowledge
has not stored or organized properly. If these research
findings and the ongoing projects' findings were saved on a
computer, people could share them more easily. In addition,
these facts could be transformed into a knowledge base which
could be utilized to aid in decision making. Therefore,
radon information should be saved on effective computer
programs that will benefit users financially and timely.
Objective of Work
Based on the investigation of previous research
findings and the UF project results, the Radon Information
System (RIS) was developed. It is designed to assist radon
information retrieval, consulting and problem diagnosis.
Also, RIS emphasizes on radon resistant construction methods
for preventing radon intrusion.
Object-oriented databases in conjunction with an expert
system were established in RIS. The databases were based on

4
intensive experiments from previous research and the
Environmental Protection Agency's methods and standards. New
house construction regulations, procedures, scheduling, cost
estimation, and materials used were included in the system.
Graphical construction procedures of mitigation systems and
a potential radon index were also incorporated into the
system. The user-friendly RIS is capable of assisting
builders, contractors, homeowners, and researchers in
obtaining suggested information for decision making.
Scope of Work
A literature review was conducted on methods of
constructing of radon resistant houses. The information was
then transferred into computer knowledge bases. The review
focused on the construction methods used for preventing
radon intrusion. Previous work reviewed consisted of radon
sources and radon movement in soil, house ventilation rates
and pressure differentials from indoor to sublsab. Recent
work reviewed consisted of evaluation of the efficiency of
improved slab construction, construction costs, crack study,
house ventilation rates, pressure differentials from indoor
to sublsab, and subslab depressurization systems. The
results of the various investigations were compared to
similar research in the past to investigate the cause and
effect relationship between building characteristics and
radon entry. The collected data from the literature were
analyzed statistically. The results of this investigation

5
and findings from previous research were incorporated into
computer knowledge bases. In addition to literature review,
the following experimental work were conducted: floor crack
study, pressure differentials tests, and tube length effect
on radon reading tests.
Outline of Chapters
Chapter 1 through Chapter 3 are the background
information of radon from previous research findings. These
findings are precious because they give guidelines and
comparisons for the recent research. Chapter 4 is the
analysis of UF research results. Chapter 5 describes the
most recent mitigation methods. Based on Chapter 1 through
Chapter 5, the important findings and necessary information
are transformed into computer programs and are described in
Chapter 6. A brief description of each chapter is as
follows:
Chapter 1 is the overview of the whole research.
Chapter 2 discusses the radon risks in health and its causes
and sources. The definition of radon measurement units,
radon prevention events, radon decay chain and radon entry
mechanism that affect radon entry are discussed.
Radon entry related subjects in substructures (from
slab to soil) and superstructures (from slab and above) are
all detailed in Chapter 3. Important subjects in
substructure include soil radium content, soil permeability,
and soil moisture content. Slab cracks, building materials,

6
housing water and indoor radon are the key subjects in
superstructures.
Chapter 4 discusses the data obtained from New House
Evaluation Program (NHEP) research projects. The data were
analyzed statistically. In addition, two experiments,
effectiveness of tube length on radon readings and pressure
changes on radon concentrations, are discussed.
The up-to-date construction methods in preventing radon
intrusion are introduced in Chapter 5. Subslab
depressurization methods are all detailed in steps.
Chapter 6 discusses the applications of computer aided
design for radon knowledge consultation. A radon information
system is developed for assistance in radon problems.
Chapter 7 contains the conclusions and recommendations
for future research.

CHAPTER 2
RADON RISK IN HEALTH AND ITS CAUSES
Introduction
People exposed to high radon concentration will most
likely get lung cancer. The potential risk of exposure is
discussed in this chapter. The position of the governmental
agencies toward radon assessment is outlined. The cause of
radon damage is also introduced.
What Is Radon?
Radon (Rn-222) is the decay product of uranium. It is a
radioactive, odorless, colorless, and naturally-occurring
gas. It can contribute to significant damage to respiratory
tissue when there is prolonged exposure to elevated
concentrations of the gas. Constant exposure to high
concentration of radon gas may cause lung cancer. Figure 2.1
illustrates the mechanism of radon damage to lung tissues.
Potential Radon Exposure Risks
The significance of the estimated health effects from
radon daughter exposure to the bronchial epithelium is
7

8
Lungs
Figure 2.1 Radon Gas Damage Mechanism
compared to the corresponding health effects to other parts
of the body. The proportional dose to other organs can be
estimated by first considering the ratio of bronchial
epithelium dose to alveolar dose. Table 2.1 shows the
relative dose to each organ in comparison with the dose to
the critical tissue, which consists of the basal cells of
the bronchial epithelium. Dose to this tissue is often
referred to as the tracheo-bronchial or T-B dose, according
to the International Commission on Radiological Protection's
(ICRP) respiratory tract model. The proportional doses to
other organs are given as fractions of the T-B dose, for the
condition where the body is in equilibrium with the radon

9
containing atmosphere. The T-B dose effect or risk of
concern from radon daughter exposure is lung carcinoma.
Since lung cancer has such a high mortality rate, it is
assumed that morbidity for this dose effect is equivalent to
mortality. Morbidity does not equal mortality for the
corresponding dose to other organs. However, the relative
doses to other organs are insignificant when added to the
risk from T-B dose [Johnson 1973, p.31-33].
Table 2.1 Organ Dose Ratios and Absolute Risk
Organ to T-B
Organ
dose ratio1
Bronchial epithelium
1.0000
Alveoli
0.0291
Liver
0.0013
1 Gonads
0.0009
Bone
0.0005
Bone marrow
0.0011
Kidneys
0.0066
Blood
0.0026
Muscle (soft tissue)
0.0007
Modified from [Johnson 1973, Table 8]
1 Ratio of organ dose to T-B dose for conditions where the body is in
equilibrium with the radon containing atmosphere.

10
Viel observed a statistically significant positive
correlation between myeloid leukaemia mortality in adults
(AML) and radon exposure [Eatough and Henshaw 1994] . This
positive correlation with radon exposure is in agreement
with similar observations at country level for AML in
England and Wales for myeloid leukaemia in England. Radon
as a risk factor for tumors, melanoma and kidney cancer is
unclear. Further studies are needed to determine the radon
risks.
Chronological Studies and Statements of Radon Risks
The radon problem did not received serious attention
until the early 1980s. Radon gas is one of the most
dangerous environmental pollutants. Radon risks have been
reviewed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
Registry, the Centers for Disease Control, the EPA, EPA's
independent Science Advisory Board, the International
Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the National
Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Cancer Institute
(NCI), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH) and the Surgeon General (SG) . Each of these
parties have reached consistent conclusions about the health

11
threat of radon exposure [HR 1994, p.12]. A chronology of
major events is listed in Table 2.2.
The United States General Accounting Office (GAO) had
testimony on the radon contamination reduction in houses in
1988. The testimony concluded that federal agencies involved
with housing have responded differently to radon hazards.
The overall federal housing response to the radon problem
has been fragmented and been on small scale. The Congress
should bring greater attention to the radon problem and
order federal agencies to take more responsibilities about
the radon issue [GAO 1988].
A hearing was held in 1990 on federal efforts to
promote radon testing. This hearing provided a closer look
at the radon problem and directed the funding and research
guidelines [HR 1990]. The House Representative bill (HR)
2448 amends Title III, "Indoor Radon Abatement", of the
Toxic Substances Control Act (ASCA) . It requires the EPA
Administrator to establish a mandatory performance and
proficiency program for radon products and services [HR
1993, p.45] . The Administrator will make available to the
public a list of those measurements and mitigation products
which have met minimum performance criteria. In addition, it

12
Table 2.2 Major Radon Studies and Statements
Year
Agent
Statements
1986
EPA
1. Released "Citizen's Guide" on
Radon.
2. Estimated 5,000 to 20,000 deaths
annually. Action Level of 4 pCi/L.
1987
ICRP
ICRP report concluded that radon poses
a greater cancer risk than assumed by
EPA.
NIOSH
Reported "significant health risks".
Occupational standard: 1 WLM/year^.
1988
NAS
1. NAS report (BIER IV) found greater
risks than previously assumed by EPA.
2. Based on miners studies, estimated
potential lung cancer risk.
3. Recognized the difference between
mining and domestic environment:
remains unsolved.
EPA
A new estimate of 8,000 to 43,00
deaths annually. Averaged 21,600
deaths.
SG
Issues "A national health problem"
that estimates thousands of deaths
each year.
2 One Working Level Month (WLM) per year is approximately equivalent to
4 pCi/L.

13
Table 2.2 Continued
Year
Agent
Statements
1991
NAS
Based on a comparison between mines and
homes, estimates 30% reduction in homes
compared to the first report.
EPA
Completed national residential radon survey.
Revised its estimate from 1.29 to 1.25 pCi/L.
1992
EPA
1. EPA & CDC issue a revised "Citizen's
Guide" to radon.
2. Estimates radon causes 7,000 to 30,000
deaths annually, average of 14,000 deaths.
3. EPA's SAB reviews the revised EPA risk
estimate and concluded "a solid, well-
documented and defensible central estimate."
ATSDR
Concludes that "even conservative estimates
suggest radon in one of the most important
causes of death. " Reports that 14% of all
current cases of lung cancer could be
attributable to radon.
1993
ICRP
A draft ICRP report finds the risks of radon
exposure to be essentially the same as
estimated by EPA and CDC in 1992. Action
level at 5 pCi/L.
1994
NCI
Estimates 15,000 deaths from lung cancer
each year; approximately 10% of all lung
cancers.
NAS
Recommends a re-analysis of the health
risks associated with radon based on the
accumulation of new evidence. The re-analysis
includes multi-disciplinary models for radon
carcinogenesis.
Modified from [HR 1994, p.12-14]

14
requires the Administrator to establish user fees on persons
manufacturing or importing devices, or offering services
covered by the performance and proficiency program.
There are four major tasks of HR 2448:
1) examine existing public awareness programs concerning
radon;
2) act as a coordinating body for the donation of resources
to assist in programs and strategies to raise outlets to
increase radon awareness;
3) encourage media outlets to increase radon awareness;
4) evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness and assist in the
update of such programs and strategies.
In the "Radon Awareness and Disclosure Act of 1994,"
the HR 2448 amends Title III of the Toxic Substances Control
Act (15 U.S.C. 2661 et Seq.) to improve the accuracy of
radon testing products and services, to develop a strategy
to identify and reduce exceptionally high indoor radon
levels, to promote and facilitate the testing and mitigation
of vulnerable premises, to promote radon resistant
construction in high radon areas, and to create a commission
to promote increased public awareness of the health threats
of radon exposure [HR 1994, p.ll].

15
Radon and Liability
There have been several law involving radon problems.
In Wayne Vs. TVA 730 F.2d 392 (5th Cir. 1984), cert denied,
496 U.S., 1159 (1985) homeowners brought product liability
and negligence action against a phosphate slag producer
whose slag was used to make concrete bricks for the
construction of their homes. The verdict was in favor of
defendants, holding that homeowners' claims were barred by
the Tennessee Statute of Limitations applicable to product
liability actions; in Robles Vs. Environmental Protection
Agency 484 F.2d 843 (4th Cir. 1973) a homeowner sued the EPA
to get results of a radioactive survey and the names and
addresses of those owning homes exceeding EPA safety
guidelines. The circuit court judge held that information
gathered by EPA and relating to homes where uranium tailings
had been used for fill was not exempt from disclosure; in
Nobel Vs. Marvin E. Kanze, Inc., Civ. No. 02428, at 1
(Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Pa. 1983) the
homeowner sued a contractor after finding radon entering
through a crack in the ventilation system.
In the Nobel case, the homeowner sued for damages
including expenditures of money and time to detect the

16
source of the radon gas, the cost of mitigation for high
radon levels, repair and other expenses after mitigation [HR
1990, p.157].
Most real estate professionals and mortgage bankers do
not require radon tests thereby leaving themselves and their
stockholders open to actions on negligence and liability
theory. Without a well-structured and phased plan to test
structures for radon, homebuilders, realtors, bankers,
construction companies and homesellers will face a
significantly worse position relative to liability and
negligence litigation in the long run. Congress and the
Administration should be aware of the basis for expected
tort action on radon. It is essential to have federal
regulation to save litigation costs.
Radon Decay Chain
Radon is formed directly from the radioactive decay of
Radium (Ra) . The original source is Uranium (U) . After a
series of decays, Rn (222Rn) is formed and becomes the most
serious decay product of Uranium. The decay flow chart of
Uranium is illustrated in Figure 2.2. Radon has three major
isotopes: 222Radon, 219Radon, and 21®Radon which are the

17
Figure 2.2. Decay Flow Chart of Uranium

18
most abundant in nature. The half-lives of the three
isotopes are illustrated in Table 2.3 Modified from [Lao
1990] .
Most radon comes from soil or rocks and enters into
houses through cracks or penetrations. The traveling time
is the critical factor of radon progeny entry. Therefore,
the half-life of 219Rn, and 210Rn are both less than one
minute and they are less likely to enter the house before
they decay. However, 222Rn has chances of seeping into the
house.
Therefore,
radon refers to 222Rn in general.
One
should
be aware
that the progeny of 222Rn
(from 21®Po
to
210 pb)
all have
half-lives less than 30
minutes.
If
inhaled, they are most likely to decay to 21(^Pb before
removal by lung clearance mechanisms. The properties of
radon progeny are shown in Table 2.4 [Lao 1990, Qu 1993] .
Radon Damage Mechanism
The short-lived radon progeny could be harmful if
inhaled because these elements could eject energy from a or P
particles. For example, the energy ejected from a 218pQ atom
disintegrating at the lung tissues deposits 7.7 Mev of
ionizing energy in the tissue. The damage to lung tissues

19
Table 2.3 Radon Isotopes and Their Half-lives
Isotope
Half-life II
222Radon
3.83 days
219Radon
55 seconds
210Radon
4 seconds
Modified from Lao [1990]
Table 2.4 Properties of Radon Progeny-
Nuclide
Radiation ray
Half-life
Potential a II
Energy/atom(Mev)
222Rn
a
3.825 days
4.06
218po
a
3.11 min.
13.7
214pb
P-
26.8 min.
7.7
214Bi
P-
19.9 min.
7.7
214Po
a
164 p,sec.
7.7
Modified from Lao [1990], Qu [1993]

20
caused by the ionizing radiation of a particles is measured
in units of the a energy. Internal irradiation by a
particles is believed to be the cause of radon-induced lung
cancers. Because the penetration power of an a particle is
very poor, it loses virtually all its energy at one point in
the lung tissue. The a particles that are stopped by soft
tissues deposit a large number of ions within a few cell
diameters. This could kill a cell or cause mutation [Lao
1990, p.13] .
Radon Measurement Units
The measurement units of radon concentration (222Rn)
and radon progeny are pCi/L and Working Level, respectively.
Radon Concentration
Radon concentration is measured in pCi/L or Bq/m2.
Curies (Ci) was named after Marie Curie (1867-1934) and
Pierre Curie (1859-1906). The conversion factors are listed
below
1 Bq = 1 disintegration/second
1 Curie (Ci) = 3.7 x lO1^ Bq
1 pCi = 0.037 Bq

21
1 pCi/L = 37 Bq/m3
Radon Progeny
Working Level (WL) is the unit for measuring the
concentration of radon decay products. It is equivalent to
1.3 x 105 Mev of potential a energy from the short-lived
progeny per liter of air. In addition, one WL is in balance
with exactly 100 pCi/L of 222Rn. The definition of WL is
illustrated in Table 2.5 [Lao 1990, p.14]. According to
Table 2.5, the total potential a energy per 100 pCi/L is
5
approximately 1.3 x 10 Mev.
Table 2.5 Definition of Working Level
Element
No. of atoms
per 100 pCi/L
of 222Rn
Potential a
energy per
atom (Mev)
Potential a
energy per 100
pCi/L of radon
(Mev x 105)
218p0
977
13.7
0.134
214Pb
8,585
7.7
0.661
214Bi
6,311
7.7
0.486
214Po
0
7.7
0
Total
1.281

22
Radioactive Decay
The time rate of change of a radioactive material is
defined as N (number/m3). The probability per unit time that
a nucleus will decay is defined as X which is independent
from any known physical or chemical process. The first order
differential equation is derived as [Lao 1990],
-dN/dt = XN dt
In(N) = - Xt + C (2-1)
Boundary conditions: at t=0, N=N0, Plug in (2-1)
C = In(N0)
N (t) = N0 e-^ (2-2)
When t = T/2, N = 1/2 NQ
where T/2 is the time period of a radioactive material to
decay to half its mass through the radioactive decay
process.
Plug in (2-2)
T/2 = In2/X (2-3)
The half-life of a decay product can be calculated from
equation (2-3). For example, the decay constant for 222Rn is
0.00755 (h_1), the half-life of 222Rn is

23
T/2 = ln2/(0.00755)
= 91.81 hours
= 3.83 days
Decay Relationship between Parent and Daughter
The relationship of 222Rn with its decay product P0 is
formulated as [Al-Ahmady 1994]
dNpo/dt = Xpn Npn - A.po Npo (2-4)
= N0^ e_^'Rnt " ^Po NPo
where _ N0Rne_^'Rat/ at t = 0.
Rearrange equation (2-4) as follows,
dNpo/dt + kp0 Npo = XRn NVe’V. (2"5)
Solving for the homogeneous solution for equation (2-5),
dNpo/dt + lpo Npo = o
NPo = c e"?Lpot
Assume that the particular solution for equation (2-5) is
Np0 = K e^Rn1 , plug in equation (2-5),
K ^ ”^Rn^ e"?tRnt + ^p0 (r e^Rn^ = ^-Rn N°Rn e‘^Rnt
K ^Po-^W = ^Rn N°Rn
K = ^Rn N°Rn/(^Po-^Rn)

24
Therefore, Npo _ c e + [^Rn N Rn/(^Po_^Rn)]e ^Rn~ . (2-6)
Boundary conditions: when t=0, Npo=0. Solving equation (2-
6) ,
C = - A.Rn N0Rn/(X.po_^Rn) _
Substitute C back into equation (2-6), then
Np0 = C^Rn N°Rn/(kpo-^Rn)] (e'Sfr^ -e"'>lpot) (2-7)
APo = ^Po NPo, where APo is the Activity rate (numbers/sec.
m ). When t = tm, APo reaches maximum. Where tm is the time
of maximum activity. To find tm, let dAPo/dt = 0.
[^Rn N°Rn/(^Po-^Rn)] t'^Rn e'^Rntra + ‘^p0 e”^p0tm)] = 0
tm = In (^-po/^Rn) )/(^Po-^Rn)) (2-8)
By re-arranging this equation,
%>o NPo/ (^Rn N°Rn) = [^Po/(^Po-^Rn) ] [1- e~ (^p0-^Wt) (2-9)
When t —> °o, A-p0 Npo/N0^) = ^pQ/(^p0-^Rn) (2-10)
Transit equilibrium activity concentration is balanced
when the ratio of daughter to parent activity is constant.
Special case, if
^1/2 « ^Tl/2 , d = daughter, p = parent, then
^d > > ^-p.

25
Therefore, equation (2-10) becomes
^Po NPo/ (^Rn N°Rn) = 1 . (2-11)
This is the secular equilibrium special case of transient equilibrium
when the daughter and parent activities are equal.
For example, Tl/2 (Ra) = 1600 years, Tl/2 (Rn) =3.83 days,
^Po =1.18 E-6 /day, ^Rn = 0.181 /day
^Po NPo/(^Rn N°Rn) = 0.181 /(0.181-1.18 * E-6) = 1.000007
and tm = In (0.181 / 1.18 E-6)/(0.181 - 1.18 E-6) s 66 days.
Summary
This chapter discussed radon risks, radon related legal
issues, and radon sources. Radon decay chain and its damage
mechanism were also presented.

CHAPTER 3
RADON TRANSPORT IN STRUCTURES
Introduction
This chapter focuses on substructure and superstructure
parameters to the radon entry. The important issues in
substructures are soil and soil radium content. Soil has
been found to be the key factor that affect radon intrusion.
Radium content in soil and its transport is introduced. The
major factors affecting indoor radon levels in
superstructures are concrete slab type, building materials,
house water and pressure-driven flow.
Review of Literature
Since the mid-1970's, the electric power industry has
been working on ways to give customers better choices for
controlling the quality of their indoor environment. This
work focused in part on evaluating the effects of building
design and systems operations on indoor radon levels [Harper
et al. 1988] .
House radon concentrations depend on a variety of
factors (e.g., radon availability in the soil, interaction
of building and soil, weather forces affecting radon entry).
Research studies, sponsored by the Electric Power Research
26

27
Institute (EPRI) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA),
and principally conducted by GEOMET Technologies, Inc., and
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have examined the effects of
siting, building design and space condition operations on
indoor radon levels. These studies also examined the
effectiveness of different radon and progeny control
approaches. Soil is the principal source of indoor radon in
single-family houses in the United States [Nero and Nazaroff
1984] . Pressure-driven flow is a principal means by which
soil gas enters houses; it is expected to be the predominant
source of radon in houses with elevated concentration. There
are three principal causes of basement depressurization
[Garbesi and Sextro 1989] : thermal differences between
indoors and outdoors, wind loading on the building
superstructure, and imbalanced building ventilation.
Soil-gas entry due to basement depressurization has
been experimentally demonstrated by Nazaroff et al. (1987).
Entry pathways have been assumed to be penetrations, gaps,
or cracks in the building substructure. A demonstration of
a previously neglected pathway for soil-gas entry into
houses is pressure-driven flow through permeable, and below-
grade building materials. Such a flow, distributed over the
wall area, could occur via porous building materials or via
a network of small cracks. If this pathway is ignored in the
modeling of soil-gas entry into buildings, predictions of
the soil-gas entry rate could be substantially too low
[Garbesi and Sextro 1989].

28
Research Subjects
This research focused on the relationship of the
construction to the radon intrusion. The analysis was based
on the research projects of New House Evaluation Program of
Florida. The research analyzed all aspects of building
behavior from substructure to superstructure. The subjects
investigated are illustrated in Figure 3.1. Major subjects
researched include:
1) Soil
2) Concrete slab
3) Penetrations (plumbing, joints)
4) Building materials
5) Pressure differentials (HVAC systems, ventilation,
wind, temperature)
Figure 3.1 Major Research Subjects

29
Sources that Contribute to Indoor Radon
The sources that contribute to indoor radon
concentration are:
1) Soil
2) Building Materials
3) House water
4) Ambient air
Radon Transport in Substructures
Radon in soil will be discussed in detail and the
related movement parameters will also be discussed. Soil
radium content, radon emanation coefficients, and soil
permeability will be introduced.
Radon in Soil and Its Movement
For most houses with high indoor radon concentrations,
soil is the principal source of radon [Nero and Nazaroff
1984; Nazaroff et al. 1988; Revzan and Fisk 1992] . Soil
radon gas is estimated to contribute 85% - 90% of indoor
radon among the sources [Clarkin and Brennan 1991]. Since a
large percentage of radon source comes from soil, the main
focus of the radon source is on the soil of the building
site. Figure 3.2 illustrates the radon sources and the
factors that affect their entry. Considering the sources
that affect the concentrations of soil radon, the
radioactive decay of radium is the primary contributor.

30
Process
Flow mechanism
Radon
migration
in soil
Affecting factors
- 1. Temperature different
2. Windspeed
3. Barometric pressure changes
4. Precipitation
5. Changes in water table
6. Snow or ice cover
_ 7. Building appliance ( HVAC,fireplace)
a. Permeability
1. Soil grain-size distribution
2. Moisture
_3. Porosity
b. Diffusion length f ^ • Moisture
L 2. Porosity
Radon gas
in
soil pores
Emanating factor
1. Moisture
2. Soil gas distribution
3. Temperature
_ 4. Intragranular location of Ra atom
Radon source
(U)
— Ra decay
Figure 3.2 Soil Gas Radon Entry Mechanism and Affecting
Parameters

31
Elevated soil radium concentrations may cause higher
rates of radon generation in the soil air; therefore, the
soil radium concentration should be considered in the
foundation soil.
Radon Emanation Coefficients
The fraction of radon generated from soil grains that
enters the pore volume of the soil is the emanation
coefficient. Emanation coefficients for soil range from 0.05
to 0.7 [Rogers et al. 1989; Nazaroff 1992] . The emanation
coefficients for 48 Florida soil samples averaged 0.33
[Rogers and Nielson 1991a, p.3-3]. Moisture content has
been demonstrated to have a large effect on the emanation
coefficient of radon from uranium ore tailings, concrete,
and soil [Nazaroff 1992, p.143] . The emanation coefficient
is much lower if the source material is dry rather than
moist. Moisture content dependence to emanation coefficient
is presented in Figure 3.3 [Nazaroff 1992, Fig.5]. The
figure suggests that high moisture content soil has higher
emanation coefficient than low moisture content soil. The
reason for this could be a lower recoil range for radon in
water than in air. Temperature changes have been found to be
a factor in determining the radon emanation coefficient.
When soil temperature was increased from 5°C to 50^c, the
emanation coefficient increased by 55% [Nazaroff 1992] .

32
Moisture content (vol. %)
0 5 10 15
Moisture content (wt %)
Figure 3.3 Effect of Moisture Content on the Relative
Radon Emanation Coefficient [Nazaroff 1992]
However, the soil temperature does not change much. This
effect could be neglected.
Indoor Radon Prediction Model
Pressure driven from the house due to appliances,
thermal gradients, heating and air conditioning systems or
winds, pull the soil air with its radon gas into the house.
The movement of the air depends on the soil
permeability. The higher the soil permeability, the easier

33
the gas moves. An indoor radon prediction model was made by
Mose [Mose et al. 1992] using soil radon and soil
permeability1. The prediction model was successful for most
of the houses in northern Virginia and southern Maryland.
The prediction model is shown in Figure 3.4. Mose et al.
(1992) proclaimed that their estimates are very useful for
indoor radon prediction. However, the indoor radon
concentration is affected by more factors than their model
took into account. Therefore, more parameters should be
taken into account in order to have a better prediction. The
parameters, such as soil permeability, soil radium content
and foundation type are crucial to the indoor radon
elevation.
Soil Permeability
Soil permeability is associated with soil porosity,
moisture, and grain-size distribution. A theoretic equation
for soil permeability for laminar flow in saturated course
grained soils is described as [Scott 1969]:
K = [1/ (5.0 Ss2)] [n3/(n-l)2] [y^]
Where
k = K (r|/yw)
K = Hydraulic conductivity (m/hour)
k = Soil permeability (m2)
1 The permeability of this case is defined as inch/hour which is the
velocity of the fluid flows through the soil.

34
Soil radon
(pCi/L)
Poential indoor radon risk(pCi/L
Low (0 - 5)
Medium (5 -15)
High (15 and above)
Figure 3.4 Indoor Radon Prediction by Using Soil Radon2
[Mose et al. 1992]
2 The permeability (in/hr) of this case is sometimes defined as
hydraulic conductivity.

35
Ss = Surface are of the particles in unit volume
of the solid material
n = porosity
yw = unit weight of water
r| = viscosity of water.
For sandy soils, Hazen suggested that the approximate
value of K is given by [Scott 1969]:
K = C (Dio)2
where
C = a coefficient varying between 0.01 and 0.015
= effective size of soil in mm
An empirical model for predicting soil gas permeability
is defined as [Rogers and Nielson 1991b]:
k = (p/110)2 d4/2 exp(-12 m4)
where
k = soil gas permeability (cm2)
p = total soil porosity (dimensionless)
d = arithmetic mean grain diameter (cm),
excluding >#4 mesh material
m = moisture saturation fraction (dimensionless).
The radon diffusion coefficient factor is derived by
Rogers [Rogers and Nielson 1991b] as:
14p
D = 0.11 exp(-6mp-6mp )
where
D = radon diffusion coefficient (cm2/sec).
Subslab soils are ranged from coarse sand to fine clay.
The smaller particle silts and clays have higher ambient

36
moisture contents and generally lower permeability and
diffusion coefficients; therefore, radon gas in the soil air
cannot move as easily to the entry points onto the house.
Both K and D decrease significantly with moisture for m>0.5.
Soil moisture content is controlled in large part by
precipitation. Fine grained soils such as silts and clays,
have higher moistures under normal environmental conditions.
Therefore, they have lower K and D values than sands. Radon
gas does not move as easily through them. However, for a
specified radon entry rate into a house, the silts and clays
can have higher radium content because more of the radon gas
is held in the soil.
The permeability and diffusion coefficients are closely
related, and exhibit similar trends with soil type, degree
of compacting and moisture. Thus the permeability
coefficients can be used to specify soil conditions in a way
that also includes the effect of diffusion. The average soil
permeability of soils is listed in Table 3.1 [Yegingil 1991,
p•181] .
Clay and silt have very low permeabilities and the
radon entry rates are very low compared to the sandy soils.
Revzan and Fisk (1992, p.42) observed that when the soil
permeability is less than 10-12 m2, the soil-gas velocity at
the openings in the basement shell is low and diffusion is
the principal means of radon entry. In this case, the radon
entry will be dependent on the concentration of the soil gas
radon.

37
Table 3.1 Soil Permeability-
Soil type
Soil
permeability
(cm/sec)
Relative Degree of
Permeability
Gravel
IO"3 - 10'6
High
Clean sand
10'5 - 10'8
High
Silty sand
10'6 - io'10
Medium
Silty
lo"8 - io'12
Low
Glacial tilt
io'9 - io'15
Low
Marine clay
io'12 - io'15
Very low to
practical
impervious
Modified from Yegingil [1991]

38
Radon Flows through Different Soil Layers
In construction practices, a layer of fill earthen
materials is placed between the concrete slab and the top of
the natural soils. The natural soils may consist of several
layered soils. The layered soils have their own properties.
However, the top layer has the most significant impact to
the radon entry. However, if the second layer of soil
contains high radium and the top soil has high permeability,
elevated radon concentrations may occur.
Rogers and Nielson (1991b) measured indoor radon levels
often exceeding 10 pCi/L, even though the radium
concentrations in the sandy soils immediately beneath the
slab are less than 1 pCi/g. Measurements of subslab radon
are several thousand pCi/L, indicating that the radon is
mainly coming from soils in the Hawthorn Formation. Soils
in the Hawthorn Formation have radium concentrations ranging
from 5 to 30 pCi/g in this area. Soil gas radon is a
reliable indicator of a potential radon problem which was
suggested by many researchers [EPA 1991].
Different layers have different soil permeabilities and
which is one of the important factors that affects radon
entry. Soil permeability of different layers may be
calculated as follows [Todd 1980] :
Qx = Ki I Zi + K2 I Z2 + K2 I Z2
= I (Ki Zi + K2 Z2 + K2 Z2)
Also, Qx = Kx I (Zi + Z2 + Z2)

39
where
Qx = Flow rate in the x direction (m2/s)
Ki = Hydraulic conductivity (m/s)
I = Hydraulic gradient
Zi = Depth of Layer i (m)
Kx = Overall hydraulic conductivity in the x direction
k = Permeability
(m2)
#
Surface
—
I 21
Qx q2
-
X Z2
*3
—
I Z3
t
Qz
(j.= Dynamic viscosity
p = Fluid density
g = Acceleration of gravity (m/s2)
Therefore,
Kx = (Ki Zi + K2 Z2 + K2 Z2)/(Zi + Z2 + Z2)
k = K [i
pg
Assumption: Assume that equation (3.2) holds
Substitute (3.2) into (3.1),
kx = (ki Zi + k2 Z2 + k2 Z2)/(Zi + Z2 + Z2)
In general form, kx = Ski Zi/(EZi)
(3.1)
(3.2)
for gas.
(3.3)

40
Similarly, kz = D Zi /(E(Zi/ki)) (3.4)
The ratio of kx/kz usually falls in the range of 2 to 10 for
alluvium, but values up to 100 or more occur where clay
layers are present [Todd 1980, p.81].
A Proposed Mitigation Method
Because the kx/kz ratios of soils are large, the
horizontal movement of the soil gas radon is faster than
vertical movement. According to this phenomenon, a radon
reduction method is proposed. The proposed method is
illustrated in Figure 3.5. There are two or more vertical
two-inch PVC pipes needed connecting the perforated pipes.
There is a slope of the perforated pipe for ease of gas
movement. The pressure driven flow may dominate the
diffusion movement of the radon gas; however, the perforated
pipes could reduce the pressure differentials between
subslab and indoor (so called pressure break). The
perforated pipes can produce equivalent pressure between
subslab and atmosphere.
In addition, the PVC pipes connect the shower water to
the soil. The pipes discharge water into the soil and keep
soil moisture content high, which could slow radon movement.
Soil Permeability in Different Depths
Soil permeability is affected by soil pressure. Figure
3.6 illustrates the soil permeability distribution under

41
different consolidation pressures [Hoddinott and Lamb 1990].
High pressure tends to reduce soil permeability.
Because of soil pressure, the deeper the soil the
higher the pressure is. However, the soil pressure in the 10
feet range which we consider affecting indoor radon
elevation, does not change drastically. However, the
pressure differentials from indoor to outdoor has been
proven to dominate the transport of the soil gas radon [Lao
1990].
Figure 3.5 Soil Gas Radon Mitigation by Perforated Pipe
Systems

42
12.5 25 50 100 200
Consolidation Pressure (Kpa)
Figure 3.6 Permeability Distribution of Different Pressures
Radon from Geological Consideration
Many researchers have confirmed that the relationship
between geology and indoor radon is complicated and
dependent on climate, terrain, bedrock composition and soil
permeability. Geology controls the chemical composition of
the rocks and soils from which radon is derived. Climate
exerts a strong control over the temperature and moisture
content of soils, thus affecting radon emanation and
physical and chemical weathering of the soils and rocks.
Indoor radon assessments often rely on factors such as
bedrock geology or soil permeability to predict the
potential of an area for radon. Rock types that are most
likely to cause indoor radon problems include carbonaceous
black shales, glauconite-bearing sandstones, certain kinds
of fluvial sandstones and fluvial sediments, phosophorites,

43
chalk, karst-producing carbonate rocks, and so on. Rocks
least likely to cause radon problems are marine quartz, and
certain kinds of non-carbonaceous shales and siltstones,
certain kinds of clays, silica-poor metamorphic and igneous
rocks, and basalts. Mafic rocks are characteristically a
poor radon source. Rocks such as aluminous and feldspathic
gneiss, schist, and phyllite vary but are generally sources
of moderate to high radon. Granites and sheared rocks are
generally sources of very high radon [Gundersen 1993,
p.IVl] . Figure 3.7 shows the average soil radon
concentration distribution vs. indoor radon concentrations
[Gundersen 1993, p.IV4].
The glacial lake deposits are composed of fine sand,
silt and clay. A very high correlation between indoor radon
and soil radon was found in Gundersen's research when the
measurements were grouped by glacial deposit and the
measurements were averaged. However, if the measurements
were grouped by bedrock type the regression only yielded an
R=0.21. Therefore, glacial deposits are better predictors
of indoor radon and radon sources in soil than bedrock
geology. Figure 3.8 illustrates the average indoor radon
levels vs. soil radon concentrations [Gundersen 1993,
p.IV5].
Geological Elevated .Radon Summary
The rocks which the have highest uranium contents are

Average Indoor Radon pCI/L
44
Figure 3.7 Average Indoor Radon Levels vs. Soil Radon
Concentrations [Gundersen 1993]
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Average Indoor Radon pCi/L
Figure 3.8 Average Indoor Radon Concentration vs. Soil Radon
Concentration [Gundersen 1993]

45
certain types of granite, black (carbonaceous) shales, and
phosphoric rocks. The common range of uranium concentrations
is between 2 to 10 ppm with averages around 3 to 4 [Lao
1990] .
Geological areas having granites with more than 10 ppm
uranium could have a high radon potential. Uraniferous black
shales usually have an average uranium concentration of up
to 20 ppm. Phosphate rocks with 100 ppm uranium are very
common. High-grade phosphates may be a significant source
for elevated radon levels [Lao 1990, p.28].
A Generalized Geological Map for the State of Florida
A research performed by Otton (1993) shows that the
geology of Florida is dominated by fluvial, deltaic, and
marine sedimentary rocks. The older sedimentary rocks,
mostly limestone and dolomite, are exposed in a structural
high centered in Levy County along the western side of
peninsular Florida. Younger sedimentary rocks occur
throughout southern Florida, along the Atlantic coast, and
coastal areas of the western panhandle. A generalized
geology map is shown in Figure 3.9 [Otton 1993, IV-5].
Uraniferous phosphatic sediments occur in the Alachua
Formation, the Hawthorn Group and Bone Valley Formation
[Sweeney and Windham 1979]. Although only a few occurrences
of uranium minerals have been described in Florida, where
these unraniferous phosphatic rocks are mapped, high

46
Figure 3.9 Generalized Geology Map of Florida [Otton 1993]

47
Legend of Figure 3.9
Type
Stratigraphic Unit
General
lithology
Major
litholo¬
gic unit
Qs
Surfical and terrace
sands. Undifferentiated.
Quartz sands with
varying proportions
of silt, clay,
organic material and
carbonate.
Sand
Qtl
Lake Furt Marl, Miami
Limestones, Key Largo
Limestone, Anastasia
Fort Thompson,
Caloosahatchee, Tamiami
Formation.
Undifferentiated.
Fossiliferous
limestone, maris and
lesser amounts of
sand and clay.
Limestone
Ts
Citronelle and Miccosukee
Formation.
Undifferentiated.
Clays and quartz
sands with lesser
amounts of silts and
gravels.
Sand and
clay
Tm
Chariton, Jackson Bluff,
Red Bay, Yellow River,
and Chipóla Formation.
Undifferentiated.
Shell maris, clays
and quartz sands
with minor
limestones.
Marl and
sand
Tp
Bone Valley, Alachua,
Fort Preston and Hawthorn
Formation (Group).
Undifferentiated.
Sands, silts and
clays with lesser
amounts of
limestone, dolomite
and phosphorite.
Phospho-
ritic
clay and
sand
Tl
St. Marks, and
Chattahoochee Formation.
Undifferentiated.
Impure limestones
with sand and lesser
amounts of
limestone, dolomite
and phosphorite.
Limestone
Tol
Suwannee Limestone, Ducan
Church Beds, Byram
Formation and Avon Park
Limestone.
Undifferentiated.
Limestones which may
be slightly sandy or
dolomitic.
Limestone
Tel
Crystal River, Willston,
and Inglis Formation Avon
Park Limestones.
Undifferentiated.
Fossiliferous
limestones and
dolomite
Limestone
and
dolomite

48
concentrations of uranium (up to a few hundred ppm) in near¬
surface soils and bedrock are known to occur. South Ocala is
described to have this type of rocks [Espenshade 1985] .
Soils containing a few tens to a few hundreds of ppm of
uranium are likely to be strong sources of radon. Surface
materials in southernmost Florida are composed mostly of
peat, sand, and limestone. Sand, silt, shell, and clay are
the primary surface materials along the Atlantic Coastal
areas from Lee County to Pinellas County. Refer to Figure
3.10. Surface materials across most of the state are low in
uranium content with most of the state showing less than 1.5
ppm equivalent uranium (eU).
A strip of land about 60 miles wide along the Atlantic
Coastal margin extending from Jacksonville southward to
Miami is almost entirely below 1.5 ppm. However, the
highland areas in the north and north central part of the
State generally range from 1.0 to 2.0 ppm eU.
Higher readings occur in an area underlain by
phosphatic rocks that extends discontinuously from southern
Polk County northward to southern Columbia County, including
an area of a few hundred square miles averaging greater than
5.5 ppm eU. Dade County underlain by thin sandy soils

49
Figure 3.10. Generalized Surface Materials Map for the
State of Florida [Otton 1993]

50
covering shallow limestone bedrock, has equivalent uranium
values as high as 3.5 ppm.
Phosphate Region and Indoor Radon Levels in Florida
A study of the phosphate region of Florida which was
investigated by Roessler et al. (1983) is shown in Figure
3.11. The indoor radon level of houses in Florida is shown
in Figure 3.12 [DCA 1994] . Figure 3.12 shows the tested
results of average indoor radon levels of the Florida
houses. There is a similarity between these two figures;
areas interpreted as highly phosphated have high indoor
radon levels.
Summary_Q.f. Radon Transport In Substructures
Radon sources are mainly from soils and rocks. The
radon levels are affected by permeability, soil moisture
content, radium content, and pressure differentials. Highly
phosphated area have high indoor radon levels as
demonstrated in Figures 3.11 and 3.12.
Radon Transport in Superstructures
The following sections will discuss the factors in
superstructures that are significant to the elevation of
indoor radon. These factors include concrete slab, building
materials, house water, and pressure differentials. These

51
84” 82” 80”
Figure 3.11 Phosphate Distribution in Florida [Roessler et
al. 1983]

DEPARTMENT OF
COMMUNITY
AFFAIRS
RADON PROTECTION
CATEGORIES
■ U» Kmtarn
ARw6*/ ^w#*9 l<étw
> •^*v^*"*
I Hr* *ȎBT* hrtHvrif+j
4tie** W P—w p tank**
Ln
to
Figure 3.12 Indoor Radon Levels of Florida [DCA 1994], Radon Potential Levels: Color in
Green: Low; Yellow: Moderate; Red: High; Blue: Water.

53
factors have been researched seriously in the FRRP research
projects. The results and their interpretation will be
discussed.
Radon Transport through Concrete Floor Slab
Radon gas can seep into houses because of the pressure-
driven flow through concrete slab cracks, plumbing
penetrations and wall-slab connections. Diffusion of radon
from subslab soil through concrete floor slab and radium
decay of concrete itself may contribute to the concentration
of indoor radon. The ACRES (1978, p.5) report suggested
radon diffusion from or through concrete cannot be a
significant source of radon entry.
Tanner (1990) identified radon diffusion as a
significant mechanism when foundation soil permeabilities
are less than 7 x 10-12 m2. Subsequently, Rogers and
Nielson (1990) investigated diffusion through concrete
floors and the contiguous soil as a significant mechanism
for radon entry for many soils under typical long-term
average foundation pressure gradients. This paper
characterizes the radon generating properties of Florida
concretes. The parameters measured are the radium
concentrations and emanation coefficients of Florida
concretes and their constituents. The radon generation and
transport through Florida residential concretes are examined
for their contribution to indoor radon concentrations. The

54
paper also identifies the main properties of concrete
performance that influence radon migration from the subsoil
into dwellings. In addition, Loureiro et al. (1990) have
compared theoretical diffusion and convection radon
transport in soils to estimate conditions when diffusion is
insignificant.
The diffusion coefficients as measured from the Florida
concrete slabs by Rogers and Nielson (1992) range from 1.8 x
10~4 cm^ S-1 to about 4.6 x 10-2 cm2 s--*-. In general, the
diffusion coefficient increases with water/cement ratio. The
permeability of the concrete slab is very low and averages
5.34 x 10 "12 cm2. This value falls in the permeability
range of silt clay. Thus, the transport mechanism is mainly
from diffusion. The radium and emanation are the source
index of radon diffusion. The radium ranges from 1.0 pCi/g
to about 2.4 pCi/g. The emanation coefficients averaged 0.07
which is very small.
The measurements in Florida by Rogers and Nielson
(1992) showed radium concentrations averaged 1.52 pCi/g, and
the average emanation coefficients of aggregates are less
than 0.08, which is a very low emanation value; therefore,
their radium contents are less important than the radium in
cement components. Concrete with a radium content less than
2 pCi/g contributes less than 10 percent to the total radon
entry in the example dwelling. The radon transport through
the concrete slab by diffusion and radon diffusion from the

55
concrete slab itself have proven to be minor contributions
to the indoor radon.
House Water
Radon gas can be dissolved in cold water. As was
experienced by the University of Florida research team when
it rained one day before site screening, the reading was
lower than usual and in some cases had extremely low
readings. Radon can be dissolved in water and released in
the air when showering, dishwashing, and washing clothes.
It is estimated that 10,000 pCi/L of radon in water will
contribute about 1 pCi/L of radon to the indoor air [Lao
1990, p.18].
Research also shows that using only well water
presents a problem. For the houses using water from public
utility systems, waterborne radon in general does not
contribute significantly to the indoor radon concentration.
Because the public water is supplied from treatment plants
and stored in storage tanks, after it reaches the houses,
most radon may have decayed already (half-life 3.8 days).
For those houses which have a problem with water radon,
two cost-effective treatment methods that can be utilized to
remove radon from water supplies [Lowry and Lowry 1988] are:
1) Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Adsorption/Decay
2) Aeration.
In the first method (GAC), research shows that this

56
method is successful in reducing radon from over one million
pCi/L to less than 500 pCi/L, for a 99.9% removal
efficiency. The key to the effectiveness of GAC method is
the adsorption/decay steady state that occurs for radon and
its short-lived daughters.
The aeration has three major methods: diffused bubble,
spray, and counter current packed tower. It has been
verified that the diffusion bubble method reduced 250,000
pCi/L of radon to 50 pCi/L [Lowry and Lowry 1988]. The usage
of the GAC or aeration will be determined by the capital and
operation/maintenance (O&M) costs. It is summarized in Table
3.2.
For household supplies, the GAC method is the most
economical alternative. However, with flows greater than
20,000 gpd, packed tower aeration is the most cost-effective
method [Lowry and Lowry 1988]. Housewater may contribute a
significant amount of indoor radon if the water radon level
is high. Most high water radon levels are from wells;
however, nowadays, the use of well water is insignificant in
comparison to the use of municipal water supply.
Emanation from Building Materials
While radon emanation has been studied for more than
two decades, the earlier studies suggested that construction
materials were the most important source of indoor radon
elevation. More recent studies have proved that radon

57
Table 3.2 Utilization and Costs of Water Radon Mitigation
Methods
Supplies
Flow (Gpd)
Method
Installation
cost ($)
0 Sc M II
Household
GAC
800
Negligible
50-500
Multi-unit &
Spray
2300
High
small community
500-20,000
Municipal
Pack tower
Vary
High
>20,000
aeration
Modified from Lowry and Lowry [1988]
transport from the soil or rock adjacent to the building is
the major factor. An emanation test was performed by
Fleischer et al. (1984) and suggests that the local
materials contribute much less radon per unit mass than do
the geological materials that surround homes or that are
used indoors for heat storage. Table 3.3 illustrates the
average values of the radon emanation rates. Radon
emanation depends strongly on temperature and relative
humidity [Wu and Medora 1987].
It was found that radon emanation could be reduced when
coatings were applied on the testing materials. The results
showed that when Semi-glass ALKYD Enamel A40-w5 and Epoxy
Paint were applied on the testing block, the emanation rates

58
Table 3.3 Radon Emanation Rates
Material
Emanation rates
(atoms/gm-sec)
Soil
0.0065
Sand
0.0024
Brick
0.0012
Wallboard
0.00014
Stone
0.0012
Modified from Fleischer et al. [1984]
were reduced by 97.5% and 85%, respectively. However, this
test was performed in a closed room which may not be
realistic to the actual emanation rates.
Emanation rates for concrete, brick, and natural gypsum
are 0.0009-0.0003, 0.00001-0.005 and 0.002-0.02,
respectively [Morawska and Philips 1991]. It shows that
gypsum has very high emanation rate in comparing to concrete
and brick. In new construction, materials with high radium
content, such as gypsum and phosphate should be avoided.
House yentila£i-Q.n
Ventilation is defined as the total rate at which
outdoor air enters a house. Ventilation has three components
[Nazaroff et al. 1988; Ward et al. 1993] :
1) Infiltration: uncontrolled leakage of air into a
house which occurs through cracks, and penetrations in the

59
house envelope;
2) Natural ventilation: the flow of air into the house
through open windows and doors;
3) Mechanical ventilation: forced supply or removal of
air by means of blowers or fans.
Ventilation Rates and Indoor Radon Concentrations
It is assumed that increasing ventilation decreases
indoor radon concentration because the higher air change per
hour (ACH) rate dilutes the indoor radon concentration. This
phenomenon was proved in the UF research that in nearly all
cases the general trend was that indoor radon and house
ventilation rates are in opposite directions. Figure 3.13
illustrates the opposition between indoor radon
concentration and house ventilation rate.
Radon Entry Rate
Radon entry rate can be measured by measuring both
radon concentrations and ventilation rates over the same
time periods. The governing equation of the radon entry
rate can be described as [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]:
dC/dt = [R-QC]/V - X C (3.5)
where c = indoor radon concentration (Bq/m3)
X = radioactive decay constant of 333Rn
Q = volumetric air flow rate through the structure
(m3/s)

VENTILATION RATE (air changes/hour)
SUMMIT OAKS
VENTILATION RATE & RADON CONCENTRATION
(Thousands)
ventilation rate ■••••&• radon concentration
5
5
.5
.5
.5
.5
Figure 3.13 Indoor Radon Vs. House Ventilation Rate [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]
RADON CONCENTRATION (pCi/llter)

61
R = radon entry rate (Bq/s)
V = house volume (m^)
Q is related to the house ventilation rate by:
Q = A.v V with A.v the house ventilation rate.
Equation 3.5 has the steady state solution:
C = R/ [Q+ Xv V]
However, the truly steady state conditions are not achieved
in houses because the ventilation rates are continuously
varying. The solution of equation 3.5 can be solved
numerically for a time interval, At. The discrete form for
this solution is then:
AC (t+ At) = {V1 [R (t) - C(t) A.v (t) V] - A-d C(t)} At,
rearranging this equation,
R (t) = [ (C (t+At) - C (t) /At) + A,d C(t) + A.v C(t)]V (3.6)
By using this solution technique, radon entry rates
were calculated as a function of time for each of the
research houses. Radon entry rate with respect to time is
shown in Figures 3.14. and 3.15. According to Figures 3.14
and 3.15, the calculated radon entry rates are relatively
constant throughout the measurement period. Most houses
exhibit variations between maximum and minimum entry rate no
larger than a factor of two. The periodicity of the radon
entry rate variations are similar to the periodicity of the

HOUSE #8 (LOT 4 - ROBIN LANE)
RADON ENTRY RATE
(Thousands)
Figure 3.14 Radon Entry Rate for House “Robin Lane” [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]
cn
to

HOUSE #6 (LOT 13 - SUMMIT OAKS)
Radon Entry Rate
Os
Figure 3.15 Radon Entry Rate for House “Summit Oaks” [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]

64
radon concentrations and ventilation rate. Besides the
periodic variation, the entry rates for most houses remained
relatively constant throughout the test. No significant
variations of radon entry rate corresponding to changes of
the HVAC operation configuration were observed period
[Hintenlang et al. 1994a, p.114] . These results provide
direct evidence that the operating configurations of the
HVAC systems do not affect the radon entry rate in these
structures. The average radon entry rates across the
measurement periods for each of these houses are shown in
Table 3.4. Table 3.4 demonstrates that all of the houses
have similarly small entry rates even in the presence of
indoor depressurization or pressurization. This result
indicates that the passive radon barriers installed in these
houses were effective in limiting radon entry into the
structure's interior.
Pressure-driven Flow
One of the EPA's recent research projects was the
feasibility study of basement pressurization using a forced-
air furnace. The EPA's 2-year systematic study of three
Princeton University research houses clearly demonstrates
that radon entry rates depend directly on basement
depressurization. The results also clarify the role of
natural ventilation in reducing indoor radon concentrations.
Natural ventilation is a simple way to reduce indoor radon

65
Table 3.4 House Radon Entry Data
House
Indoor
Air Change
Radon
Radon Entry
Number
radon
Rate (h-l)
Entry Rate
Flux
(pCi/L)
(Bq/s)
(Bq m~2 s-1)
1
2.3
0.49
8.6
0.046
2
3.0
0.33
9.5
0.044
3
2.2
0.34
4.1
0.017
4
2.7
0.27
4.9
0.034
5
2.5
0.31
5.2
0.024
6
4.2
0.26
5.9
0.032
7
2.7
0.38
6.9
0.032
8
2.8
0.21
2.8
0.025
Average
2.80
0.32
5.99
0.032
Modified from Hintenlang et al. [1994a, p.115]
levels; however, until now, there has been no information on
how much reduction to expect. The natural ventilation
decreases radon levels in two ways:
1) by simple dilution;
2) by providing a pressure difference.
The pressure break reduces both depressurization and
radon entry. In the Pennsylvania project, Radon Mitigation
Branch (RMB) demonstrated that a typical forced-air furnace
system could be installed to pressurize a basement to reduce
radon entry. The system reduced radon levels from 19.3 to
1.5 pCi/L in summer conditions [EPA 1992].

66
Another technique was the application of small fans for
active soil depressurization (ASD) in new houses. The EPA's
proposed model standards for controlling radon in new
buildings include placing a layer of aggregate and barrier
under the slab. By meeting these standards and sealing the
slab, it may be possible to use smaller fans than those now
used for ASD systems in existing houses. Smaller fans cost
less to install and operate, require less space, and may be
quieter.
A third project was a simple model for describing radon
mitigation and entry into houses. This model uses simplified
assumptions about the distribution of radon entry routes and
driving forces to relate indoor radon levels to soil
characteristics. Under these assumptions, the model shows
that:
1) soil permeability is the most important influence on
indoor radon concentrations because soil permeability varies
naturally by five to six orders of magnitude;
2) the area of the radon entry route is not very
important;
3) 90 percent of the total soil gas flow occurs in a
band surrounding the house with a width six times the depth
of the basement;
4) because radon decays, only the volume of soil within
a band, if the width is about two times the basement depth,
actually contributes to indoor levels.

67
The most updated UF research is the Sub-Slab
Depressurization (SSD) systems. This project was finished in
December, 1994. The new house evaluation program was to
develop standards to be adopted in future building codes and
to develop and
test
new protocols
for
measurements
for
future research.
, The
measurements include
soil tests,
soil
permeability,
soil
characterization,
pressure field
extension, crack characterization,
air
infiltration
and
leakage, tracer
gas
testing, short
term
radon tests
and
long-term radon
tests.
Pressure differences generated from the interactions
between the indoor, outdoor and sub-structure area under
different environmental and occupation conditions are
responsible for elevated indoor radon concentrations.
Hintenlang and Al-Ahmady (1992) have verified
experimental evidence that semi-diurnal pressure
differential driven radon entry exists for a slab-on-grade
structure built over low permeability soil. Mathematical
treatments predicting the sub-slab air volume pressures and
the pressure differentials across the slab have been
correlated to the atmospheric tidal barometric pressure
variations and are found to be responsible for significant
increases in indoor radon concentrations [Al-Ahmady 1992,
Hintenlang and Al-Ahmady 1992].
Al-Ahmady and Hintenlang (1994a) have also demonstrated
that temperature induced pressure differences can be a
significant influence on radon driving forces and

68
consequently the indoor radon concentrations under
particular configurations associated with the utilization of
the HVAC system [Al-Ahmady and Hintenlang 1994b]. The
effects of air infiltration rates, that are governed by the
differential pressure across the structure shell, on indoor
radon concentrations can be attributed to the exchange and
dilution of indoor radon with ambient air having much lower
radon concentrations.
Pressure-driven flow has proven to be the major driving
force of radon entry. However, UF research has found no
evidence that suggests the radon entry rate correlates with
across slab differential pressure [Hintenlang et al. 1994a,
p.124]. Figures 3.16 and 3.17 illustrate the differential
pressure data across the slab for houses at Summit Oaks and
Robin Lane. Pressure differentials would be expected to be
the major driving forces for the conventive entry of soil
radon gas, but no correlation is observed. Therefore, we may
infer that the presence of the radon-resistant barriers
implemented in these houses does greatly reduce the
pressure-driven flow of radon.
Summary of Radon Transport in Superstructures
Radon Transport by concrete diffusion is not
significant compared to pressure-driven flow. Most house
water, building materials have minor effect to the elevation
of indoor radon level.

DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE (Pa)
HOUSE #6 (LOT 13 - SUMMIT OAKS)
DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE DATA
0 1.44 2.88 4.32 5.76 7.2 8.64 10.08 11.52 12.96 14.4 15.84 17.28 18.72
TIME (MIN.)
(Thousands)
Figure 3.16 Across Slab Differential Pressure for House “Summit Oaks” [Hintenlang et al. 1994a]

DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE (Pa)
HOUSE #8 (LOT 4 - ROBIN LANE)
DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE DATA
15-
HVAC OFF
DOORS OPEN
HVAC FAN ON
INTERIOR DOOR OPEN
HVAC FAN ON
INTERIOR DOORS CLOSED
0.00 0.72 1.44 2.16 2.88 3.60
4.32 5.04 5.76
TIME (MIN.)
(Thousands)
6.48 7.20 7.92 8.64 9.36 10.08
o
Figure 3.17 Across Slab Differential Pressure for House "Robin Lane"
[Hintenlang et al. 1994a]

CHAPTER 4
ANALYSIS OF HOUSE RADON AND CRACK STUDY
Introduction
This chapter analyzes the correlation between various
factors that might have an effect on the entry of radon. The
data are mostly extracted from reports and laboratory
experiments of the research projects in the New House
Evaluation Program of 1992-1993. The effectiveness of the
mitigation methods employed in UF projects is discussed.
House Characteristics and Soil Radon
House physical characteristics which include foundation
type, total crack length, and soil permeability (project
1992) are presented in Table 4.1. The grab counts1 of the
soil radon readings for each house are also listed in Table
4.2 [Najafi et al. 1993]. Soil radon grab counts were taken
four hours after a site screening. The soil permeabilities
are mostly in the range of 1.0 x 10-11 to 1.0 x 10-12 (m2)
which is at the low permeability range (Refer to Chapter 2,
this permeability is in the range of clay soil) . Data for
the project of 1993 are illustrated in Tables 4.3 and 4.4.
1 "Grab count" means soil radon taken four hours after sampling.
71

72
Table 4.1 House Characteristics (Project of 1992)
Hous
#
Foundation
type
Total
crack
length
(ft)
Soil permeability
(m2)
Soil
radon
(Grab)
pCi/L
1
Monolithic
13.5
3.92E-12-1.69E-10
690
2
Stemwall
1
1.47E-11-1.13E-11
5300
3
Stemwall
0
8.18E-13-3.45E-11
32000
4
Stemwall
15
4.03E-13-1.93E-13
2700
5
Monolithic
4
2.79E-11-1.18E-11
10000
6
Monolithic
0
6.78E-12-1.46E-11
2100
7
Monolithic
2
9.18E-12-1.10E-11
11000
8
Step slabs
12
8.95E-12-1.5IE-11
2700
9
Stemwall
0
4.OE-13-2.17E-11
1900
10
Stemwall
0
5.43E-10-1.13E-09
5000
11
Monolithic
0
9.63E-10-2.24E-10
1900
12
Stemwall
19
2.83E-10-1.25E-10
2800
13
Monolithic
19
3.12E-12-1.79E-11
1400
14
Stemwall
40
2.01E-13 ~2.58E-12
2800

73
Table 4.2 Radon Test Results (Project of 1992)
House #
Subslab
Crack radon
Indoor
radon
(pCi/L)
radon
(pCi/L)
(pCi/L)
1
820
4
1.2
2
7800
N/A
11.58
3
1000
N/A
2.06
4
400
1
1.92
5
3700
N/A
3.51
6
860
N/A
0.56
7
3700
N/A
0.97
8
1600
7
1.71
9
1900
N/A
2.13
10
2200
N/A
2.52
11
760
N/A
1.61
12
2700
47
1.47
13
510
9
0.93
14
2100
5
2.66
Average
2146
12
2.49
N/A: not available

74
Table 4.3 House Characteristics (Project of 1993)
House
Degree of
Foundation
Total crack
#
cracking
type
length (ft)
1
None
Monolithic
0
2
Moderate
Monolithic
2
3
Extensive
Monolithic
42
4
None
Monolithic
0
5
None
Monolithic
0
6
Small
Stemwall
9
7
Extensive
Monolithic
182
8
Small
Stemwall
26
9
Small
Monolithic
10
10
None
Monolithic
0
11
None
Monolithic
0
1 12
None
Monolithic
0

75
Table 4.4 Radon Test Results (Project of 1993)
House #
Soil
Crack
Subslab
Indoor
radon
radon (Cch)
radon (Cs)
radon
(pCi/L)
(pCi/L)
(pCi/L)
(pCi/L)
1
1683
N/A
N/A
2.07
2
2935
180
639
2.99
3
1189
257
431
2.24
4
911
N/A
N/A
2.7
5
2896
N/A
N/A
2.52
6
1112
48
2934
4.16
7
921
23
931
N/A
8
6607
7
306
2.72
9
1298
12
1727
N/A
10
1055
N/A
N/A
2.86
11
10661
N/A
N/A
2.6
12
6982
N/A
N/A
N/A
Average
3188
40
2233
2.07
N/A: not available
Soil Data Analysis
Soil radon gas is the main source of indoor radon
elevation. However, indoor radon levels are affected by a
complex of soil radon concentrations, soil permeability,
structural type, and construction quality. Regardless of
the combined effects of these parameters, indoor radon

76
levels are compared to soil gas radon and subslab radon
levels (combined data from 1992 and 1993 projects). A simple
linear regression analysis was performed using the following
model [Ott 1988, p.301-311]:
Y = Po + Pi log (x) + s
where Y = indoor radon
x = soil Radon or Subslab radon
P0 = Y intercept
Pi = slope of the regression line
s = random error.
Figure 4.1 illustrates the poor correlation between
indoor radon and soil radon. Figure 4.2 shows that indoor
radon and subslab radon are poorly correlated.
d
u
a
g
o
TS
(C
Pi
u
o
o
T)
a
Figure 4.1 Distribution of Indoor Radon versus Subslab Radon

77
12
3
10
*H
u
a
8
e
o
TS
6
(0
Pi
4
0
0
r)
a
2
H
O
O 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000
Subslab Radon (pCi/L)
Figure 4.2 Indoor Radon versus Subslab Radon
Crack Study
This analysis is based on the project of the New House
Evaluation Program in 1993 [Hintenlang et al. 1994a] . The
crack study consisted of examining 12 new houses built in
the north central Florida area which are located in Alachua
and Marion counties. The purpose of the crack study is to
evaluate the contribution of cracks to the entry of radon
gas. Cracks are one of the most important physical
characteristics to consider in a foundation slab in reducing
indoor radon levels. If a large number of openings due to
cracks are present in a foundation slab, the soil gas radon
entering the building might elevate to an unacceptable

78
level. Therefore, it is necessary to identify and evaluate
the potential impact of cracks on radon entry.
Crack Research Process
The selected houses were checked for cracks one month
after the concrete slab was poured. The first step of the
crack study consisted of a visual inspection and crack
length measurement. After using a broom to brush away dirt
and construction materials, an optical comparator was used
to classify cracks according to their measured width. If
the crack length and width indicated more than surface
cracking, crack testing was performed. Cracks were
classified into four types: hairline, fine, medium, and
wide. The classification is shown in Table 4.5.
Table 4.5 Crack Classification
1
C rack Type
Width (w) (inch)
Hairline
w < 1/64
Fine
1/64 < w < 1/32
Medium
1/32 < w < 1/16
Wide
1/16 < w
All crack types were tested except the hairline crack.
The crack test consisted of two main parts: first, the
pressure differentials were measured as a function of the
flow rate through each crack using the permeameter; second,

79
radon concentration of the subslab soil gas extracted
through the crack was measured using the Pylon and
scintillation cells. A sniff measurement was taken on site
(to serve as a reference) and a grab count was measured from
this sample four hours later. The testing tube selected
should be located directly underneath the crack or as close
to the crack as possible. Subslab radon concentrations were
similarly measured after being extracted from sampling tubes
previously laid beneath the concrete slab.
The house dimensions, crack types, crack lengths, crack
locations, saw cuts and construction joints were documented
for each of the 12 houses. Figure 4.3 illustrates the crack
map of the house located at Summit Oaks. Refer this house
as Summit Oaks.
Data Analysis
Because NHEP-1992 and NHEP-1993 have different
mitigation methods and conditions, and the measurement
precision is different, only NHEP-1993 data were used in the
following analysis. The house data are shown in Table 4.6
and were analyzed statistically. The analyzed results are
listed in Table 4.7. Statistical analysis was performed
using SAS software. The first step consisted of testing the
normality of the data sets. The statistical analysis
indicated that the normalities of the data sets are high
(Refer to Appendix A) . It is consequently assumed the data
sets are normal. The second step consisted of testing the

80
Figure 4.3 Crack Map of House Summit Oaks

81
correlation between factors that might affect the entry of
indoor radon. The correlation model is [Ott 1988, p.319-
320] :
Y = po + Pi x + £
where
Y = dependent variable
x = independent variable
p0, P-l = regression coefficients
s = random error.
Note :
r2 = coefficient of determination
r = correlation coefficient.
For this analysis, the extreme data were taken out in
order to reduce variation between samples, such as the soil
radon of House Number 11 and the crack length of House
Number 7. The test results are shown in Table 4.8.
Correlation Analysis
The correlation analysis, as shown in Table 4.8,
indicates a low correlation between indoor radon levels and
crack parameters. However, there is a strong correlation (r2
= 0.94) between average indoor radon concentrations and
subslab soil radon concentrations.
This analysis only considered the correlation between
two data sets, i.e., the interrelationship with the third
data set was ignored.

82
Table 4.6 House Characteristics
House #
Crack
Length(in)
TECA
FOM
CE (%)
(Cch/Cs)
1
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
2
24
5.4E-5
9.27E-3
28.17
3
132
1.68E-5
3.81E-3
60
4
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
5
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
6
108
6.23E-5
3.64E-6
1.64
7
1668
9.44E-6
2.83E-5
2.4
8
312
2.99E-4
2.03E-3
2.22
9
120
1.84E-5
2.21E-4
0.69
10
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
11
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
12
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Note: TECA: Total Equivalent Crack Area (in2)
FOG: Figure of Merit (pCi/L-in2 )
CE: Crack Efficiency (%)

83
Table 4.7 House Basic Statistics in the Crack Study-
Variable
Observa¬
tions
Minimum
Maximum
Mean
Standard
deviation
Crack length
(inch)
11
0
312
63
99
Soil radon
(pCi/L)
11
911
6607
2454
1470
Crack radon
(pCi/L)
12
0
227
40
78
Subslab
radon
(pCi/L)
6
306
2394
1237
1185
Table 4.8 Correlations between Factors
Correlation
Indoor
Soil
Subslab
Crack
Crack
radon
radon
radon
radon
length
Indoor radon
1
-0.102
0.94
-0.02
0.14
Soil radon
-0.102
1
-0.617
-0.173
0.587
Subslab
0.94
-0.617
1
-0.352
-0.307
radon
Crack radon
-0.02
-0.173
-0.352
1
0.163
Crack Length
0.14
0.587
-0.307
0.163
1

84
Calculation of Crack Parameters
Crack parameters are defined as follows:
A = Q/ (K x Ap) n)
where K = 0.29, Ap = 4 pascal, Q = flow rate (m3/s) at
4 pascal, n = slope of log of flow rate vs. log of pressure
differentials (which can be found in the plot, refer to
Figure 4.4)
Total Equivalent Crack Area
= (A x Total Crack Length)/18.5 inch
Figure of Merit = Crack Radon x Total Equivalent Area
Crack Efficiency = Crack Radon /Subslab Radon x 100%
Comparison of Crack Characteristics with Indoor Radon
By comparing the average indoor radon and subslab radon
concentrations it was determined, as expected, that when
subslab radon increases, indoor radon increases as well. The
R2 was 0.88 as shown in Figure 4.5. It should be noted that
only four data sets were available for this analysis. In
Figure 4.6, the ratio of indoor radon and subslab radon is
compared to the total equivalent crack area (T.E.C.A). The
increase of T.E.C.A corresponds to an increase in the ratio
of indoor radon/subslab radon concentrations, which
indicates that crack openings do affect radon entry.
Potential Crack Radon Entry Analysis
By calculating the flow of soil gas entering the test

85
SUMMIT OAKS
LOT #13
Flow Rate (Cu.M/S)
Type of Crack:
Fine
FLOW RATE
PRESS. DIFF.
Total Crack Length:
108 in
(Cu.M/S)
(Pa)
Radon Cone, (crack):
48.2 (pCi/L)
1.67E-07
548
Radon Cone, (sub-slab):
2934 (pCi/L)
3.33E-07
623
4.17E-07
747
Q = 2.1E-09
(Cu.M/S)
5E-07
996
n = 1.009
5.83E-07
1096
6.67E-07
1245
A = Q/(Kx(Delta p) ~ n)
7.5E-07
1444
= 4.02E-10
Sq.M/L
8.3E-07
1544
= 6.23E-07 Sq. in / L
Total Equivalent Crack Area
= (AxTotal Crack Length) /18.5 in
= 3.64E-06 Sq. in.
Figure of Merit
= Rn (crack) x Total Eq. Area
= 1.75E-04 (pCi/L)(Sq.in)
Crack Efficiency
= Rn(crack) / Rn(sub-slab)
= 1.64%
Figure 4.4 Calculation of Total Crack Equivalent Area

86
-H
u
a
q
o
T3
o3
íü
q
o
o
TJ
a
Subslab Radon (pCi/L)
Figure 4.5 Average Subslab Radon versus Indoor
Concentration
a
o
T)
rti
Pi
A
tO
I 1
a)
u
d
co
a
o
T)
to
CU
w
o
o
T)
a
H
0.010
0.008
0.006
0.004
0.002
0.000
0.000054 0.0000168 0.0000623 0.000299
Total Equivalent Crack Area (Sq. in)
Figure 4.6 Indoor Radon/Subslab Radon versus
Equivalent Crack Area
Radon
Total

87
chamber, the radon entry potential for normalized values of
soil gas radon concentrations can be evaluated. The soil
radon concentrations and chamber radon concentrations can be
related to the other parameters by the following equation:
flow from sub slab/total flow into chamber
= Qs/Qch
= Cs/Cch
where Qs is the flow from the subslab through the crack, Qch
is the total flow into the chamber, Cs is the measured
subslab radon concentration, and Cch is the measured radon
concentration in the test chamber. Since Qch/ Cs and Cch
are independently measured, the volumetric flow rate of soil
gas into the structure can be calculated by:
Qs = Qch(Qs/Qch)
A fundamental quantity in this analysis is therefore
the ratio Cch/Qs# which provides a direct measure of the
fraction of soil gas entering the chamber through the crack.
The values of Cch/Cs are less than 5% in four of the six
houses (Refer to Table 4.6). However, two houses exhibited
Qch/Qs in the range of 25% to 60%, indicating that
significant fractions of soil gas were entering the test
chamber through the crack being examined. Most houses have
low Cch/Qs values, indicating that the vapor barriers are
intact underneath the crack location tested. For the houses
which have large values of Cch/Qs/ the vapor barriers were
most likely penetrated during the construction process.

88
Crack Resistance Analysis
The soil gas entry rate for each house under an applied
depressurization of 4 Pascal (Pa) is calculated. The average
soil gas entry is 8.89 x 10-8 m3 s“l for these six houses
exhibiting slab cracking. The total resistance of the crack
opening is calculated using the technique described in the
Florida A&M University (FAMU) crack study report as follows:
^system = Pn/Qs
where lsystem is the total resistance of the crack system, P
is the differential pressure (Pa) across the crack and fill
combination. As in the FAMU crack study report, it is
assumed that the flows are small enough so that the
exponent, n = 1, is utilized.
The measured crack resistances observed in this study
are illustrated in Figure 4.7. Most of these houses exhibit
crack resistances between 10 + 7 to 10 + 9 Pa s m“3. The
average value is 6.0 x 10 + 8 Pa s m-3, which is higher than
the values found in the 1993 crack study project that
evaluated existing structures in Alachua, Marion and Polk
counties [Hintenlang et al. 1994b].
Crack resistances of the three projects are listed in
Table 4.9. This suggests that the newly constructed slabs in
these projects have higher crack resistance than those
observed from existing houses with ages greater than two
years.

Total Crack Resistance (Pa
89
lE+10
en
m 1E+09
1E+08
1E+07
1E+06 i
8 7 9 3
House Number
Figure 4.7 Crack Resistances of the Houses Tested

90
Table 4.9 Crack Resistance in Three Projects
Research project
year
Average crack resistance
(Pa s m"3)
Existing Building
1993
4.8 x 10+6
New House
1993
6.0 x 10+8
Evaluation
Large Building
1994
3.6 x 10 + 8
Crack Study Summary
Twelve houses were studied in the project of 1993. Six
houses had either no cracks or insignificant hairline
cracks. Crack studies were performed on the other six
houses. Throughout the crack study, it was found that
construction joints stopped crack extension effectively. The
location and installation of construction joints is a major
factor in minimizing crack development. In most houses
properly installed construction joints prevented cracks from
occurring. Only a few houses experienced cracks with the
existence of properly installed construction joints. A house
located in Hayes Glen subdivision, which did not install
construction joints, had many more cracks than usual.
Apparently, the post-tension design may have contributed to
crack development. An enormous number of cracks developed in
areas where grade beams intersected. Several different
builders had worked in the project. Some builders had very
few cracks in the houses they built and were observed to
perform high standard construction practices.

91
Other builders had more cracks in their houses and did
not demonstrate the same quality of construction. It is
reasonable to assume that the quality of construction
directly affects the number of cracks that develop in a
slab. Other factors that could affect crack development
include: temperature, curing method used, and the sediment
of the foundation. The research teams observed several key
factors that reduce crack development:
1) construction joints (properly designed and placed)
2) proper curing methods
3) sufficient curing time
4) a positive quality control from the builder.
The construction quality can be improved by considering
these major issues. A quality built house usually is built
by a builder who performs and considers these issues.
The Cch/Cs values for most of the houses are less than
5% which indicates that the newly constructed houses have
vapor barriers which effectively prevent radon entry (refer
to Table 4.6) . The average crack resistance exhibited was
higher than those previously found in the existing houses
with ages greater than two years old (Refer to Table 4.9).
Therefore, the vapor barrier systems are successful in
reducing radon entry into houses.
Infiltration and Indoor Radon Test Results
Radon enters houses mainly by diffusion and pressure-
driven flow.
Diffusion has been proven not to be a major

92
radon entry mechanism. Pressure differentials of indoor and
subslab are the prime factors of radon entry. Pressure
differentials are related to the house ventilation rate.
Four experiments were performed for house ventilation
analysis.
These four tests were performed by using different
conditions: 1) natural ventilation with all mechanical
systems off and interior doors open; 2) air handler on with
doors open; 3) air handler on with doors closed; and 4)
exhaust fan on with doors closed. The first three tests are
referred to as the passive ventilation, while the last test
is considered the active ventilation. The test data of
project in 1992 is illustrated in Table 4.10.
A statistical analysis was applied for comparing the
mean values of the four tests. The data were analyzed using
the SAS statistical software package [Littell et al. 1993].
The hypothesis of the test statistics is as follows:
Ho: m=|a2-M3=P4; Ha: one of them not equal
fii = Infiltration rate (air change per house) of test i
By referring to the program output in Table 4.11, the F
(test statistics) and p (Probability > F3 51, a=0.05) values
are 35.07 and 0.0001, respectively.
Because the F value

93
Table 4.10 Infiltration Rate and Indoor Radon Concentration
House
Test
1
Test
2
Test
3
Test
4
#
ACH
In-
ACH
In-
ACH
In-
ACH
In-
door
door
door
door
Radon
Radon
Radon
Radon
1
0.144
2.3
0.327
1.2
0.626
1.6
0.169
0.8
2
0.495
5.3
0.424
6.8
0.557
5.4
0.159
N/A
3
0.215
1.5
0.317
1.2
0.631
1.0
0.188
N/A
4
0.278
1.0
0.352
o
CT»
0.743
0.7
0 . Ill
0.6
5
0.190
1.7
0.419
1.4
0.687
1.0
0.372
1.5
6
0.203
0.9
0.412
0.6
0.437
0.5
0.174
0.7
7
0.121
1.2
0.518
0.9
0.786
0.5
0.247
0.4
8
0.331
1.0
0.553
0.8
0.735
0.6
0.223
1.0
9
0.208
0.7
0.3
0.8
0.764
0.7
0.145
1.0
10
0.316
0.7
0.928
0.6
0.916
0.1
0.294
0.6
11
0.179
0.6
0.407
1.0
0.763
0.8
0.141
0.6
12
0.545
0.9
0.553
1.2
N/A
N/A
0.465
1.0
13
0.2
0.6
0.404
0.7
0.811
0.3
0.213
0.3
14
0.192
0.5
0.335
1.0
0.493
0.7
0.23
0.5
Avg.
0.258
1.35
0.446
1.342
0.688
1.069
0.223
0.75

94
Table 4.11 Multiple Comparison of Means
General Linear Models Procedure
Dependent Variable: ACH
Sum of
Mean
Source DF Squares
Square
F Value Pr > F
Model 3
1.8274903
0.6091634
35 .
07 0.0001
Error 51
0.8858327
0.0173693
Corrected Total
54
2.7133230
R-Square
C.V.
Root MSE
ACH Mean
0.673525
33.02920
0.1318
.3990182
Source DF
Type I SS
Mean Square
F Value
Pr > F
TEST 3
1.8274903
0.6091634
35.07
0.0001
Source DF
Type III SS
Mean Square
F Value
Pr > F
TEST 3
1.8274903
0.6091634
35.07
0.0001
Tukey's comparison of means
General Linear Models Procedure
Tukey's Studentized Range (HSD) Test for variable:
ACH NOTE: This test controls the type I experimentwise error
rate. Alpha= 0.05 Confidence= 0.95 df= 51 MSE= 0.017369
Critical Value of Studentized Range= 3.756
Comparisons significant at the 0.05 level are indicated by
» * * * I
Simultaneous Simultaneous
Lower
Difference
Upper
TEST
Confidence
Between
Confidence
Comparison
Limit
Means
Limit
3
- 2
0.1072
0.2420
0.3768
kkk
3
- 1
0.2952
0.4300
0.5648
★ ★ ★
3
- 4
0.3299
0.4647
0.5996
k k ★
2
- 3
-0.3768
-0.2420
-0.1072
•k k k
2
- 1
0.0557
0.1880
0.3203
k k k
2
- 4
0.0904
0.2227
0.3550
k k k
1
- 3
-0.5648
-0.4300
-0.2952
kkk
1
- 2
-0.3203
-0.1880
-0.0557
k k k
1
- 4
-0.0976
0.0347
0.1670
4
- 3
-0.5996
-0.4647
-0.3299
kkk
4
- 2
-0.3550
-0.2227
-0.0904
kkk
4
- 1
-0.1670
-0.0347
0.0976

95
is larger than the critical value, F3j51 (a=0.05) = 2.80, Ho
at a = 0.05 level is rejected; therefore, the means are not
all equal.
Furthermore, from Tukey's comparisons [Ott 1988], the
results can be interpreted as H3>H2>m=H4. This result is as
expected, that is, the ACH is largest at air handler on with
all doors closed, and the ACH is smallest when all
mechanical systems are off with doors open. The average
indoor radon levels and infiltration rates are shown in
Figure 4.8. The first three tests which all have exhaust
fans turned off is plotted in Figure 4.9.
In comparing the average infiltration rates with
average indoor radon levels, we verify that an increasing
infiltration rate results in a decreasing indoor radon
level. However, this is based on the average values of the
three tests. Note that indoor radon levels and ACH vary
over time.
Two Radon Research Experiments
Two experiments were conducted to verify the research
assumptions and precision. First, tubes previously laid in
the large building project were used for testing the effect
of tube length on the radon readings. Second, a pressure

96
-H
u
ft
a
o
TJ
rtf
Pi
L
o
o
T)
a
H
a)
tn
rtf
in
á
Test 4 Test 1 Test 2 Test 3
Average Infiltration Rate (ACH)
Figure 4.8 Indoor Radon Levels vs. Infiltration Rates
Average Infiltration Rate (ACH)
Figure 4.9 Correlation Between Indoor Radon and Infiltration
Rates

97
differentials test was conducted at the research house.
Effectiveness of Tube Length on the Measurement of Radon
Concentration
Radon measurements have been performed under all kinds
of conditions due to geological accessibility, house
structure, and other limitations. Radon measurements are
performed for differing tube lengths. The effect of tube
length on radon measurements is usually ignored. One
example could be the subslab radon measurement. Subslab
radon concentrations are usually taken after the concrete
floor slab is poured. The testing points underneath the
concrete slab are connected by plastic tubes. The tubes are
collected into a two-inch pipe for future radon
measurements. The tubes to the collector is in a
radioactive type. Therefore, each testing point to the
collector has a different length.
Equipment Used
Radon measurements were taken using a pylon AB-5 radon
monitor and model 300 Lucas scintillation cells. Radon flux
readings were obtained from plastic tubes with 0.4-cm inner
diameter and 0.5-cm outside diameter. The tubes were pre-cut
in 5-ft lengths each. The connections of the tubes were
taped.
Testing Procedures
Prior to the test, prepare tubes in 5-ft lengths each
and have a total length of 50 feet. When measuring radon

98
concentrations, measure the initial readings of the tube
and add a 5-ft length for the following tests. For the
initial tube, let the pump run for 5 minutes or more to
ensure enough time for radon flux to come into the cell.
Check the exhaust valve to make sure the flow is abundant.
If the flow is small, check the connection between the
pylon, the tube and the open/close control valve. Each time
take a 5-minute grab sample and then take a 3 0-minute grab
count after 4 hours. Record each initial testing time and
grab time.
Site Selection and Testing
The Large/Commercial Building project's Wade Raulerson
Honda building was selected for testing since it has the
tubes previous laid underneath the slab. The testing point
had an average of 245 pCi/L radon level. The test was
performed at an initial length of 12 feet. The testing point
is about two feet from the collector.
Test Results
The test was conducted over two days but had similar
weather conditions. Both days were sunny and had a
temperature of about 80° F. Test results are shown in Tables
4.12 and 4.13. Figure 4.10 illustrates the tube lengths that
affect radon readings. It suggests that radon readings are
affected by the changes of tube length. The R2 value of tube
lengths and radon readings is 0.97, which means that they
are highly correlated.

Table 4.12 Tube Lengths and Their Calculated Radon Readings (0-25 ft)
Effectiveness of tubing le
Sample Site: Wade Raulerson Honda Building
Initial length: 12 ft
Sample Date: 11/22/94
Weather: Sunny 80 F
igth for radon concentration measurements
Length (ft)
Initial
10
is
—56
65
Cell#
783
203
781
584
596
720
Sample time
8:36 Am
9:44 Am
3:53 Am
3:01 Am
9:09 Am
9:19 Am
Grab Time
12:38 Pm
1:15 Pm
1:49 Pm
3:49 Pm
4:23 Pm
2:27 Pm
Readings after min. of fillint
[
242
271
296
408
434
308
Count
CPM
pCt/1
CPM
pCi/l
CPM
pCi/l
CPM
pCi/l
CPM
pCi/l
CPM
pCi/l
1
243
445
321.17
272
262
189.79
297
251
182.39
409
244
179.82
435
143
105.73
309
97
70.59
2
244
432
284.66
273
250
156.28
298
243
171.55
410
233
147.20
436
170
107.75
310
80
49.91
3
245
446
293.92
274
284
177.55
299
237
167.34
411
234
147.85
437
173
109.67
311
101
63.02
4
246
431
284.07
275
275
171.95
300
251
177.25
412
227
143.45
438
153
97.00
312
95
59 28
5
mm
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248
425
280.18
277
287
179.50
302
285
201.31
414
214
135.27
440
140
88.78
314
92
57.42
7
249
388
255.82
278
259
162.01
303
231
163.19
415
189
119.48
441
160
101.48
315
89
55.56
8
250
397
261.79
279
269
168.28
304
256
180.87
416
230
145.42
442
159
100.86
316
108
67.43
9
251
473
311.95
280
265
165.80
305
236
166.76
417
215
135.95
443
141
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163
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50.59
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254
437
288.31
283
297
185.89
308
242
171.06
420
181
114.49
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148
93.93
320
110
68.71
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255
375
247.44
284
298
186.54
309
238
168.26
421
222
140.45
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159
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17
259
405
267.37
288
268
167.85
313
231
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221
139.88
451
145
92.08
325
106
66.26
18
260
397
262.12
289
257
160.98
314
254
179.68
426
216
136.74
452
141
89.55
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261
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420
277.45
293
267
167.33
318
257
181.90
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211
133.64
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131
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461
304.57
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278
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319
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88
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269
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288.20
298
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323
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299
290
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12.09
11.84
6.66
7.23

Table 4.13 Tube Lengths and Their Calculated Radon Readings (25-50 ft)
Effectiveness of tubing length for radon concentration measurements
sample site: Wade Raulerson Honda Building
Sample Date: 11/23/94
Weather: Sunny 80 F
Length (ft)
55
30
^5
40
—43
—55
Cell#
783
203
781
584
596
720
Sample time
10:39 Am
10:52 Am
11:01 Am
11:10 Am
11:20 Am
11:29 Am
Grab Time
2:47 Pm
3:28 Pm
4:14 Pm
5:45 Pm
6:31 Pm
7:06 Pm
Readings after min. of fillin
248
276
313
395
431
457
Count
CPM
pCI/l
CPM
pCI/l
CPM
pCi/l
CPM
pCI/l
CPM
pCi/l
CPM
pCI/t
1
249
86
62.12
277
116
84.08
314
55
40.05
396
48
35.32
432
54
39.91
458
44
32.63
2
250
93
61.33
278
93
58.17
315
52
36.79
397
67
42.26
433
45
28.51
459
31
19.71
3
251
77
50.78
279
95
59.43
316
64
45.29
398
58
36.59
434
51
32.32
460
48
30.52
4
252
90
59.36
280
104
65.07
317
54
38.21
399
64
40.38
435
52
32.96
461
31
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80
52.79
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85
53.20
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o
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101
Figure 4.10 Tube Lengths and Their Radon Readings
Discussion of the Experiment
Radon readings are affected by the length of tube which
is proven by the test results. In general, the readings drop
along with the increase of tube length. The reason for this
drop could be that the source of radon flux is not
sufficient enough to charge the tube.
Also, the connection between each 5-ft tube in each
test might have a leak which cannot be seen by human eyes.
However, the leakage should be a minimal and can be
neglected. Besides, the leakage could be a system error for
the successors.

102
The test result shows a strong correlation between tube
length and the corresponding radon measurements. The results
suggest that when measuring radon, one should consider the
length of the measuring tube. Radon measurement should be
standardized for all tests in order to have consistent
system errors.
.Indoor Radon Concentration Variation Due to Pressurization
Indoor radon concentration varies with time due to
temperature or pressure changes. Pressure differentials
between indoor and subslab have proven to be the major entry
mechanism of indoor radon. It is obligatory to perform
pressure differential tests to assess the influence of the
indoor radon concentration.
Objective of the Experiment
Mechanically induces pressure changes to examine the
effect on the indoor radon concentrations. Indoor radon
concentration could be diluted by pressurizing indoor.
Experimental Procedure
To mechanically pressurize the house, use the blower
door to increase indoor pressure greater than the mean
environmental pressure. Continuously measure the indoor
radon concentrations in room 1 and room 4 of the research
house^. After 24 to 4 8 hours, use the blower door to
pressurize room 4 at 8 pascal for 15 minutes and then turn
2 The research house is a part of the NHEP and is located in N.E. 20th
Terrace in Gainesville, Florida.

103
off the blower door. It is to be noticed that the radon
readings were continuous from the beginning until the end of
the experiment. Radon concentrations were measured by using
Pylon AB-5 with passive radon diffusion (PRD) cells.
Mechanical pressurization was achieved by using a blower
door.
Experimental Results
The results of the experiment are shown in Figure 4.11.
The plot suggests that room 1 had higher indoor radon
concentrations than room 4 before the blower door was used.
When the blower door was operated, the indoor radon
concentrations of both rooms dropped drastically to below 10
pCi/L. However, when the blower door was turned off, indoor
radon concentrations of both rooms started to recover.
Based on the plot, indoor radon concentrations for both
rooms had not recovered after about two and half hours.
Discussion of the Experiment
Indoor radon concentrations were affected by
pressurization of the blower door. Indoor radon
concentrations dropped drastically when the blower door was
applied. In room 4, where the blower door was located, the
indoor radon concentration dropped more quickly than that of
room 1. This is because the operating of the blower door in
room 4 directly affected the indoor radon concentration more
than that of room 1. It is concluded that indoor radon
concentrations are affected strongly by pressure changes.

104
3000
Time (minute)
5000
6000
Figure 4.11 Radon Concentrations with Respect to Pressure
Changes

105
Summary
Radon concentration is affected by many factors and it
is usually laborious to control. Through the research
projects of UF, no significant factor influencing radon
intrusion was found. However, the research results show a
satisfactory way to reduce radon entry. These mitigation
methods employed by UF have effectively reduced indoor radon
to an acceptable level. The passive barrier is successful
for constructing a radon resistant house, and it is
commercially feasible.

CHAPTER 5
CONSTRUCTION METHODS
intrQduction
There have been many methods proposed for reducing
indoor radon. The improved reduction methods based on
previous research which were applied in the UF research
projects include the Enkavent mat and suction pit methods.
These methods are easy to follow and cost a minimum. Other
methods, such as HVAC and perforated pipe methods, are being
investigated.
State-Of-The-Art Construction Mitigation Methods
Most efficient applications in reducing raised indoor
radon concentrations are utilizing of Active Soil
Ventilation and Depressurization (ASV&D) systems [HRS
1988] . Although many other methods have been employed in
reducing and mitigating elevated indoor radon
concentration, ASV&D systems are the most widely used and
commercially available systems. The principal concept of
ASV&D systems is by creating a low pressure area underneath
the building structure [Al-Ahmady and Hintenlang 1994b].
Radon-rich soil gas, the major source of elevated indoor
radon concentrations, may then be forced into the low
106

107
pressure area and exhausted outdoors. Furthermore, Subslab
Depressurization systems are the most effective, cost
feasible and widely used ASV&V systems.
The research projects of UF applied the SSD systems by
passive and active approaches. The passive approach
utilizes construction techniques to reduce the rate of radon
entry. These techniques include installing vapor barriers
underneath the floor slab, proper sealing of plumbing
penetrations and slab cracks, and installing radon
mitigation systems in the house. If the passive approach is
not successful in reducing indoor radon to an acceptable
level, then the active approach could be applied. The
active approach is simply using a fan or fans to
depressurize the air below the slab. The Enkavent mat and
suction pit methods were applied by UF on the new house
evaluation program. These two methods are considered the
state-of-the-art construction mitigation methods.
Enkavent Mat Method
The Enkavent mat is designed for subslab
depressurization. It provides an airspace to intercept radon
before it seeps into the basement, crawl space, or through
the floor slab. The mat is a 0.8-inch high matrix of nylon
filaments point-bonded to a polyester filter fabric, and 90%
of the geometry is airspace to provide room for radon to
flow. The mat is stiff enough to support concrete without
compressing, and it is lightweight enough for easy handling.

108
This mat system allows the radon to flow through the filter
fabric and into the airspace. The airspace does not clog
because of a filter fabric which lies above the gravel and
soil. The natural airflow through the Enkavent mat then
channels the radon into pipe openings. The mat is about 18
inches wide and comes in 100-ft rolls. The placement of the
Enkavent mat is illustrated in Figure 5.1.
Installation Procedures
A two-inch vent pipe is placed on the Enkavent mat and
extended through the roof. To prevent rain and pollutants
from entering the vent pipe, a cap is installed at the end.
The vent pipe carries subslab radon to the roof and
ventilates it. The mat strips should be oriented along the
central axis of the longest dimension of the slab or
diagonally across the slab. It is necessary to provide one
mat strip for every 50 feet of slab width. Mat placement
should start at a distance of 6 feet or more from the slab
edge. The pipe should be centrally located along the length
of each mat strip. Also, one pipe should be provided for
every 100 feet of mat length [DCA 1993] . Two typical layouts
are shown in Figure 5.2.
Suction Pit Method
The suction pit method is similar to the Enkavent mat
method. The open pit and gravel pit are available in
construction practices. The open pit has a semi-spherical
hole, 32 inches in diameter, and 16 inches deep.

109
Figure 5.1 Enkavent Mat Placement

110
Enkavent Mat
O
Suction
point
Note: Drawn not to scale
Figure 5.2 Typical Enkavent Mat Layouts

Ill
Moreover, a vent pipe connects to the roof. The vent
pipe is placed vertically in an interior wall or a closet
and has a steel plate that covers the top of the pit. The
two-inch vent pipe to connect the pit is at a slope of 1/4-
inch per foot horizontally. It is necessary to provide one
two-inch vent pipe for each pit. The gravel pit is the same
as the open pit except the pit is filled with gravel and
does not have a steel cover on top of it. The gravel pit
could be a better method because the open pit might allow
insects to live inside it; and possibly due to rain or earth
movement or water table changes, the vent pipe might become
obstructed. A gravel pit is illustrated in Figure 5.3.
Perforated Pipe Method
A perforated pipe can be substituted in the Enkavent
mat or suction pit method since its coverage area is larger
than the suction pit method and the cost of materials is
much cheaper than the Enkavent mat. The new house evaluation
projects have not employed the perforated pipe yet. But at
the large building project of 1994 it was installed for
experimentation. Based on the engineers' judgment, it could
be an alternative method for subslab radon depressurization.
Mechanical Barrier
Since most radon gas comes from gaps of soil-foundation
interfaces, it is desirable to reduce the entry by

112
Suction Pit
Fills with gravel
Figure 5.3 Suction Pit Placement

113
reinforcing the interfaces. The mechanical barrier can be
applied to most of the below-grade houses to prevent radon
entry in an effective manner. The mechanical barrier is
illustrated in Figure 5.4.
The following is a list of recommendations suggested by
the EPA, by which builders can utilize the foundation as a
mechanical barrier to radon entry [EPA 1991, p.10-11].
A) Foundation walls and floor slabs are often
constructed of poured concrete. Plastic shrinkage, and
therefore cracking, is a natural function of the drying
process of concrete. Many factors, such as the
water/cement/aggregate ratio, humidity, and temperature,
influence the amount of cracking that occurs in a poured
concrete foundation.
Cracking may be minimized by
1) proper preparation, mixture, and curing of concrete;
2) ferrous reinforcing (rebar rods and woven wire meshes);
3) use of concrete additives to change the characteristics
of concrete;
4) water reducing plasticizers, fiber-reinforced cements.
B) To help prevent cracking in masonry walls, or
minimize the effects of cracks that do develop
1) use correct thickness of unit for depth of soil;
2) use ferrous reinforcing (corners, joints top course);
3) coat interior and exterior of wall with damp-proofing.

114
Figure 5.4 Mechanical Barrier
Modified from [EPA 1991]
C) Cracks and joints in concrete and concrete block can
be sealed using caulks. Polyurethane caulks have many of the
properties required for durable closure of cracks in
concrete. The properties are: durability, abrasion
resistance, flexibility, adhesion, simple surface
preparation, acceptable health and safety impacts. Typical
points should be sealed with caulks at
1) plumbing penetrations (soil pipes and water lines as
minimum);
2) perimeter slab/wall crack and expansion joints.

115
D) The open tops of concrete block walls are openings
that should be sealed. This can be done by installing a row
of the solid blocks, lintel blocks or termite cap blocks at
the top of the wall. In addition, applying of damp-proofing
and waterproofing materials on the exterior, interior, or
both sides of the foundation that can serve as a radon
resistant barrier is recommended to help control radon
entry. It should be made clear that a coating applied to a
foundation intended to resist the flow of radon into a
building is in addition to the normal water-proofing/damp¬
proofing requirements. Coatings are applied to the outside
or inside of the foundation, creating a radon-resistant
barrier between the source and the inside of the house. The
vapor membrane is recommended for applying to the exterior
of the foundation and also beneath the floor slab during
construction.
Change of Foundation Soil
Radon gas can travel in the soil approximately one to
four meters by diffusion before 90 percent of it decays. The
traveling distance can be increased by geothermal gradients,
water table levels, and pressure differentials between soil
and the earth's surface [Landman 1982]. Assume that the
soil to be changed is at a depth of 5 feet, and house floor
area is 3048 ft^. Also assume that 5 feet beyond the
perimeter of the floor is to be excavated. Therefore, the
total soil to be changed is 667 yard^. The total cost of

116
the changing soil is illustrated in Table 5.1 [Means 1993].
The cost of changing the soil is estimated to be $14,774. It
is not feasible to apply such a method because the cost is
too high, and it might be difficult to find suitable soil.
Table 5.1 Soil Changing Analysis
Item
Code #
Description
Unit Cost/yd3
1
022-242-2020
Excavation
1.83
2
022-266-0540
Hauling
6.80
3
022-212-0800
Barrow Soil,
5-mile haul
11.47
4
022-204-2200
Compaction
2.05
Total Cost
Subtotal
22.15
14,774
Fill Materials or Layered Natural Soils
Natural earthen materials under buildings whose
radiological properties vary significantly with depth, or
fill materials that are placed directly under the building
or within 10 feet of the building perimeter, should result
in radon concentrations in the air around the soil that are
less than those given in Figure 5.5 [ACRES 1990] . Building
sites shown to have less than 600 pCi/L of soil gas radon
should be considered to be in compliance with this change of
soil.

117
Concrete block foundation wall Concrete floor slab
Steel reinforcing mesh
Polyethylene vapor barrier
to exterior
Solid 16"x8"x4"
masonry unit
Concrete Footing
Figure 5.5 Solid Concrete Block Barrier and Vapor
Barrier Installation Layout
Modified from [ACRES 1990]
Construction ,Mat.er.ials
Foundation backfill materials shall have radium
concentrations less than 0.8 pCi/g. All materials used in
concrete for the construction of habitable structures shall

118
have a radium concentration of 5 pCi/g or less. Supposedly,
assuming that the conditioned space of a house is replaced
with low radium soil of high compaction to a depth of eight
feet, the radon entry could be reduced [Rogers and Nielson
1991b].
Cost Comparisons
The cost of the Enkavent mat and suction pit
installation are estimated in terms of material and labor
costs. The estimated costs of the Enkavent mat system are
listed in Table 5.2 and suction pit costs are in Table 5.3
[Shanker 1993] . The total estimated Enkavent mat costs is
higher than the total suction pit cost because the material
costs of Enkavent mat are far more expensive than that of
the suction pit. The cost of changing the foundation soil is
far more expensive than the cost of the two mitigation
methods. In addition, the low radium content soil may not be
available in a specific area. Therefore, changing of the
foundation soil is not recommended for application. The
costs of Enkavent mat or suction pit methods are around
$1000. In comparing this amount to the cost of the new
house, it is relatively small.
Planned Mechanical Systems
The entry of soil gas into buildings is the result of
an interaction between the house shell, the mechanical
system, the climate, and the foundation soil. The important

119
Table 5.2 Costs of the Enkavent Mat System
Average cost for
Enkavent Mat system
installation
House area
= 3048 (ft2)
Items
Material
Labor
costs($)
cost ($)
Enkavent Mat
244
6
installation
PVC supplies (pipe,
50.82
6
flanges, bends, T's Y's
etc. )
Tar (asphalt)
70
12
Curing compound
47.15
3
Elastomeric sealants
49.7
12
Superplasticizers
245
0
Subtotal
707
39
Total
746 |

120
Table 5.3 Costs of the Suction Pit System
Average cost for gravel
pit system installation
House area
= 3048 (ft2)
Items
Material
Labor
costs ($)
cost($)
Construction of pits
12
9
PVC supplies (pipe,
50.82
6
flanges, bends, T's Y's
etc.)
Tar (asphalt)
70
12
Curing compound
47.15
3
Elastomeric sealants
49.7
12
Superplasticizers
245
0
Subtotal
474.67
42
Total
517

121
climatic factors which can significantly affect radon entry
are the windspeed, temperature changes, watertable, and
atmospheric pressure changes. Indoor radon concentrations
may be reduced by planning the mechanical system so that
fresh air dilutes the radon that has entered the house, and
by controlling interior air pressures to reduce soil gas
entry. This approach has not been extensively tested in the
EPA Demonstration Projects in existing houses. The
disadvantage of this approach is that it is both more
comprehensive in effect and more complex in design and
installation than the other techniques. The installation of
such a system should be pursued by qualified people who have
training and experience in mechanical systems, because it is
a more sophisticated control strategy than a soil
depressurization system [EPA 1991] .
A New Radon Mitigation Method
In the fall of 1993, a study was conducted concerning
the feasibility of using an applied electric field to induce
a barrier to soil gas migration, in order to prevent the
entry of soil-gas-borne contaminants such as radon,
pesticides, biological agents, and organic compounds into
buildings [EPA 1994]. Figure 5.6 illustrates this new
technology. Numerous studies have shown that the air
permeability of the soil is the most important single factor
influencing the transport of soil radon into structures.
Studies have also shown that the level of moisture contained

122
Electrode Electrode
Figure 5.6 A Schematic Illustrating the Application of an
Electrically Induced Soil-Gas Barrier [EPA 1994]
in the vadose zone (the zone of soil above the permanent
water table that contains both moisture and air) has a
profound influence on the permeability and diffusivity of
the soil. When the soil is fully saturated with water,
migration of contaminants is very limited. In many soils, a
20% increase in moisture will result in a 70% reduction in
contaminant transportation.
This new technology uses an electric field to generate
and maintain a layer of moisture in the soil, thus lowering
the permeability and diffusivity of the soil surrounding the
substructure of a building. An applied electric field
induces movement of water in soil because the water contains

123
ions (usually positive) that have been released into
solution by the soil particles. When these ions move under
the action to the electric field, they tend to drag the
water droplets along with them. This results in motion of
water toward the cathode (negative electrode). When
sufficient water has been moved toward the cathode, a zone
depleted of water develops near the anode. As this depleted
zone develops, the current will decrease because fewer
charge carriers are available near the anode. In an ideal
case, the current would go to zero while the static field
maintained a layer of high moisture content near the
cathode. Under these ideal conditions, no electrical energy
would be required to sustain the layer that forms a barrier
to the movement of soil contaminants.
This new technology could be less costly than
conventional methods and may be applicable in regions of the
country where conventional methods are not successful.
Summary
This chapter reviews the modern experimental radon
mitigation systems. The practical mitigation systems are
discussed in the preceding text. In addition, a new
mitigation system which is still under investigation is
discussed. Enkavent mat and suction pit methods are
commercially available and are by far the most popular and
successful mitigation methods to date.

CHAPTER 6
ESTABLISHMENT OF KNOWLEDGE BASE
Introduction
This chapter describes the computer-aided design tool
in construction for preventing radon intrusion. The
procedures and materials used for constructing a radon
resistant house are introduced.
The object-oriented databases were established in
conjunction with the MacSmarts expert system. The databases
were based on intensive experiments from previous research
and the Environmental Protection Agency's suggested methods
and standards.
The Radon Information System (RIS) is developed to
diagnose radon problems and also to provide information
available upon request. This user-friendly system is able
to assist contractors, homeowners, and designers in
obtaining suggested information.
Mitigation methods, cost estimation, materials used,
construction procedures, radon regulation, and construction
scheduling are included in the system. In addition,
graphical construction procedures to install the mitigation
systems, crack analysis, slab construction and a potential
radon index are also incorporated in the system.
124

125
Effective Information Retrieving
Most recent radon knowledge is difficult to retrieve.
There have been many research projects in the United States
to prevent radon intrusion. Radon papers have been published
in journals and conference proceedings; however, radon
knowledge is not organized. This knowledge can be presented
in a way that could be more useful for users. The users
could be the general public, contractors, builders or
researchers. If this information could be organized
properly, it would result in a shorter retrieval time, and
promote the interest of the user. Therefore, RIS is
developed to assist radon information consulting.
Expert System Applications
Primary managers should consider using expert systems
because they are an aid to decision making. Expert systems
are concerned with knowledge but not data. Here, an
individual's relevant knowledge and experience can be
incorporated into a computer program. This knowledge can be
accessed quickly and easily by a manager to improve the
quality of decision making.
Advantages of Managing Radon Information by Expert Systems
The advantages of using Expert Systems applications
are:
1) The knowledge is permanent and will not fade in time;

126
2) It is easy to transfer the knowledge to any number of
users provided they have a compatible computer;
3) The knowledge base can generate the data in a well
organized structure;
4) The cost of expert, senior consultants is expensive.
Incorporating their knowledge in an expert system is
desirable, because it can be used at any time [Bryant 1988].
The decision making rules or tables of the expert
system are defined as "knowledge base."
Performance Improvement and Knowledge Transferring through
Expert Systems
Since radon projects generate substantial information,
it is necessary to have a computer-based system to manage
them. An expert system could be an essential management
tool. A good tool can be a positive management asset.
Improving the productivity of employees in an organization
is an essential endeavor upon which management lays a great
deal of emphasis. It is a well recognized fact that we all
aspire to work smarter rather than harder. The greatest
value of an expert system is that it provides people with an
opportunity to enhance their performance. Performance
improvements come about, among other things, as a result of
1) The opportunity to access expert advice at any time;
2) The ability to query the expert's reasoning, and to go
over it again and again in order to understand the

127
underlying logic. No expert would have the time or the
patience to be questioned in this fashion;
3) The ability to obtain consistent advice regardless of the
emotional or political aspects surrounding the query;
4) The opportunity to change, amend and expand the rule-base
so as to enhance the performance of the system.
Gaining experience is a time consuming, sometimes
traumatic, and often very expensive process. Expert systems
provide people with the opportunity to gain experience at a
fast rate with far less cost [Beerel 1987] .
The Structure of Knowledge-Based Expert Systems
The basic structure of a knowledge-based expert system
(KBES) is shown in Figure 6.1. The components include the
following [Dym and Levitt 1992]:
1) Input/output facilities that allow the user to
communicate with the system and to create and use a database
for the specific case at hand;
2) A working memory that contains the specific problem data
intermediate to the final results produced by the system;
3) An inference engine that incorporates reasoning methods,
which in turn acts upon the input data and the knowledge in
the knowledge base to solve the stated problem and produce
an explanation for the solution;
4) A knowledge base that contains the basic knowledge of the
domain, including facts, beliefs, and so on;
5) A knowledge acquisition facility that allows the KBES to

128
Figure 6.1 The Basic Structure of a Knowledge-based
Expert System

129
acquire further knowledge about the problem domain from
experts or automatically from libraries, databases, etc.
Objective of the Knowledge Base Development
Radon knowledge can be encapsulated in a computer
program and accessed quickly, inexpensively and easily by
any person to improve decision making. Therefore, RIS is
developed for radon knowledge retrieving. RIS captures
years of learning, experience, and research results.
Radon problems have been researched for more than a
decade; however, the results and findings are not stored and
organized properly. If these findings and suggestions can
be saved on a computer, people can share them more easily.
These facts can be transformed into knowledge bases. RIS
utilizes these facts to aid decision making or even
research. In the past, the difficulty in obtaining current
up-to-date knowledge was frustrating. Now the layman, i.e.,
the homeowner, contractor and researcher can, access the
state-of-the-art information available from the system.
The purpose of the system is to facilitate information
retrieval and decision making. This knowledge base is
established for the target users. The system is designed to
direct suitable knowledge to each of the users. The
knowledge base is founded on previous research results and
expert experience and suggestions. HyperCard is selected to
perform this task because it provides an interface between
the spreadsheet, database, word processor, and expert

130
system. In addition, its graphical presentation ability is
suitable for object-oriented programming. The research
procedures are illustrated in Figure 6.2.
Knowledge Acquisition
There have been many research projects and laboratory
experiments throughout the United States to investigate
radon mitigation methods, radon behavior, and the factors
that affect radon entry. This research utilizes the most
recently published methods and radon related treatment
subjects. In addition, the results of FRRP which have been
accumulated since 1991 are incorporated into the knowledge
base.
The knowledge base is mainly from EPA & FRRP because
they are two of the leading research agencies working on
radon-related problems. The FRRP results could be the most
up-to-date since its research applied a revised methodology
based on previous experimental experience. Most radon
techniques obtained are from the EPA's publications or
related research reports.
Selection of Knowledge Domain
The scope of this system is to provide homeowners,
builders, contractors, and researchers with necessary radon
information for constructing radon resistant buildings. The
knowledge should be suitable for different users in
different domains. The system includes construction

131
Figure 6.2 Knowledge Base Expert System Establishment
Procedures

132
techniques in new houses, radon mitigation standards, radon
regulations, radon potential index, mitigators, governmental
agencies, radon treatment, and so on.
The construction methods are mostly from recent
University of Florida research projects and EPA
publications. The UF research results have been very
successful in reducing indoor radon concentrations below the
Department of Community Affairs standard [DCA 1991].
Construction design and mitigation methods are established
in the knowledge base. Construction mitigation methods are
fully described in the knowledge base. A short description
includes construction procedures, materials, control joints,
vapor barrier placement, and wall-slab connections. The
installation costs of the mitigation systems are also
included.
Control Mechanism of This System
An interface software is selected as the control panel
of this system. HyperCard is a suitable software for this
object-oriented radon database. It provides information
retrieval, spreadsheets access, and expert system linkage.
The information can be sent or received through the
interface of the modules. A schematic diagram of the system
is illustrated in Figure 6.3.
Database Development
The database should be established according to

133
Figure 6.3 Schematic Diagram of the Interface System
the target users. Since an expert system can only solve in a
narrow domain, the scope of the system should be carefully
delineated.
Identify Target Users
The system is designed for homeowners,
builders/contractors, and researchers. Each user has its
specific needs; therefore, information provided for each
user is different.
Establish Problem Boundaries
The scope of the database is limited to three target
users. All target users have their own knowledge boundaries

134
in order to be suitably applied. These boundaries for each
target user are described as follows.
Homeowner Boundary The information provided for
homeowners on radon is based on general information. The
subjects selected have been modified by interviewing several
homeowners and potential home buyers. The information
includes:
1) health related information
2) acceptable radon level
3) new house standards
4) cost of radon testing and mitigation systems
5) mitigators' addresses
6) addresses of governmental agencies.
Contractor Boundary The information for builders or
contractors includes
1) radon mitigation methods
2) mitigation costs
3) radon regulation
4) new house standards
5) addresses of governmental agencies
6) feasibility of radon mitigation installation.
7) indoor radon prediction
Research Boundary The information that researchers
frequently consult includes
1) mitigation systems

135
2) research projects
3) mitigation updates
4) research results
5) addresses of governmental agencies
6) radon journal or database
7) indoor radon prediction.
Obtain Expert Support
Most radon knowledge is based on accumulated experience
from previous research projects, experimental results, and
theoretical papers. This knowledge has been revised
according to new research findings. However, many research
projects have inconclusive results. The system focused
fundamentally on the general subjects that most researchers
agree upon and were published in journals or conference
proceedings. Also, the system incorporated much information
from the UF research projects. Since radon knowledge is
very subjective and difficult to extract from papers where
integrity of information is questionable, the knowledge from
experts is valuable. The experts from UF and radon
conferences were the primary sources of that knowledge.
Their experience and suggestions were incorporated into the
systems.
Organize the Facts from the Knowledge Databases
The knowledge obtained was classified into general
text, spreadsheet files, pictures, and regulations.

136
General Text Includes information that can be
expressed in a few sentences, such as the introduction to
radon gas and what you should do about radon and radon
levels.
Spreadsheet File The information is best expressed in
spreadsheet format. For example, soil permeability, soil
radium content and average county indoor radon levels. This
program uses "Excel" to contain large data sets.
Picture File Information is most suitable for
explanation in pictures. Pictures can help verbal
explanations and provide visual aid. Most pictures are
obtained by the scanning of original pictures or by drawing
tools (MacDraw, Macpaint).
Regulations Radon regulations are provided in separate
files because the information is enormous. The databases
contain general definitions and descriptions of radon gas.
Also, they provide radon mitigation methods and construction
costs. Most of the databases are from the EPA's
publications. Because the information is huge, the databases
are designed in scrolling type. However, the databases
provide a "Find" command which can retrieve any subject upon
the user's request. For example, Mitigation Standards and
New House Construction Standards are two regulation
databases.
A database is not limited to one kind of format. It has
a combination of two or three of them. HyperCard is the main
control unit. It directs the designed function to act for

137
the user. However, the linkage between all databases makes
information retrieval flexible.
Design Rules
Most of the knowledge bases are subject-oriented;
therefore, the traditional rule-bases were used as an
assistance to the programming. The rules were designed
within the databases to act according to their specific
tasks. These rules also control the linkage between
databases and spreadsheets or expert systems.
HyperCard has its own programming language, Hypertalk.
Hypertalk controls the overall functions of the system. A
basic HyperCard structure is illustrated in Figure 6.4.
Stack, card, background, button, and field are the elements
of the hierarchical structure of HyperCard.
Entity Relationship Data Diagram The entity
relationship diagram is shown in Figure 6.5. A stack may
have many cards (one to many, 1:M); a card may have many
buttons and/or fields (one to many, 1:M). However, a button
or field belongs only to a card; a card belongs only to a
stack. This top-down hierarchical structure is most suitable
for information organizing and retrieval.
Data Manipulation Data may be transferred between
stacks, cards and fields. Specifically, data may be
transferred from one card to other, or stacks. A schematic
diagram of data transferring between stack, card and field
is illustrated in Figure 6.6.

138
Figure 6.5 Entity Relationship Diagram of HyperCard Elements

139
Figure 6.6 Data Transferring Between Stacks
System Development
As mentioned previously, the system uses HyperCard as
the central control unit. HyperCard is designed to respond
to the users' requests. This user-friendly HyperCard
provides easy access tools to users. The system contains
three major parts: Homeowner, contractor and researcher
databases. The menu of the system is shown in Figure 6.7.
Homeowner Database
Homeowner database contains general information about
radon gas and is specifically designed for homeowners.
Homeowner database is shown in Figure 6.8.

140
Since radon problems have not been brought to the
serious attention of the general public yet, the information
provided is modified to the broad and general topics of
radon. The information provided for homeowners is
fundamental and its contents are essential for the general
public. The database contains the most frequently asked
questions and their answers.
Figure 6.8 shows the hierarchical flow chart of the
homeowner database. The homeowner database acts like a
liaison between all functional features. The key features of
the homeowner database are described as follows:
What Is Radon? This file contains the necessary
information that a homeowner should know about radon. The
sources of radon gas, how radon gas enters houses, and the
critical radon action levels are all detailed in this file.
Mitigation Standards The action levels of radon
concentration are established by several agencies. The
action level is the critical radon concentration that may
cause lung cancer. Because the EPA has been conducting many
serious research projects, the standards set by the EPA are
considered the most definitive in the radon field. The
action level is 4 pCi/L under EPA's standard. Action levels
of other agencies, such as the National Council on
Radiation, protection and measurement (8 pCi/L), Bonneville
Power Administration (5 pCi/L), American Society of Heating,
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (2 pCi/L) and
Sweden (4 pCi/L) are listed as well.

141
Main Menu
Home Owner
Contractor/Builder
Press the icon twice
for further information
O Quit HyperCard
Figure 6.7 Illustration of System Menu
Home Owner
Governmental Agencies
Mitigation Standards
Radon Mitigator
Press the icon twice
for further information
O Quit HyperCard
What is radon?
What to do? New house construction standards
Figure 6.8 Key Elements of Homeowner Database

I Homeowner Database I
Figure 6.9 Hierarchical Flow Chart of Homeowner Database

143
What To Do? The biggest concern of homeowners is what
to do about radon problems. This file has suggestions for
the treatment of radon problems. Radon problems can be
solved by contacting a local radon testing company or buying
a radon testing kit or contacting governmental agencies.
Radon Mitigator The knowledge base has a list of radon
mitigators for homeowners to consult. The listed radon
mitigators are mostly located in Florida. A big company
usually provides better quality. Homeowners can use the
"Find" function to search for a desired mitigator. The
knowledge base has function keys on each of the cards to
assist users.
New House Construction Standards This file is a
reference for homeowners. It contains the descriptions,
regulations and suggestions of the new house construction.
However, radon regulations have been revised and tested in
research projects.
Governmental Agencies Each state has a person to
consult. The contact person or agencies in each state are
documented in this file. The user can enter a state name in
the dialog box and find information for a specific state.
This file includes all the states in the United States.
Contractor Database
This database focuses on the radon mitigation methods,
constructability, materials, costs, radon resistant floor-
slab construction drawings, crack prevention, radon content

144
in construction materials, and indoor radon prediction.
Contractor database is illustrated in Figure 6.10. The key-
knowledge bases are presented in Appendix C. The major
elements are described as follows:
Indoor Radon Prediction Indoor radon may be predicted
by a model which is based on the experience and the results
from previous projects. The model is based on five factors
(average area indoor radon, aerial radioactivity, geology,
soil permeability, and structural type) to predict the
potential indoor radon of a house [Gundersen et al. 1993].
Contractor/Builder
Iff |
Go Back!
♦
What is radon?
j^TOPOj
Mitigation Standards
Radon Mitigator
Newhouse. Standards
Governmental Agencies
Mitigation methods
Discription of Standards
Radon Index
Construction Materials
vj Press the button twice
for further information!
O Quit HyperCard?
Figure 6.10 Contractor Database

145
Radon index is determined by the total score of the
five parameters. Each parameter is assigned a certain point
value depending on the characteristics of the house. The
assigned score is listed in Table 6.1 [Gundersen et al.
1993] . The probable average indoor radon (radon index) is
shown in Table 6.2. For example, average area indoor radon,
aerial radioactivity, geology, soil permeability, foundation
and wall type for a new house are 3.3 pCi/L, 1.5 ppm,
positive, 1.0E-9, slab-on-grade, monolithic, respectively.
The potential indoor radon level is between 2 to 4 pCi/L.
The output of the program is illustrated in Figure 6.11.
Mitigation Methods Construction of mitigation methods
(suction pit and Enkavent mat methods) are presented in both
text and picture formats. Figure 6.12 illustrates the
functions of mitigation methods database. One of the major
radon entry points is through cracks in a floor slab.
Selection of crack treatments and radon resistant slab
drawings are linked to the MacSmarts expert system.
MacSmarts performs the complicated alternatives selection
advising.
Researcher Database
This database provides information from on-going
research projects, research related journals, and up-to-date
radon research. The key elements of researcher database is
presented in Figure 6.13. Key features are described as
follows:

146
Table 6.1 Radon Index Matrix
Factor
Point Value
1 point
2 points
3 points
Average indoor
radon
<2 pCi/L
(74 Bq/m3)
2-4 pCi/L
(74-148
Bq/m3)
>4 pCi/L
(148 Bq/m3)
Aerial radio¬
activity
<1.5 ppm eU
1.5-2.5 ppm
eU
>2.5 ppm eU
Geology
negative
variable
positive
Soil
permeability
<2.0 x 10“10
2.0 x 10"10
to 2.0 x 10~8
>2.0 x 10-8
Structure type
(a, b & c)
a. foundation
Crawl space
Slab-on-grade
b. wall
Monolithic
Stem wall
c. slab
Fixed-end
Floating
Modified from Gundersen et al. [1993]

147
Table 6.2 Probable Indoor Radon Level
Radon potential
Point range
Probable average
category
indoor radon
Low
<10
<2 pCi/L
(74 Bq/m3)
Moderate
11 - 13
2-4 pCi/L
(74-148 Bq/m3)
High
> 13
> 4 pCi/L
(148 Bq/m3)
Modified from Gundersen et al. [1993]
User-index (Click me)
Haa<ü®3s S
* Total point
13
** Radon potential category
Moderate/Variable
*** Probable average screening
indoor radon for the house
Between 2 to 4 pCi/L
See Criteria Table
<3
Figure 6.11 Program Output of Radon Index

148
Enkavenl Mat Method
Crack Treatment Expert
Construction of Floor Slab
Radon Water Treatment
O Quit HyperCard?
Radon Mitigation Methods
A A
Vapor Barrier Placement
Suction Pit Method
\/
Figure 6.12 Functions of Mitigation Methods Database
Researcher
Go Back!
Governmental Agencies
Mitigation methods
What is radon?
Mitigation Standards
Mitigator
Radon Database
Discription of Standards
Radon property
Radon Index
Newhouse. Standards
O Quit HyperCard?
Up-to-date Mitigation Methods
Figure 6.13 Key Elements of Researcher Database

149
Radon Theory Radon decay chains, indoor radon
equations, soil permeability, soil moisture content,
diffusion theory, and other topics are all detailed in this
file.
Radon Research Update Based on the "Research up-date"
of the EPA's quarterly publications, research progresses and
on-going projects are summarized in this file. In addition,
historical radon mitigation movements of the governmental
agencies are listed in tables.
Radon mitigation methods This file contains the most
up-to-date mitigation methods. The methods were applied in
the past projects or are still in research.
Sample Applications of the Expert System
As previously mentioned, an expert system serves as one
of the modules in the RIS. The expert system is active only
when the system calls it. The expert system is applied in
diagnosing crack problems, crack sealant selection, crack
treatments, crack installation detail, and indoor radon
prediction.
The expert system serves as a sub-module, and it is
triggered by the HyperCard functional buttons. Connection
from HyperCard to the MacSmarts expert system is shown in
Figure 6.14. The MacSmarts expert system provides rule-
based and sample-based knowledge bases. A rule-based
knowledge base is created as regular rule programming. If
the problem itself is structured and has a solid outcome, a

150
Construction procedures
Crack sealant characteristics
Expert System
Figure 6.14 Linkage of HyperCard and MacSmarts Expert System
sample-based knowledge base can be established. A sample-
based knowledge base turns factors and advice into examples.
For example, indoor radon prediction depends on soil
permeability and soil radon. A sample-based knowledge base
encapsulates the facts and advice into examples.
The rule-based knowledge base is illustrated by crack
sealant and crack diagnosis knowledge bases.

151
A) MacSMARTS Rule-based Knowledge Base: crack.sealant
According to crack length and crack width, a crack
sealant is advised for crack treatment by the MacSmarts
expert system. The rules and advice of crack.sealant
knowledge base are shown as follows:
RULES:
1 No need to seal cracks.
IF NO: Is the total crack length >15 feet?
2 Elastomeric coating
IF YES: crack_width<=stand_crack
3 Sealant with backer rod.
IF YES: Was saw cut applied?
IF YES: crack_width>stand_crack
4 Elastomeric Membrane
IF YES: crack_width>stand_crack
ADVICE:
1 No need to seal cracks.
2 Elastomeric coating
PRIMARY LINK:crack.fig.la
3 Sealant with backer rod.
PRIMARY LINK:crack.fig.lb
4 Elastomeric Membrane
PRIMARY LINK:crack.fig.lc
A possible outcome of the crack treatments is
illustrated in Figure 6.15.

152
Figure 6.15 Expert System Output (crack.fig.lb) for
Crack Treatments
B) MacSMARTS Rule-based Knowledge Base:crack.diagonosis.user
Crack formation depends on curing time, construction
joints installation, construction joint spacing, temperature
on site and construction quality. This knowledge base
predicts the possible cracking based on these factors.
RULES:
1 The predicted concrete floor has :"Minor Cracking"
IF YES: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF YES: joint_spacing<=joints

The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF YES: joint_spacing<=joints
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF NO: joint_spacing<=joints
IF YES: Temperature<=St.temp
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF YES: period>=st.time
IF NO: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
The predicted concrete floor has:"Serious Cracking"
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF NO: joint_spacing<=joints
IF NO: Temperature<=St.temp
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time

IF NO: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF YES: Temperature<=St.temp
IF YES: Was the concrete pouring in good quality?
The predicted concrete floor has :"Serious Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF NO: joint_spacing<=joints
IF YES: Temperature<=St.temp
IF NO: Was the concrete pouring in good standard?
The predicted concrete floor has:"Serious Cracking"
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF NO: Were construction joints installed?
IF NO: Temperature>=St.temp
IF NO: Was the concrete pouring in good quality?
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF NO: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF NO: Temperature<=St.temp
IF YES: Was the concrete pouring in good quality?
The predicted concrete floor has :"Serious Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?

155
IF NO: joint_spacing<=joints
IF NO: Temperature<=St.temp
ADVICE:
1
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has
:"Minor Cracking"
2
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Moderate
Cracking"
3
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Moderate
Cracking"
4
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Moderate
Cracking"
5
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Serious
Cracking"
6
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has :
"Moderate
Cracking"
7
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has :
"Serious
Cracking"
8
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Serious
Cracking"
9
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has :
"Moderate
Cracking"
10
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has :
"Serious
Cracking"
C) MacSMARTS Sample-based Knowledge Base:Indoor.Radon.predif
The indoor radon prediction knowledge base is an
example of a sample-based knowledge base. Since the
knowledge base is established in sample type, the rules are
not shown in the knowledge base. The rules are simplified
into factors, advice and samples. Users can use these
factors and turn the facts into sample knowledge base. A
sample-based knowledge base is illustrated as follows:
Factors: Soil permeability and Soil radon.
Choices:
1) Soil permeability (in/hr): <0.5, 0.5-1.0, 1.0-5.0, >5.0
2) Soil radon (pCi/L):1000, 2000, 3300, 4000.

156
Advice: High, Medium or Low radon concentration.
Based on the values of the soil permeability and soil
radon (factors), the model predicts the potential indoor
radon level (advice). The decision table (sample base) is
illustrated in Table 6.3 [Mose et al. 1992] . The prediction
of the potential indoor levels is transformed into
"Indoor.Radon.predif" knowledge base.
RULES:
1 Indoor radon (sample-based knowledge base)
ADVICE:
1 Indoor radon
PRIMARY LINK:indoor.prediction.pict
System Testing and Validation
The system was tested and modified many times by many
homeowners, potential new house buyers, and researchers.
Their suggestions were incorporated in the system. The
radon research teams of UF provided many excellent
recommendations which make this program more useful.
The indoor radon prediction program was tested for its
precision. In one tested case, the predicted indoor radon
level was between 2 to 4 pCi/L, and the actual measured
indoor radon level was 2.3 pCi/L. Some tests showed
accurate prediction, but some predicted a little bit higher.
However, only limited data sets were available because the
uranium concentrations were not available in most of the

157
houses. A reasonable value was assumed. For example, the
uranium content in Alachua county was assumed to be the
average 1.5 ppm. RIS provides mostly recommended
information. It is a reference to the user. The author
suggests that the user should have her/his house tested for
indoor radon level even the user consulted with the indoor
radon prediction program.
RIS demonstrates the flexibility of retrieving
information and resolving possible radon problems, selecting
radon mitigation methods, crack prevention methods,
predicting potential radon levels, and providing useful
radon information. This user-friendly system is effective
and applicable.
Summary
The RIS has demonstrated a successful knowledge-
presenting and information-retrieving computer-aided
program. Construction of a radon resistant building can be
obtained from this system effectively and precisely. This
system also provides diagnosis and prediction of indoor
radon levels. The radon knowledge bases presented in this
system provide homeowner, contractor, and researcher with a
friendly environment in which to search for information.
The information provided by RIS is updated to cover
the state-of-the-art radon mitigation methods and research
progress. In addition, radon knowledge stored and
organized in RIS could also be helpful for future research.

158
Table 6.3 Decision Table of the Indoor Radon Prediction
Soil
Permeability
Soil Radon
(pCi/L)
Predicted Indoor
Radon (pCi/L)
1
0.5 < SP <= 1.0
SR <=1000
Low (0~5)
2
1.0 < SP <= 5.0
SR <=1000
Low (0~5)
3
5.0 < SP
SR <=1000
Low (0~5)
4
SP <=0.5
SR <=1000
Low (0~5)
5
SP <=0.5
1000 < SR <= 2000
Low (0~5)
6
0.5 < SP <= 1.0
1000 < SR <= 2000
Medium (5 ~ 15)
7
1.0 < SP <= 5.0
1000 < SR <= 2000
Medium (5 ~ 15)
8
5.0 < SP
1000 < SR <= 2000
Medium (5 ~ 15)
9
SP <=0.5
2000 < SR <= 3300
Medium (5 ~ 15)
10
0.5 < SP <= 1.0
2000 < SR <= 3300
Medium (5 ~ 15)
11
1.0 < SP <= 5.0
2000 < SR <= 3300
High (15 or above)
12
5.0 < SP
2000 < SR <= 3300
High (15 or above)
13
SP <=0.5
3300 < SR
High (15 or above)
14
0.5 < SP <= 1.0
3300 < SR
High (15 or above)
15
1.0 < SP <= 5.0
3300 < SR
High (15 or above)
16
5.0 < SP
3300 < SR
High (15 or above)
Modified from Mose et al. [1992]

CHAPTER 7
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Summary and Conclusion
Radon problems were investigated from substructure to
superstructure. The causes of radon, radon sources, radon
entry mechanisms, crack study, the research results of UF
and mitigation methods were detailed in this research. A
computer aided program, Radon Information System, was
developed based on these findings.
Effectiveness of the Radon Mitigation Methods
Radon concentration is affected by many factors and
these are usually inter-related. Through the research
projects of UF, no one significant factor was found that
directly influences radon intrusion. However, the research
results show that it is satisfactory to reduce radon entry.
The mitigation methods employed by UF have effectively
reduced indoor radon to an acceptable level. The average
indoor radon levels of projects in 1992 and 1993 are 2.49
and 2.76 pCi/L, respectively. These levels are less than
159

160
the EPA standard, 4 pCi/L.
Regardless of the inconclusiveness of house ventilation
and pressure differential tests, the passive barrier is
successful in constructing a radon resistant house.
Furthermore, the mitigation methods are commercially
feasible.
Cost-Effectiveness of the Mitigation Systems
The cost of installing a mitigation system is around
$500 to $1000 for a single-family three-bedroom house. In
comparing this amount to the cost of a new house, it is
relatively small. It is feasible to spend around $1000 to
have a safe living environment.
Advantages of Radon Information System
Information for constructing a radon resistant building
can be obtained from this system effectively and precisely.
This system also provides diagnosis of cracks and prediction
of potential indoor radon levels. The radon knowledge bases
presented in this system provide the homeowner, contractor,
and researcher with a animated environment in which to
search for information.
The information provided by RIS is updated to cover the

161
state-of-the-art radon mitigation methods and research
progress. Radon knowledge stored and organized in RIS could
also be helpful in future research.
Recommendations
The graphical presentation of the HyperCard is limited.
If the memory can be enlarged, a larger scale picture can be
shown. In addition, the execution speed should be improved.
It takes much longer to open a file than to open an IBM PC
or a comparable one. Likewise, the ability to access
spreadsheets is restricted. A more flexible program should
be incorporated.
Because of time and financial limitations now, the
proposed mitigation system must continue to be researched.
Also, more expert experience should be obtained through
research and governmental agencies.
Perforated pipe method may be implemented in future
research, because its coverage is large than the suction pit
method and its costs are less than the Enkavent mat method.
Finally, since radon measurement precision was affected
by tube length as discussed in Chapter 4, the EPA should
consider this issue in the future radon measurements.

162
Author's Contribution to the Advancement of Radon Knowledge
The crack study analyzed the potential radon entry
through concrete slabs. It was found that new houses have
better crack resistance than old houses. Construction
joints can reduce crack growth. Ample curing time and
proper curing methods must be used to reduce cracking.
The indoor radon prediction model is a newly developed
tool which is based on previous work and incorporates the
new findings of this study. This model provides an
effective estimate of the radon level of a new house.
The author has also developed the Radon Information
System, which has demonstrated to be a useful knowledge-
presenting and information-retrieving computer-aided
program. The radon knowledge stored in this system can be
used to assist users effectively.

APPENDIX A
STATISTICS PROGRAMS
This file demonstrates some input and out data by SAS
programs. The data are from the UF project results. There
is a brief explanation of each program.
Testing Equality of Four ACH Experiments
This program is for testing the equality of house
ventilation under four different conditions. The input data
and testing methods (Tukey's comparison, Ttest) are
presented. An output of the program was shown in Table 4.9.
C ****** pour ACH Tests ***** c
C NHEP-92, Updated on: 5/18/94 C
C File: C:\radon\nhep\ach92_4t.sas C
C Comparison of 4 tests of ACH C
C Test 1: Natural Ventilation C
C Test 2: Air Handler on C
C Test 3: Air Handler on doors Closed C
C Test 4: SSD Exhaust fan on C
options ps = 62 1s = 74;
data one;
do radon=l to 20;
do test=l to 4;
input ach@@;
output;
end;
end;
cards;
0.144 0.327 0.626 0.169
0.495 0.424 0.557 0.159
163

164
0.215
0.317
0.631
0.188
0.278
0.352
0.743
0 . Ill
0.190
0.419
0.687
0.372
0.203
0.412
0.437
0.174
0.121
0.518
0.786
0.247
0.331
0.553
0.735
0.223
0.208
0.3
0.764
0.145
0.316
0.928
0.916
0.294
0.179
0.407
0.763
0.141
0.545
0.553
N/A
0.465
CN
O
0.404
0.811
0.213
0.192
0.335
0.493
0.23
proc means;
var ach;
title ' ' ;
run;
data two;
set one;
proc plot;
plot ach*test;
run;
data three;
set one;
proc chart;
vbar ach/ sumvar=ach group=test midpoints=0.5 ;
run;
C ***** Tukey's Comparison of multiple means *****
proc glm;
class test;
model ach=test;
means test/ tukey;
run;
data four;
set one;
if test=l or test=2;
run;
data five;
set one;
if test=l or test=3;
run;

165
data six;
set one;
if test=l or test=4;
run;
data sev;
set one;
if test=2 or test=3;
run;
data eig;
set one;
if test=2 or test=4;
run;
data nin;
set one;
if test=3 or test=4;
run;
C ***** Test for the means of two variables ******
proc ttest data=four;
class test;
var ach;
title' Test 1&2';
run;
proc ttest data=five;
class test;
var ach;
title'Test 1 Sc 3 ' ;
run;
proc ttest data=six;
class test;
var ach;
title'Test 1 & 4';
run;
proc ttest data=sev;
class test;
var ach;
title'Test 2 & 3';
run;

166
proc ttest data=eig;
class test;
var ach;
title'Test 2 & 4';
run;
proc ttest data=nin;
class test;
var ach;
title'Test 3 & 4 1 ;
run;
Indoor Radon and Its correlation tests
This program is for calculating the correlation between
two parameters. The input data, normality tests and some
program output are presented.
C ****** Correlation Between Parameters ****** c
C NHEP-93, Updated on: 5/18/94 C
options ps=62 1s = 74;
data one;
input house $ soilrd cracklg crackrd subrd indoord infil;
cards;
Resver-4
1683
0
0
n
2.07
0.49
Resver-8
2896
0
0
n
2.52
0.31
Resver-48
2935
24
180
638
2.99
0.33
Resver-39
1189
132
227
424
2.24
0.34
Resver-30
911
0
0
n
2.7
0.27
HaysGlen
3822
N1668
3
550
n
n
SummitOaks
1112
108
48.2
2934
4.16
0.26
RobinLane
6607
312
6.78
306
2.72
0.38
Kenwood
1055
0
0
n
2.86
0.21
TurkeyCreek
1298
120
10
2573
n
n
IndianPine
N32988
0
0
n
2.6
n
FletcherMill
3485
0
0
n
n
n
C Note: Extreme data were taken out: N32988 & N1668
proc print;

167
proc means;
run;
C *** Testing the Normality of data sets ***
proc univariate freq plot normal;
var soilrd cracklg crackrd subrd indoord infil;
run;
C *** Calcuation of correlation ***
proc corr;
var soilrd cracklg crackrd subrd indoord infil;
run;
proc plot;
plot cracklg*crackrd;
proc corr;
var cracklg crackrd;
run;
proc plot;
plot soilrd*subrd;
proc corr;
var soilrd subrd;
run;
proc plot;
plot soilrd*indoord;
run;
proc plot;
plot indoord*infil;
run;
data two;
set one;
soilcrlg=soilrd*cracklg;
proc plot;
plot soilcrlg*indoord;
proc corr;
var soilcrlg indoord;
run;
Sample Program output: Normality
This output shows the normality of the data.

168
UNIVARIATE PROCEDURE
Variable=SOILRD
Moments
N
9
Sum Wgts
9
Mean
2731.444
Sum
24583
Std Dev
1818.257
Variance
3306057
Skewness
1.186567
Kurtosis
1.630884
USS
93595555
CSS
26448456
CV
66.56758
Std Mean
606.085
T:Mean=0
4.506698
Prob>|T|
0.002
Sgn Rank
22.5
Prob>|S|
0.0039
Num 0
9
W:Normal
0.88004
Prob 0.1546
Quantiles(Def=5)
100% Max
6607
99%
6607
75% Q3
3485
95%
6607
50% Med
2896
90%
6607
25% Q1
1189
10%
911
0% Min
911
5%
911
1%
911
Range
5696
Q3-Q1
2296
Mode
911
Extremes
Lowest
Obs
Highest
Obs
911 (
5)
2896 (
2)
1055 (
9)
2935 (
3)
1189 (
4)
3485 (
12)
1683 (
1)
3822 (
6)
2896 (
2)
6607 (
8)
Missing Value
Count 3
% Count/Nobs 25.00
The normality for soil radon is 0.88004 which is high.
Therefore, assume that the data are normal.

169
Sample Program Output: Correlation
CORRELATION ANALYSIS
6 'VAR' Variables:SOILRD CRACKLG CRACKRD SUBRD INDOORD
INFIL
Simple Statistics
Variable
N
Mean
Std Dev
Sum
Minimum
Maximum
SOILRD
11
2454
1740
26993
911.0000
6607
CRACKLG
11
63.2727
98.6763
696.0000
0
312.0000
CRACKRD
12
39.5817
78.3968
474.9800
0
227.0000
SUBRD
6
1237
1185
7425
306.0000
2934
INDOORD
9
2.7622
0.5977
24.8600
2.0700
4.1600
INFIL
8
0.3237
0.0855
2.5900
0.2100
0.4900
Pearson Correlation Coefficients / Prob > |R| under Ho:
Rho=0 / Number of Observations
SOILRD
CRACKLG
CRACKRD
SUBRD
INDOORD
INFIL
SOILRD 1.00000
0.58771
-0.17310 -
0.61733
-0.10181
0.35617
0.0
0.0740
0.6108
0.1916
0.8104
0.3865
11
10
11
6
8
8
CRACKLG 0.58771
1.00000
0.16126
-0.30703
0.14643
0.19586
0.0740
0.0
0.6357
0.6153
0.7070
0.6420
10
11
11
5
9
8
CRACKRD -0.17310 0.16126
1.00000
-0.35150
-0.02473
.03842
0.6108
0.6357
0.0
0.4945
0.9496
0.9280
11
11
12
6
9
8
SUBRD
-0.61733
-0.30703
-0.35150
1.00000
0.94048
-0.93790
0.1916
0.6153
0.4945
o
o
0.0595
0.0621
6
5
6
6
4
4
INDOORD
-0.10181
0.14643
-0.02473
0.94048
1.00000
-0.57316
0.8104
0.7070
0.9496
0.0595
o
o
0.1375
8
9
9
4
9
8
INFIL
0.35617
0.19586
0.03842
-0.93790
-0.57316
1.00000
0.3865
0.6420
0.9280
0.0621
0.1375
o
o
8
8
8
4
8
8

APPENDIX B
HYPERTALK PROGRAMS
HyperTalk Scripts
The HyperCard programming language, HyperTalk is the
main control mechanism in between stacks, cards, fields and
buttons. The HyperTalk programs are called "scripts". Some
of the main scripts of the databases are listed as follows.
Some useful programs of the RIS are presented. The
programs illustrate the functions of connection, special
effects, and data transferring of the HyperCard. A brief
explanation of the functions is supplied in the programs.
Stack Scripts--Main Menu
on openstack--instructions
repeat 3
put "Please select appropriate button for further
information!" into card field"sele"
wait 2 second
put empty into card field "sele"
end repeat
end openstack
on openStack
170

hide message box
show menuBar
171
pass openStack
end openStack
.Card Scripts
on opencard-- Card first
play "harpsichord" "ge ge aq gq e5q b4h ge ge aq gq d5q ch
g4e ge g5q ce ce b4q aq f5e fe eq cq dq ch"--sound
end opencard
on opencard-- Card goo
-- selection of corresponding database from user
get first line of card field "open"
if it is "1" then
go to stack"home.owner"
else if it is "2" then
go to stack"contractor-builder"
else go to stack"researcher"
end opencard
Stack--Homeowner
Button Scripts -- First Card
on mouseUp-- what to do
go to stack"what.to.do"
end mouseUp
on mouseUp-- what is radon?
go to card "whatis" of stack "what.is.radon.own"

172
end mouseUp
on mouseUp-- EPA standard
visual dissolve
go to stack"EPA.standard.own"
end mouseUp
on mouseUp-- Mitigator
visual effect iris open
go to stack "radon.mitigator.own"
end mouseUp
on mouseUp-- Newhouse Standards
-- visual effect checkerboard
-- visual effect iris open
--visual effect scroll right
flash 3
visual stretch from top
visual effect wipe left very slow to inverse
go to stack"Newhouse.home"
end mouseUp
on mouseUp-- State Radon
dial "904-336-8214"
go to stack"state.radon.own"
end mouseUp
on mouseUp-- Quit HyperCard
answer "Are you sure that you want to quit?" with "Yes"
"No"
if it is "yes" then
or
--domenu"compact stack

173
visual dissolve to inverse
domenu"Quit HyperCard"
end if
end mouseUp
Stack-- EPA Standards
on opencard-- Card epa
repeat 5
put "EPA STANDARDS" into card field epal
wait 40
put empty into card field epal
end repeat
put "EPA STANDARDS" into card field epal
end opencard
on opencard-- Card other
-- play "boing" tempo 120 "ge ge aq gq e5q b4h ge ge aq
gq d5q ch g4e ge g5q ce ce b4q aq f5e fe eq cq dq ch"
repeat 5
put "OTHER RADON STANDARDS" into card field OTHER
wait 40
put empty into card field OTHER
end repeat
put "OTHER RADON STANDARDS" into card field OTHER
end opencard
Stack-- Newhouse.standards
on openstack

174
visual effect dissolve to white
wait 1 seconds
repeat 5
put "Hi! Look!" into card field"lookl"
wait 20
put empty into card field "lookl"
end repeat
put "Hi! Look!" into card field"lookl"
wait 30 seconds
flash 2
visual effect wipe right very slowly
go to card id 6123
repeat 5
put "Hi! Look!" into card field"lookl"
wait 20
put empty into card field "lookl"
end repeat
put "Hi! Look!" into card field"lookl"
wait 25 seconds
visual effect iris close
go to card id 5572
Repeat 5
wait 60
put"Press the button twice for further information!
card field prl
wait 40
into
visual dissolve to white

175
visual effect wipe up slowly
visual effect iris close very slowly
put empty into card field prl
end repeat
put "Press the button twice for further information!"
card field prl
end openstack
Stack-- Newhouse.Title
on openstack
repeat 12
lock screen
go to next card
unlock screen
end repeat
go to card id 5361 of stack "newhouse"
end openstack
Stack-- Stack Radon
on mouseUp-- Stack Radon Contacts
--on openstack
set lockmessages to true
ask "Which state are you interested in?"
-- if it is empty then exit mouseup
if it is empty then answer "No state was selected!"
else put it into findstring
into
lock screen

176
set cursor to busy
-- repeat forever
find whole findstring
if the foundline is empty
then answer "No state was found!"
if the foundline is empty
then exit mouseup
end mouseUp
Stack-- Mitigation Methods
on opencard-- first
set hilite of card button "quit hypercard?" to false
end opencard
on openstack--change text size
set textsize of card field"mi" to 14
wait 10
set textsize of card field"mi" to 12
wait 10
set textsize of card field "mi" to 14
wait 10
set textsize of card field "mi" to 16
end openstack
on mouseUp-- Suction pit
visual dissolve to white
visual effect Venetian blinds slow
-- visual effect iris close very slowly

play "boing" twice
show card field "note"
177
wait 5 seconds
hide card field "note"
go card "detail"
end mouseUp
on opencard-- ins
picture "pitl",file,dialog
wait 100
beep 2
answer "You may use scrolling bar for more information!"
with "OK" or "Cancel"
if it is "OK" then
repeat 4
put "Use mouse to drag the window!" into card field
b22
wait 60
put empty into card field b22
end repeat
else
repeat 4
put "Select next card!" into card field b22
wait 60
put empty into card field b22
end repeat
end if

178
--put "Go next card for a clearer but smaller scale
picture!" into msg
-- show msg
-- wait 5 seconds
-- hide msg
end opencard
on closecard
close window"pitl"
end closecard
On opencard-- cost
visual dissolve to black
wait 3 seconds
set numberformat to "0"
put 3048/1300 into third line of card field"pits"
answer"Do you want to have the cost estimation for a
particular floor area? " with "yes" or "No"
if it is "yes" then go next card
end opencard
on mouseleave-- field co2
global mtot
global ltot
put 0 into mtot
put 0 into ltot
set lockmessages to true
set numberformat to "0"
repeat with j=2 to 8

179
get line j of card field "co2"
add it to mtot
get line j of card field "co3"
add it to ltot
end repeat
put mtot into line 9 of card field "co2"
put ltot into line 9 of card field "co3"
get line 9 of card field "co2"+ line 9 of card field "co3"
put it into line 10 of card field "co2"
repeat with j=l to number of lines of card field"co2"
get line j of card field"co2"
put it into line j of card field"coo2" of card Mcost2"
end repeat
set lockmessages to false
end mouseleave
on mouseleave-- field co3
global mtot
global ltot
put 0 into mtot--initialization
put 0 into ltot--initialization
set lockmessages to true
set numberformat to "0"
repeat with j=2 to 8
get line j of card field "co2"
add it to mtot
get line j of card field "co3"
add it to ltot

180
end repeat
put mtot into line 9 of card field "co2"
put ltot into line 9 of card field "co3"
get line 9 of card field "co2"+ line 9 of card field "co3"
put it into line 10 of card field "co2"
repeat with j=l to number of lines of card field"co3"
get line j of card field"co3"
put it into line j of card field"coo3" of card "cost2"
end repeat
set lockmessages to false
end mouseleave
stack-- crack
card-- crack information
on mouseUp-- crack diagonosis
visual effect checkerboard fast
open"crack.diagonosis.user"with "MacSMARTSâ„¢ Professional"
-- link to MacSMARTSâ„¢ expert system
end mouseUp
card--crack.sealants
on mouseUp-- construction procedures
open"crackseaff.user"with "MacSMARTSâ„¢ Professional"
end mouseUp
stack-- Radon Index
card-- county

181
on mouseUp-- index
put 0 into ptl --initialization
put 0 into pt2
put 0 into pt3
put 0 into pt4
put 0 into pt5
put "There are Alachua, Baker and Bay counties available
at this moment" into msg
put empty into card field"findex2"
set lockmessages to true
ask "Which county are you interested in?"
-- if it is empty then exit mouseup
if it is empty then answer "No county was selected!"
else put it into findstring
lock screen
set cursor to busy
-- repeat forever
find whole findstring
if the foundline is empty
then answer "No county was found!"
if the foundline is empty
then exit mouseup
--answer "your selected county was" & findstring&
put word 2 of the foundline into keyl
-- put keyl into msg
put word 2 of line keyl of card field"data" into dl
put word 3 of line keyl of card field"data" into d2

182
put word 4 of line keyl of card field"data" into d3
put word 5 of line keyl of card field"data" into d4
put word 6 of line keyl of card field"data" into d5
if dl<2 then put 1 into ptl
else if dl>=2 or dl<=4 then put 2 into ptl
else put 3 into ptl
if d2<1.5 then put 1 into pt2
else if d2>=1.5 or d2<=2.5 then put 2 into pt2
else put 3 into pt2
if d3=negative then put 1 into pt3
else if d3=variable then put 2 into pt3
else put 3 into pt3
if d4=low then put 1 into pt4
else if d3=moderate then put 2 into pt4
else put 3 into pt4
if d5=slab then put 1 into pt5
else if d3=mixed then put 2 into pt5
else put 3 into pt5
add ptl to pt2
add pt2 to pt3
add pt3 to pt4
add pt4 to pt5

183
put pt5 into line 1 of card field "findex"
If pt5 >3 and pt5<=8 then put "LOW" into pot
else if pt5>8 and pt5<=ll then put "Moderate/Variable"
into pot
else put "HIGH" into pot
put pot into line 2 of card field "findex"
If pt5 >3 and pt5<=8 then put "<2 pCi/L" into indoor
else if pt5>8 and pt5<=ll then put "2-4 pCi/L" into indoor
else put ">4 pCi/L" into indoor
put indoor into line 4 of card field "findex"
repeat with j=l to number of lines of card field"findex"
get line j of card field"findex"
put it into line j of card field"findex2" of card "county"
end repeat
go back
unlock screen
hide msg
set lockmessages to false
-- if pt5 is 0
--then answer "No county was found!"
--show msg
end mouseUp
card--individual
Indoor Radon Prediction

184
on mouseUp-- User-index
hide card field"findex"
hide card field"tot"
hide card button"po"
put 0 into ptl
put 0 into pt2
put 0 into pt3
put 0 into pt4
put 0 into pt5
put 0 into pt6
put 0 into pt7
put empty into dl
put empty into d2
put empty into card field"findex"
set lockmessages to true --speed up
repeat 3
ask "What is the average INDOOR RADON (pCi/L)
your area?"
if it is empty then answer "No INDOOR RADON
selected!"
else put it into dl
if dl is not empty
then exit repeat
level in
level was
end repeat
if dl is empty
then exit mouseup

185
repeat 3
ask "What is the AERIAL RADIOACTIVITY (ppm eU) level in
your area?"
if it is empty then answer "No AERIAL RADIOACTIVITY
level was selected!"
else put it into d2
if d2 is not empty
then exit repeat
end repeat
if d2 is empty
then exit mouseup
show card field"rock"
answer "What is the GEOLOGY FORMATION in your area?" with
"NEGATIVE" or "VARIABLE" or "POSITIVE"
if it is empty then answer "No GEOLOGY FORMATION was
selected!"
else put it into d3
hide card field"rock"
show card field"perm"
answer "What is the SOIL PERMEABILITY in your area?" with
"P<2E-10" or "2E-108E-8"
if it is empty then answer "No SOIL PERMEABILITY was
selected!"
else put it into d4
hide card field"perm"

186
answer "What is the FOUNDATION TYPE of the house?" with
"SlabOnGrade" or "Crawl Space"
if it is empty then answer "No FOUNDATION TYPE was
selected!"
else put it into d5
answer "What is the WALL TYPE of the house?" with
"Monolithic" or "Stem wall"
if it is empty then answer "No WALL TYPE was selected!"
else put it into d6
if it is "stem wall" then
answer "What is the SLAB TYPE of the house?" with
"Floating" or "Fixed End"
else put 1 into d7
if it is empty then answer "No WALL TYPE was selected!"
else put it into d7
if dl<2 then put 1 into ptl
else if dl>=2 or dl<=4 then put 2 into ptl
else put 3 into ptl
if d2<1.5 then put 1 into pt2
else if d2>=1.5 or d2<=2.5 then put 2 into pt2
else put 3 into pt2
if d3=negative then put 1 into pt3
else if d3=variable then put 2 into pt3
else put 3 into pt3
if d4="P<2E-10" then put 1 into pt4

187
else if d3="2E-10 else put 3 into pt4
if d5=Slab0nGrade then put 2 into pt5
else put 1 into pt5
if d6=Monolithic then put 1 into pt6
else put 2 into pt6
if d7=Floating then put 2 into pt7
else put 1 into pt7
add ptl to pt2
add pt2 to pt3
add pt3 to pt4
add pt4 to pt5
add pt5 to pt6
add pt6 to pt7
put pt7 into line 1 of card field "findex"
If pt7<=10 then put "LOW" into pot
else if pt7>10 and pt7<=13 then put "Moderate/Variable"
into pot
else put "HIGH" into pot
put pot into line 2 of card field "findex"
If pt7<=10 then put "Less than 2 pCi/L" into indoor
else if pt7>10 and pt7<=13 then put "Between 2 to 4 pCi/L"
into indoor
else put "Greater than 4 pCi/L" into indoor
put indoor into line 4 of card field "findex"

188
--show card fieldMdata"
show card field"tot"
show card button"po"
show card field"findex"
set lockmessages to false
end mouseUp
The following pages are the sample cards of the RIS.

189
> _ Radon jas
» i
* Radon (Rn-222) is the decay
product of uranium. It is a
radioactive, odorless, colorless,
naturally occuring gas. It can
contribute to significant damage
to respiratory tissue under
conditions of prolonged exposure
to elevated concentrations of the
gas. Constantly exposure to high
concentration of radon gas wifi
cause lung cancer.
o^>
. .

190

191

APPENDIX C
EXPERT SYSTEM KNOWLEDGE BASES
This file illustrates some knowledge bases of the RIS.
The rules and advice of the knowledge bases are presented.
Crack sealant, crack treatment, crack diagnosis, and sample-
based indoor radon prediction knowledge bases are
demonstrated.
Crack Sealant Knowledge Base
This file illustrates the selection of a crack sealant
by total crack length and crack width.
MacSMARTS Knowledge Base: crackseaff
FACTS:
1 TRUE
RULES:
1 No need to seal cracks.
IF NO: Is the total crack length >15 feet?
2 Elastomeric coating
IF YES: crack_width<=stand_crack
3 Sealant with backer rod.
IF YES: Was saw cut applied?
192

193
4
ADVICE:
1
2
3
4
base.
IF YES: crack_width>stand_crack
Elastomeric Membrane
IF YES: crack width>stand crack
No need to seal cracks.
Elastomeric coating
PRIMARY LINK:crack.fig.la
Sealant with backer rod.
PRIMARY LINK¡crack.fig.lb
Elastomeric Membrane
PRIMARY LINK:crack.fig.lc
Primary links are the suggestions of the knowledge
Crack.fig,la
Elastomeric coating
Polyethylene vapor barrier

194
Crack.fig.lb
Crack.fig,le
Back-up filler

195
Crack Treatment Knowledge Base
Depending on slab type, foundation structure and wall
type, the knowledge base advises the method to crack
problems.
MacSMARTS Knowledge Base: perimeter.rule
FACTS:
1 TRUE
RULES:
1 Construction detail: (fig.l); Materials used:
polyethylene vapor barrier to exterior.
IF YES: Is the slab type monolithic?
IF YES: Is the house built slab-on-grade?
2 Construction detail: (fig.2); Materials used:
polyethylene vapor barrier to exterior.
IF YES: Is the slab type monolithic?
IF NO: Is the house built slab-on-grade?
IF YES: Is house built of stem wall?
3 Construction detail: (fig.3); Materials used:
polyethylene vapor barrier to exterior.
IF YES: Is the slab type monolithic?
YES: Is the house built with increasingslab
IF NO: Is the house built slab-on-grade?
IF width at the end of the wall?

196
4 Construction detail: (fig.4); Materials used:
polyurethane or polysulfide sealants.
IF NO: Is the slab type monolithic?
IF YES: Is the house built with floating slab?
5 Construction detail: (fig.5); Materials used:
polyurethane sealants & waterproofing membranes or
polysulfide sealants.
IF NO: Is the slab type monolithic?
IF NO: Is the house built with floating slab?
IF YES: Is the house built with fixed slab?
ADVICE:
1 Construction detail: (fig.l); Materials used:
polyethylene vapor barrier to exterior.
PRIMARY LINK:perimeter.fig.1
2 Construction detail: (fig.2); Materials used:
polyethylene vapor barrier to exterior.
PRIMARY LINK:perimeter.fig.2p
3 Construction detail: (fig.3); Materials used:
polyethylene vapor barrier to exterior.
PRIMARY LINK:perimeter.fig.3.incrp
4 Construction detail: (fig.4); Materials used:
polyurethane or polysulfide sealants.
PRIMARY LINK:perimeter.fig.4p
5 Construction detail: (fig.5); Materials used:
polyurethane sealants & waterproofing membranes or

197
polysulfide sealants.
PRIMARY LINK:perimeter.fig.5p
The following drawings are the advice of the crack
treatment knowledge base.

198
Perimeter.fig.jp { fig.lp to fig.5p were modify from [ACRES
1990]}
continued minimum six
inches
outside perimeter

199
Perimeter.fig.2p
Concrete block foundation wall Concrete floor slab

200
Perimeter.fig.3p
Concrete block foundation wall
Concrete floor slab

201
Perimeter.fig.4p
Concrete block foundation vail Concrete floor slab

202
Perimeter.fig.5p

203
Indoor Radon Prediction Knowledge Base
This file is the sample-based knowledge base. It uses
decision table which simplifies the input and output into a
table format.
1) MacSMARTS Knowledge Base: Indoor.Radon.predif
DECISION TABLE KNOWLEDGE BASE
FACTS:
1 TRUE
RULES:
1 Indoor radon
ADVICE:
1 Indoor radon
PRIMARY LINK:indoor.prediction.pict
2) MacSMARTS Knowledge Base: crack.diagonosis.user
Based on the curing time, construction joint
installation, construction joint spacing, site temperature
and construction quality to predict potential cracking.
FACTS:
1 TRUE
RULES:

The predicted concrete floor has:"Minor Cracking"
IF YES: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF YES: joint_spacing<=joints
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF YES: joint_spacing<=joints
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF NO: joint_spacing<=joints
IF YES: Temperature<=St.temp
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF YES: period>=st.time
IF NO: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
The predicted concrete floor has:"Serious Cracking"
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?

PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF NO: joint_spacing<=joints
IF NO: Temperature<=St.temp
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF NO: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF YES: Temperature<=St.temp
IF YES: Was the concrete pouring in good quality?
The predicted concrete floor has:"Serious Cracking"
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict
IF NO: joint_spacing<=joints
IF YES: Temperature<=St.temp
IF NO: Was the concrete pouring in good standard?
The predicted concrete floor has:"Serious Cracking"
IF NO: period>=st.time
IF NO: Were construction joints installed?
IF NO: Temperature<=St.temp
IF NO: Was the concrete pouring in good quality?
The predicted concrete floor has:"Moderate Cracking
IF NO: period >=st.time
IF NO: Were construction joints installed?
PRIMARY LINK:summit-oaks.pict

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
206
IF NO: Temperature>=St.temp
IF YES: Was the concrete pouring in good quality?
The predicted concrete floor has :"Serious Cracking"
IF NO: period<= st.time
IF YES: Were construction joints installed?
IF NO: joint_spacing<=joints
IF NO: Temperature>=St.temp
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Minor Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Moderate Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Moderate Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Moderate Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Serious Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has :
"Moderate Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Serious Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Serious Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Moderate Cracking"
The
predicted
concrete
floor
has:
"Serious Cracking"

LIST OF REFERENCES
ACRES, "Radon Diffusion through Concrete," Atomic Energy-
Control Board, Elliot Lake Technical Note No.2,
Dilworth, Second, Meagher and Associates Limited, ACRES
Consulting Services Limited, DSMA Report No.1012/975;
(1978)
ACRES, "Radon Entry Through Cracks in Slab-On-Grade," Final
Report, Vol.II, Sealants for Cracks and Openings in
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Mr. Li finished his undergraduate study in Taiwan at
the Taipei Institute of Technology in 1986. He served the
mandatory military duty in the marine corps from 1986 to
1988. He worked as a civil engineer in the City of Taipei
from mid 1988 to early 1989, where he participated in
structural design and cost estimation.
Mr. Li came to the United States to pursue graduate
study in January 1989. From 1989 to 1990, he attended the
University of Delaware, receiving his Master of Engineering
in Structures.
From January 1991 through August 1992, he attended the
University of Maryland and received his Master of Science in
Construction Engineering and Management. Upon finishing
school in Maryland, he headed to the sunshine of Florida.
He began his Ph.D. study at the University of Florida and
has been enjoying the university and the beautiful Tree City
of the South, Gainesville.
He is a student member of the American Society of Civil
Engineers and a member of Tau Beta Pi.
215

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Naj af:
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degr^e^ of Doctor of Philosophy.
r^ifipson
3or of Civil Engineering
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
"Tro^
Civil Engineering
r^Vovc
Mang Tia
Professor ol
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Professor of Electrical Engineering

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for
lilosophy.
Elroy Bolduc!
Professor of ^Instruction and Curriculum
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty
of the College of Engineering and to the Graduate School and
was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for
the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
May, 1995
Winfred M. Phillips
Dean, College of Engineering
Karen A. Holbrook
Dean, Graduate School

LD
1780
1995
■ L¿9¿
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08556 8185