Citation
Evaluating the effects of soil and environmental conditions for soil-gas radon testing prior to construction

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Title:
Evaluating the effects of soil and environmental conditions for soil-gas radon testing prior to construction
Creator:
Salimi Tari, Esfandiar, 1954-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xv, 155 leaves : ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Porosity ( jstor )
Radon ( jstor )
Soil conditioners ( jstor )
Soil moisture ( jstor )
Soil samples ( jstor )
Soil temperature regimes ( jstor )
Soil water ( jstor )
Soil water content ( jstor )
Soils ( jstor )
Temperature gradients ( jstor )
Civil Engineering thesis, Ph.D ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Civil Engineering -- UF ( lcsh )
Radioactive pollution of soils -- Mathematical models ( lcsh )
Radon -- Measurement -- Mathematical models ( lcsh )
Soil air -- Testing ( lcsh )
City of Gainesville ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 1999.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 149-154).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by E. Salimi Tari.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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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:
030366241 ( ALEPH )
42842209 ( OCLC )

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EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF SOIL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS FOR SOIL-GAS RADON TESTING
PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION

















By

E. SALIMI TARI


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


1999














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I would like to express my sincere thanks and

appreciation to the members of the supervisory committee and

to all the people who participated in one way or another

during the course of this research.

In particular, I would like to extend special thanks to

Dr. Fazil Najafi, the chairman of my supervisory committee,

for his guidance, encouragement, and patience. Special thanks

are extended to the committee members: Dr. M. Tia with the

Department of Civil Engineering, Dr. Samim Anghaie with the

Department of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Dr. Roy

Bolduck with the College of Education, and Dr. Kaiss Al-Ahmady

with Conley, Rose & Tayon, for their discussions, advice, and

review of the final manuscript of this dissertation. I am

grateful for the instrumental assistance provided by Dr. Al-

Ahmady. His deep knowledge of the subject of this research and

his continual assistance made this work possible.

Partial support for this research was provided by the

Florida Department of Community Affairs, as part of the

Florida Radon Research Program. This support is respectfully

acknowledged.














Finally, I would like to express my appreciation and

thanks to my wife, Pouran, and my daughter, Maryam, whose

patience, understanding, and moral support were always

available and were needed to accomplish my research. I also

deeply appreciate my father, Shokrolah, and my mother, Pari,

for all the support they have given in my life.


iii















TABLE OF CONTENTS


page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.............................................. ii

LIST OF TABLES............................................... vi

LIST OF FIGURES.......................................... viii

ABSTRACT ................................................xiii

CHAPTERS


1 INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE SURVEY................. 1

Statement of the Problem........................... 1
Objectives of the Research ......................... 3
Properties of Radon................................. 4
Health Hazards of Indoor Radon Exposure............ 6
Availability of Radon in the Soil Gas.............. 10
Radon Transport in Soils ............................ 22

2 METHODOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN................. 36

Scope of the Methodology ............................. 36

Soil-Gas Radon Testing Methodology................. 39
Design of the Testing Chamber....................... 41
Design of the Experimental Procedure............... 43
Design of Pressure Measurements..................... 46
Design of Temperature and Humidity
Measurements................................... 48
Design of Data Collection .......................... 50
Design of Soil-Gas Radon Measurements............... 51
Collection and Processing of the Experimental
Raw Data ...................................... 54
Design of Tube-Length Effect Experiments........... 56
Quality Control and Assurance....................... 58


3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ............................. 65








Observations and Evaluation of the Testing
Configuration Condition........................ 65
Observations and Evaluation of the Temperature
Condition..................................... 83
Evaluation of the Soil Compaction Condition........ 91
Observations and Evaluation of the Soil
Moisture Condition ............................ 103
The Construction-Management Approach................ 129

4 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ............................. 137


REFERENCES.............................................. 149


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH..................................... 155















LIST OF TABLES





Selected physical properties of radon.........

Major characteristics of 222Rn and its
decay products (part of 23'U
decay chain) ..................................

The risk of exposure to annual radon
levels ........................................

Possible number of lung cancers and
comparison of the risk of radon
exposure for smokers ..........................

Possible number of lung cancers and
comparison of the risk of radon exposure
for nonsmokers ................................


Results of the tubing length (5, 10, and
15 feet) effect on the measured radon
concentration using the testing setup of
Figure 3-6 ................................

Results of the tubing length (20, 25, and
30 feet) effect on the measured radon
concentration using the testing setup of
Figure 3-6 ................................


.... 67




.... 69


Results of the tubing length (35, 40, and
45 feet) effect on the measured radon
concentration using the testing setup of
Figure 3-6 ....................................

Results of the 50-foot tube length effect
on the measured radon concentration
using the testing setup of Figure 3-6.........


1-1

1-2



1-3


1-4



1-5


3-1


3-2




3-3


3-4











3-5 Soil samples identification system
and corresponding sample configuration........ 106

3-6 Results of soil water weights and sample
water contents for the original and
processed soil samples collected at the
three construction sites at three depths...... 107

3-7 A brief summary of the investigation
approach, potential effect, and potential
contribution to soil-gas radon testing
result misrepresentation for testing (setup).
configuration condition (A), temperature
condition (B), soil compaction condition
(C), and soil water content
condition (D) ................................. 136


3-8 A brief summary of the recommendation for
the degree of necessity to incorporate
precaution or procedures developed in this
research in designing, developing, and
executing soil-gas radon testing to support
the construction management decision for
incorporating radon control systems)
installation prior to construction.
Testing codes are: A = testing (setup)
configuration condition, B = temperature
condition, C = soil compaction condition,
and D = soil water content condition.......... 136


vii














LIST OF FIGURES


1-1 Estimate of fatalities per year
attributed to indoor radon exposure
and its relative position with
respect to fatality causes.................... 11

1-2 Illustration of the first two states of
radon in the soil representing radon
availability .................................. 19

1-3 Illustration of the third and fourth
states of radon in the soil representing
radon migration............................... 20

2-1 An illustration of the soil-gas radon
testing system using photomultiplier-
based instrumentation ......................... 44

2-2 A block diagram illustrating the
experimental assembly used to
test the effects of soil water
content on soil-gas radon
measurements .................................. 45

2-3 The linear correlation and operating
range of the pressure measurement
at the test chamber........................... 49

2-4 The linear correlation and operating
range of the relative humidity
measurement at the test chamber............... 52

2-5 The linear correlation and the operating
range of the temperature measurements
at the test chamber........................... 55


viii











2-6 An illustration of the experimental setup
to investigate tube-length effect on
soil-gas radon testing ........................ 57

3-1 Average radon concentrations as a
function of the soil-gas radon
collection tube (or line) and
the corresponding standard deviations......... 76

3-2 The maximum percentage of average
radon concentrations that is attributed
to statistical uncertainty of the
measurement.................................... 78

3-3 Experimental and fitted relationships
between the average radon concentration
and the length of the radon collection tube
of the soil-gas radon testing setup........... 80

3-4 The square root of the square of
difference between the experimental
average radon concentration and
the predicted average radon
concentration as a function of
the collection tube length..................... 82

3-5 Ratio of measured average radon
concentration to zero-tube radon
concentration per length of the
collection tube............................... 85

3-6 Predictions of the pressure differentials
induced by temperature differences
between two zones............................. 90

3-7 A two-and-a-half-day temporal response
of the temperature inside the testing
chamber for the dried configuration
sample of site S1 collected at
a 3-foot depth ................................ 92










3-8 A two-and-a-half-day temporal response
of relative humidity measured inside
the testing chamber during the testing
of the dried configuration sample of
site S1 collected at a 3-foot depth........... 93

3-9 A two-and-a-half-day temporal response
of the differential pressure between
the testing chamber and the surrounding
air during the testing of the dried
configuration sample of site Sl collected
at a 3-foot depth............................. 94

3-10 A two-and-a-half-day sample of the
time-dependent temperature response
in the testing chamber for the saturated
soil sample collected from site 2 at
a 4-foot depth ................................ 95

3-11 A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent relative humidity response in the
testing chamber for the saturated soil sample
collected from site 2 at a 4-foot depth....... 97

3-12 A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent differential pressure response
across the testing chamber for the
saturated soil sample collected from
site 2 at a 4-foot depth ...................... 98

3-13 A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent temperature response in the
testing chamber during the placement
of the original soil sample collected
at site 2 at a 2-foot depth.................... 99

3-14 A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent relative humidity response in
the testing chamber during the placement
of the original soil sample collected at
site 2 at a 2-foot depth....................... 100


pagce








Figure No.


3-15 A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent differential pressure response
across the testing chamber during the
placement of the original soil sample
collected at site 2 at a 2-foot depth......... 101

3-16 Distribution of soil water content of the
original soil samples collected at the
three construction sites for depths of 2,
3, and 4 feet, respectively................... ill

3-17 Distribution of soil water content of the
processed dried soil samples collected at
the three construction sites for depths
of 2, 3, and 4 feet, respectively............. 113

3-18 Distribution of soil water content of the
processed saturated soil samples collected at
the three construction sites for depths
of 2, 3, and 4 feet, respectively............. 115

3-19 Illustration of the original, dried, and
saturated soil samples water contents
collected from 2 to 4 feet below grade
from the three construction
sites in Gainesville........................ ;. 116

3-20 The maximum range of soil moisture
variation observed among original and
processed samples collected from 2
to 4 feet below grade from the three
construction sites in Gainesville............. 118

3-21 An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing
chamber for the original soil samples
collected from the three construction
sites at depths of 2 to 4 feet ................ 120











3-22 An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing
chamber for the dried soil samples
collected from the three construction
sites at depths of 2 to 4 feet ................ 121

3-23 An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing
chamber for the saturated soil samples
collected from the three construction
sites at depths of 2 to 4 feet ................ 123

3-24 The maximum range of average radon
concentration variations measured at the
testing chamber for all soil samples
collected from the three construction
sites in Gainesville .......................... 124

3-25 The time-integrated response radon
concentrations for original, dried, and
saturated soil samples measured in
the testing chamber........................... 127

3-26 An illustration of the changes in the
measured average radon concentration of
original in-situ soil samples in response
to the range of soil water moisture from
dryness to saturation ......................... 130


xii














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



EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF SOIL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS FOR SOIL-GAS RADON TESTING
PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION



By

E. Salimi Tari

May 1999


Chairman: Dr. Fazil T. Najafi
Major Department: Civil Engineering

Exposure to elevated indoor concentrations of radon is

among the greatest environmental hazards threatening the

public health. The predominant source of indoor radon

concentration is the soil beneath structures. The indoor

radon problem, by definition, only exists once the structure

is built. Although soil radon potential maps and other

statistical approaches have been used to predict indoor radon

problems, soil-gas radon testing provides the most direct and

accurate method for assessing potential indoor radon problems.

Testing soil-gas radon concentration prior to

construction is an emerging construction practice. Neither

testing standards nor management practices have been developed

xiii








and recognized to ensure appropriate soil radon representation

and testing administration. Accordingly, various setups may

be used for the purpose of testing soil-gas radon

concentrations. This research adapts the use of Pylon AB-5

with standard 300A scintillation cell that is coupled with

the testing probe and the Pylon's suction pump through 5/16

I.D. Tubing. This testing apparatus is the most widely used

setup in the industry for testing radon-soil gas

concentrations. Using appropriate soil-gas testing procedures

as a construction-management practice facilitates timely

decisions on incorporating indoor radon prevention and control

systems. This approach offers important advantages that

include installation cost savings, design flexibility, reduced

general liability, and improved public health.

Four conditions can contribute to invalidating the

results of soil-gas testing: testing setup configuration,

temperature, soil compaction, and soil water content.

Experimental, theoretical, and managerial approaches have been

utilized to investigate these conditions. The present

research demonstrated the following conclusions.

(1) A soil-gas collection tube length can significantly

affect reported radon concentration. Increasing the tube

length results in reducing the soil-gas flow rate and

consequently the measured radon concentration.

(2) Temperature differences have minimal effects on the

reported radon concentration and do not cause significant


xiv








misrepresentation in test results.

(3) Soil compaction can significantly affect soil-gas

radon testing, indicating that testing should be conducted

before soil compaction at the construction site.

(4) Soil water content, encountered in normal

environmental conditions, has only a minimal effect on the

validity of soil-gas radon testing.

It should be noted that the components of the recommended

construction-management approach in this research are based on

the limitations of the above conditions and the experimental

setup and testing procedures related to the testing apparatus

referenced above. Accordingly, the findings and

recommendations presented in this research should be viewed

within the configurations limited by the scope of the

referenced conditions and testing apparatus since they may not

necessarily be valid for other configurations.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE SURVEY


Statement of the Problem



Radon and its progeny form the dominant source of the

largest natural radiation dose that a person is naturally

exposed to during his or her lifetime, mainly through

inhalation into the lungs. Concern about indoor radon

exposure in residential and commercial structures is

relatively new and has evolved during the past fifteen years.

While exposure to high concentrations of radon in uranium and

other underground mines and its health effects were known and

documented, it was only during the 1980s that residential

structures with elevated radon concentrations were discovered.

In 1988, Congress passed the Indoor Radon Abatement Act

that called for reduced public exposure to background levels

of radon. Although reduction of radon concentrations in all

residential and large buildings to background levels is not

practically achievable, significant efforts have been devoted

toward this goal.

Most efforts to control exposure to indoor radon have

focused on mitigation in existing structures. Further, many

procedures and systems developed for mitigating indoor radon









2
have focused on residential structures. Although research is

underway to control radon exposure in large structures such as

hospitals, office buildings, commercial buildings, and

shopping centers, remediation of the indoor radon problem in

large structures is much less developed than for residential

structures.

Due to the cost associated with controlling indoor radon

problems, significant savings can be realized if appropriate

procedures and systems are implemented during the construction

phase and before the building is completed. Therefore,

development of radon-resistant construction standards for both

residential and commercial buildings has been heavily pursued.

Nevertheless, one important problem exists. The indoor

radon problem, as the name indicates, only exists after a

structure is built and the indoor space is established. The

space is defined upon issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

Testing for radon in the soil can only indicate a potential

problem.

The significant cost savings from installing radon-

control systems during construction indicates a need to

develop procedures and approaches to test for soil-gas radon

concentration. Upon discerning the concentration, a decision

can be made to incorporate passive and/or active radon-control

systems. Despite this need, apart from testing for indoor

radon concentrations, no standards have been developed for

testing radon concentrations in soil.








3

Furthermore, testing of soil gas prior to construction is

subject to several factors that might affect the test results.

This is the primary factor in deciding to incorporate radon-

control features in structures. This research addresses the

factors that might affect testing of soil-gas radon

concentration prior to construction, as well as the testing

procedures, for the purpose of developing a construction-

management approach to soil-gas radon testing prior to

construction.



Objectives of the Research



The first objective of this research is to evaluate the

effects of soil and environmental conditions including

temperature, soil moisture, pressure, and testing device

characteristics used for and associated with the measurement

of soil-gas radon concentration prior to construction.

The second objective is to develop a construction-

management approach that can be used by construction and

design contractors, consultants, and any other interested

party to coordinate testing of soil-gas radon concentration

prior to construction.

The third objective is to determine testing procedures

for soil-gas radon concentrations that can be used prior to

construction by incorporating currently available radon-








4
measurement technology and to determine appropriate testing

conditions, including soil and environmental conditions.



Properties of Radon



Radon (Rn) is a gas formed from the radioactive decay of

radium (Ra). Radium is part of the naturally occurring

radioactive decay series of uranium (U-238 and U-235) and

thorium (Th-232). Radioactive disintegration of these

elements produces three isotopes of radon: 22Rn, 220Rn, and

219Rn; with half-lives of 3.825 days, 55.6 seconds, and 3.92

seconds, respectively.

Radon is a noble or inert odorless and colorless gas that

is approximately ten times heavier than air. It is the

heaviest element in the inert gases column in the periodic

table. In this position, radon has the highest critical

pressure, critical temperature, boiling point, and melting

point among inert gases.

Because radon is an inert gas, its chemical properties

are extremely limited and its chemical reactions with soil,

concrete, carpet, and other materials available in the indoor

environment do not exist in environmental conditions. Table

1-1 gives some selected physical properties of radon.

Radon isotopes are usually in secular equilibrium with

their parents in the environment. In radiological terms, 222Rn

(from the decay of 2"6Ra) is the most important among radon








5
radonisotopes. 222Rn has the longest half-life and its parent

(uranium series) is the most abundant among radon isotopes'

parents in geological materials.
222Rn decays to 218Po by releasing an alpha particle of 5.49

million electron-volt (MeV) that can be described by the

following equation:

222Rn --------- -218Po + 4He + 5.49 (MeV)

Table 1-2 gives the radionuclide, half-life, alpha and beta

particles' decay energies for part of the U-238 decay chain

starting with Ra-226. Polonium-218 in the above equation

disintegrates into Lead-214, releasing an alpha particle of

6.00 MeV as seen in the table. Polonium-218, Lead-214,

Bismuth-214, and Polonium-214 are called the immediate

daughters or progeny of the isotope Rn-222.

The immediate progeny carry the significant part of

radiation that is delivered to human lungs upon inhalation of

radon. They are chemically very active elements, and all have

relatively short half-lives of less than 30 minutes. This

characteristic makes these radionuclides radiological toxins,

as they will disintegrate within the time frame needed to

complete one breathing cycle by the normal lung-clearance

mechanism. Thus, they can decay to 21Pb, which has a half-

life of 22.3 years.










Health Hazards of Indoor Radon Exposure



Potential health problems from exposure to indoor radon

result from dose accumulation due to inhaling radon and its

immediate progeny. Deposits of radon progeny inside the lungs

could build up to levels that directly contribute to the

development of lung cancer over a period of time.

Radon has been classified as a Group A carcinogen in

humans, with sufficient evidence that it causes cancer, based

on data from epidemiologic studies and underground miners.

Exposure to radon has been declared a major public health

concern by many national and international organizations.

These include, but are not limited to: the U.S. Environmental

Protection Agency (USEPA 1992); the National Academy of

Science (NAS), through the Biological Effects of Ionizing

Radiation (BEIR IV) Committee (NAS 1988); the World Health

Organization (WHO), through the International Agency for

Research and Cancer (IARC 1988); the National Council on

Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP 1984); the

International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP

1987); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);

the American Medical Association (AMA); the American Lung

Association (ALA); and the American Public Health Association

(APHA). Since radon and its progeny are mainly alpha emitters,

the accumulated dose received by the lungs is generated from

alpha particles' decay.










Table 1-1: Selected physical properties of radon


Table 1-2: Major characteristics of 222Rn and its decay
products (part of 238U decay chain)

Radionuclide Half-Life || Alpha (MeV) Beta (MeV) ]

Ra-226 1600y 4.06, 4.78
Rn-222 3.825d 5.49 _______
Po-218 3.11m 6.00 _______
Bi-214 19.9m___________ 3.27, 1.54, 1.5
Po-214 164j1s 7.69
Pb-210 22.3y___________ 0.02, 0.06
Bi-210 5.Old _____1.16
Po-210 138d 5.03 _________
Pb-206 stable _____________


[ Propertyr j Value
Boiling point (C) -61.8
Critical temperature (C) 104.0
Critical pressure (atmosphere) 62.0
Density (at normal pressure and temperature) 9.96
(kg/nm)
Melting point (C) -71.0
Vapor pressure (at 99.0C) (kPa) 13.0
Vapor pressure (at 61.8C) (kPa) 100.0
Solubility coefficient in water 0.106
(atmospheric pressure, 100C) ______
Solubility coefficient in water 0.507
(atmospheric pressure, 0 C) ______
a modified from (UNSC 1982)








8
Alpha radiation has the highest quality factor for

depositing its energy into living tissues, compared to other

radiations. Thus, the radiological significance of radon

exposure arises from two factors:

(1) radon is a chemically inactive gas but has a half-life

that is long enough to easily reach and decay in the lung

during inhalation; and (2) once radon has decayed in the lung,

its progeny are chemically very active and have short half-

lives that allow them to attach easily to the lung tissue and

deposit most of their decay energy into tissues.

More evidence can be found in recent studies supporting

the belief that 222Rn is the major contributor to the radon

health concern (NAS 1988). For this reason, radon in this

work shall refer to 222Rn.

The major radiological risk of inhaled radon and its

decay products is the development of lung cancer. Lung cancer

of the respiratory tract has emerged as the most common form

of lethal cancer. It is estimated that lung cancer accounts

for approximately one-fifth of all cancer deaths yearly in the

United States (James 1984).

The EPA has estimated that radon is responsible for about

14,000 deaths per year (with a possible range of 7,000 to

30,000) and that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer

in the United States. Estimates of the possible number of

deaths in a sample of 100 persons versus exposure to different

levels of radon concentration is shown in Table 1-3. The








9
expectations are based on the independent effects of radon

compared to other risk factors, such as smoking. Smoking will

significantly enhance the radon risk factor. The sample is

adult persons; children may be at higher risk (USEPA 1992).

The position of radon as a cause of death with respect to

other causes as reported by the 1990 National Safety Council

reports is shown in Figure 1-1. Table 1-4 shows the risk of

radon exposure for smoking, while Table 1-5 shows the risk for

nonsmoking populations. The equivalent risks corresponding to

fatality rates shown in Figure 1-1 are also given in Tables 1-

4 and 1-5.

Finally, it is important to note that induction of cancer

in biological systems is believed to be a stochastic process.

Thus, exposure to radon does not by itself create cancer but

rather increases the probability of cancer. This probability

increases with the increase in the radiation dose and the

exposure time.

Although concern is mainly for the isotope 12Rn, small

concentrations of 220Rn may be available in the indoor area,

especially in areas where soil has a noticeable concentration

of thoron. In it, the decay of the short-lived daughter 220Rn

also contributes to the total dose delivered by inhaling radon

gas.








10

Table 1-3: The risk of exposure to annual radon levels


Annual Sample of 100 Radon risk of lung cancer
radon level people (possible compares to . .
(pCi/l) deaths %)
100 (27-63)% having 2,000 chest x-rays
_________~___each year.
40 (12-38)% smoking 2 packs of
____________ cigarettes each day.
20 (6-21)% smoking 1 pack of
____________ cigarettes each day.
10 (3-12)% having 500 chest x-rays
_________~___each year.
4 (1.3-5)% smoking half a pack of
___________ ~cigarettes each year.
2 (0.7-3)% having 100 chest x-rays
__________ ______________ each year.
a modified from (EPA 1986)


Availability of Radon


in the Soil Gas


The focal concern in this research is the availability of

radon in a gaseous phase in the porous soil medium in which

soil-gas radon is to be tested. Geologically, uranium is the

umate source of radon in the soil. The following is the

process by which radon is generated, starting from uranium.

It has been noted above that radon is generated from

radium, which is a decay product in the uranium series. All

rocks contain some uranium, with quantities estimated as 1-3

parts per million (ppm). The rocks break down due to

environmental, mechanical, and chemical weathering factors to

form soils at the earth's surface.


Availabilitv of Radon in the Soil Gas


II I II






























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Figure 1-1: Estimate of fatalities per year attributed to
indoor radon exposure and its relative position with respect
to fatality causes










Table 1-4:
the risk of


12

Possible number of lung cancers and comparison of
radon exposure for smokers


on level Possible number of Radon exposure risk
(pCi/l) lung cancers per 1000 of cancer compares
people (lifetime to . .
__________ exposure) __________
20 135 100 times the risk
__________ __________________ of drowning.
10 71 100 times the risk
of dying in a home
____________ fire.
8 57 80 times the risk of
dying in a home
fire.
4 29 100 times the risk
of dying in an
________________ ~airplane crash.
2 15 2 times the risk of
dying in a car
______________ crash.
1.3 9 (average indoor
_____________ radon level)
0.4 3 (average outdoor
radon level)


Since the uranium content of the generated soils has to

be about the same as in the forming rocks, uranium

concentrations in the soil average between 1-3 ppm.

Construction materials used in structures, for

foundations and walls and so forth, that are prepared from

processed geological materials contain some percentage of

radium that is derived from predecessor radioisotopes in the

earth materials. Earth materials such as light-colored

volcanic rocks, granite, dark shales, phosphate-bearing

sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks contain








13

Table 1-5: Possible number of lung cancers and comparison of
the risk of radon exposure for nonsmokers


Radon level Possible number of Radon exposure
(pCi/l) lung cancers per 1,000 risk of cancer
people (lifetime compares to ...
__________ exposure) _________
20 8 the risk of being
killed in a
_______________________ violent crime.
10 4 half the risk of
being killed in a
_______________________ violent crime.
8 3 10 times the risk
of dying in an
______~_________~ ~airplane crash.
4 2 the risk of
__________ ____________________ drowning.
2 1 the risk of dying
in a home fire.
1.3 <1 (average indoor
_____________ radon level).
0.4 <1 (average outdoor
radon level).



higher-than-average uranium percentages. These rocks and

their soils contain as much as 100 ppm of uranium (USDOI

1992).

Radon in soils can be classified into two fundamental

categories relative to its conditions in the soil. These

categories are the availability of radon gas in the soil and

the migration of the gas in the soil system (Al-Ahmady 1995).

Each category consists of two states of radon in terms of its

potential in the indoor environment. The availability of








14

radon in soil consists of the radon generation state and the

radon in soil pores state.

The other category of radon migration in the soil system

consists of migration in the soil state and entry into the

structure state. The conditions in which radon may be

classified in soil are complicated and affected by many

parameters.

Radon can move from one state to another by transition

processes that operate between two states. These processes

are affected by many parameters, most of which are

interrelated. Figures 1-2 and 1-3 illustrate the radon state

in the soil, the transition processes, and the factors

affecting these transitions (Al-Ahmady 1995).

Since radon is generated from the radioactive decay of

226Ra, which is a solid, the initial location and thus the

generation site for radon atoms must be within the. soil

grains. For the radon to be in the soil gas, the gas

occupying the pore space of the soil, radon atoms generated in

the grain must move toward and become trapped in the pore

space to be included in the soil gas.

The transition process controlling this transfer is

called radon emanation, and it is characterized by the radon

emanation coefficient. This is defined as the percentage (or

fraction) of radon that is available in the pore space of the

soil to that originally generated in the soil grains. For

most soils, only 10-50% of the radon produced in the first








15

state actually emanates from the mineral grain and enters the

pore volume of the soil (USDOI 1992).

Among the factors that could influence radon emanation,

soil moisture content may have a significant impact (Strong

and Levins 1982). Calculations show that the radon atom

recoils with an average kinetic energy of 86 keV (Bossus

1984). Thus, the relative position of formation and the

direction of the recoil determine if the formed radon atom

will terminate its path in the soil pore space.

The location characteristic where the path termination

occurs is called the host material. This could be the solid

grain of the formation, another solid grain, or materials

confined in the soil pore, primarily water and air (Al-Ahmady

1995).

The range of the newly formed radon atom is the distance

the atom travels between the formation point in the mineral

grain and the termination point in the host material. This

range depends on the density and composition of the host

materials, the relative location of formation in the mineral

grain, and the direction of the recoiled radon atom. The

range of radon is 63 Am in air and 0.1 Am in water (Tanner

1980). Therefore, its range in water is approximately 600

times less than the range in air.

If the pore soil space is theoretically assumed to be

filled with dry air (no water vapor), its availability is

expected to significantly influence whether the recoil radon









16
atom terminates its range in the soil pore space. Fluid-

filled soil pores contain most of the soil moisture. When the

content of water in the pore space increases, the direct

emanation coefficient component increases because a greater

fraction of the recoil radon atoms are trapped in the pore.

The transition processes controlling the radon-emanating

fraction in the soil are affected by soil moisture, soil

temperature, soil grain-size distribution, and the

intragranular location of radium atoms as seen in Figure 1-2

(Al-Ahmady 1995). The interagranular location of radium atoms

and the soil grain-size distribution are not controlled during

construction.

For the purpose of this research, the above two soil

characteristics are considered to be there and are not related

to the testing process itself. Soil moisture and soil

temperature can be changed from day to day depending on

environmental parameters; thus their effects on the soil-gas

radon testing must be considered.

Soil moisture content can be analyzed in three

components: capillary, gravitational, and gyroscopic.' The

capillary component represents films of water around the solid

soil grains that develop from the capillary properties of

liquids with narrow channeling and surfaces. The

gravitational component represents the bulk of the water in

the soil system that is affected by gravitational forces. The

gyroscopic component of soil moisture is derived from the








17
electrostatic attraction between electrical charges on water

and the solid soil grain; it consists of only a very small

amount of the water in the soil and often is embedded within

the solid soil grain.

Most of the soil moisture effect is developed by the

capillary component of soil moisture water. This component is

responsible for generating water films around solid grains

that act as a trap for recoiled radon atoms (Al-Ahmady 1995).

If water in soil exists in excess of the capillary water

component, only a minimal effect on the radon emanation

occurs, since most of the atoms are being stopped by the

capillary water films. The gyroscopic component also has a

minimal effect on emanation, since it represents a very small

percentage of soil moisture. Therefore, the capillary water

component among soil moisture components may carry the

potential to alter soil-gas testing results. This component

will be experimentally examined for that purpose.

Al-Ahmady (1995) describes three components in explaining

the emanation of the radon atom from the solid soil grain into

its surroundings. These are the direct recoil, indirect

recoil, and diffusion components. The diffusion component

refers to the recoil radon atoms that terminate their paths in

the same solid grain where they formed and migrate into the

pore space through molecular diffusion. The indirect

component refers to the percentage of generated radon atoms

that traverse the soil pore space, penetrate another grain,








18

and end their paths in that grain. The direct component

refers to the percentage of the recoiled radon atoms that

terminate their paths in the soil pore spaces.

Once the radon enters the soil pore space, it becomes

migratory. Soil permeability and diffusion length are the two

factors affecting the transition of radon in soil pore state

to the next state of migration in the soil. Soil permeability

is the most important soil characteristic that affects indoor

radon concentrations. This soil parameter measures how

readily the soil gas, or generally a fluid, may flow through

the soil. It is traditionally represented in units of area.

The permeability of soil changes significantly over the.range

of 10-7 m2 for highly permeable soils, such as clean gravel, to

values on the order of 10-16 m2 for very low permeability soils

such as homogenous clays.

Since soil permeability regulates fluid flow in porous

soil media, it relates the flow with the pressure gradient.

Customarily, intrinsic soil-gas velocity is used as an

indicator of the quantity of soil gas with regard to indoor

radon concentration.

The broad range of soil permeabilities makes this

parameter important to the transport of radon-rich soil gas

from the substructure area into the indoors and consequently

to the indoor radon concentration.

Furthermore, because soil permeability is highly

inhomogeneous, this parameter is difficult to model.























Moisture
Porosity


Radon Generation


Ra-decoy


Emanating Fraction
W-----'-


Moisture

Temp.
Soil grain-size dist.

Introgranular location of Ra atom


Radon in Soil

Pores


Soil grain-size
Moisture

Porosity


I

Diffusion Length

Permeability






S Flow Mech.



Temp. Diff.
Wind
Bar. Pres. Changes
Precipitation
Changes in water table
Snow or ice cover


Figure 1-2: Illustration of the first two states of radon in
the soil representing radon availability
























Structure Features

Quality of Construction

Building Operation


Flow Mech.


Wind
Bar. Pres. Changes
Precipitation
Changes in water table
Snow or ice cover














Figure 1-3: Illustration of the third and fourth states of
radon in the soil representing radon migration








21

At high permeability values, convective soil-gas

transport becomes the dominant transport mechanism permitting

increased radon entry and, generally, increased indoor radon

concentrations. At low permeability values, convective flow

is minimal and molecular diffusion transport of soil gas is

dominant.

The second parameter regulating soil-gas transport in

porous soil media is the diffusion length. Radon diffusion

length in soil depends on both soil water content and soil

porosity. Diffusion length is a characteristic parameter of

radon diffusivity in the soil that is driven by concentration

gradients and facilitated by molecular diffusion. It relates

the radon diffusive flux to the radon concentration gradient.

This relationship is governed by Fick's law. When the latter

relation is utilized, the mathematical representation of radon

diffusion length is usually replaced by the radon diffusion

coefficient (Al-Ahmady 1995).

In a porous medium, there are four formats of radon

diffusion coefficients that can be used depending on the type

of physical soil quantities utilized. A descriptive quantity

of bulk versus pore volumes to determine concentration and

bulk versus pore volumes to determine density results in a

bulk and effective, or intrinsic, diffusion coefficient.

The effective diffusion coefficient relates the gradient

of the interstitial radon concentration to the radon flux

density calculated across the pore soil area (Al-Ahmady 1995).








22

The radon bulk diffusion coefficient relates radon flux

density to the gradient of interstitial radon concentration

calculated across a geometric or superficial area. When soil

moisture increases, a high percentage of pore space is

blocked, reducing the radon diffusion in the soil.

Researchers have concluded that increasing soil moisture

reduces the radon diffusion coefficient, while increasing the

soil porosity increases the radon diffusion coefficient

(Rogers et al. 1984).



Radon Transport in Soils



A system approach has been utilized for conducting this

research. With the focus on the construction-management

approach prior to construction and the associated testing

procedures, the details of transport of radon in the soil

system is a secondary aspect of this work.

Details of the transport of radon in soils would be of

primary importance for researching the fate and movement of

radon for different purposes. However, mathematical

consideration for radon transport in soils is discussed in

this chapter as an integral background for future research.

The terminology and primary coverage of the subject is adapted

from Al-Ahmady (1995).

The transport of radon, as other chemicals, in soil

results from movement of the source before generation and from








23

diffusion and convective flows after generation. Since

distribution of a radon source is considered uniform,

consideration is given to the transport mechanisms once radon

is generated, mainly those related to transporting recoiled

radon atoms from the mineral grain into the pore space. Those

mechanisms also result in transporting gaseous radon in the

soil pore space collectively.

The random molecular motion of a substance due to its

concentration gradient is best represented by Fick's law as a

diffusional flux density. The convective components of radon

transport, which primarily results from pressure

differentials, can be represented by Darcy's law. Convective

flow of radon is more significant to the transport of the gas

from the soil system into the indoor space. The latter is not

a consideration in this research. However, differential

pressure may exist between the measurement system and the

location where soil gas is collected.

The effect of possible changes in the differential

pressure between the collection system and in-situ location is

considered through experimental verification outlined in the

methodology section of this work.

If a coordinate system is chosen at a certain in-situ

location in the soil and remains stationary, the flux density

of a substance (identified as gas 1) in a mixture of two gases

(1 and 2) can be given as












Ni= f, (N,+N2) C Db V (1-1)

where

Ni is the molar flux of gas 1 (moles/m's),

N2 is the molar flux of gas 2 (moles/mns),

f, is the molar fraction of gas 1 in the mixture,

C is the molar concentration of the gas (moles/m,),

Db is the binary diffusion coefficient (m2/s), and

V is the three-dimensional gradient operator.

In the above equation, the second term represents the

molecular diffusion component relative to the mean convective

velocity, and the first term represents the convective

transport component.

In the molecular diffusion process, the dominant

driving force of gas molecular movement between two areas is

the concentration difference of the gas between these two

areas. Therefore, the second term in Equation 1-1 is

constructed based on Fick's first law, governing the relation

between the concentration gradient and the diffusional flux

density.

If the gas labeled as 2 is the soil gas and 1 is radon,

then Ni represents the molar flux density of radon. Radon is

considered here within the assumption of a binary mixture in

the soil gas. This neglects the effect of the transport of

radon that may result from the diffusion of one or several

other species in the soil gas. However, the effects of this








25

multicomponent diffusion in radon transport are minimal for

soil-structure configurations dominated by the convective

transport of soil gas (Nazaroff et al. 1988).

Since the objective of this treatment is to generally

address radon transport in the soil system and not the details

of molecular diffusion phenomena, an effective diffusion

coefficient (De) is systematically assumed. The latter can be

used to replace the binary diffusion coefficient (DJ b).

Under normal conditions, the mole fraction of radon

isotopes in the soil gas is nearly equivalent to the mole

fraction of 222Rn (7.6x10- at 20 C), which is small compared

to the soil gas (Nazaroff et al. 1988). Therefore, if the

molecular diffusion of radon in the soil as a source of

convection in the mixture is neglected, then N1 can be

neglected compared to the soil-gas flux density N2. This

assumption results in reducing Equation 1-1 to

N1 = f, N2- C D Vf1 (1-2)
If the molar concentration of soil gas remains constant in

time and space, then

N, = f, N2 De VCf (1-3)


or

NRn = fRn DV(C fRn) (1-4)


where N is the molar flux density of the soil gas (air) in the

soil pore space.








26

It is customary to treat radon quantities in terms of

activity, since this is ultimately the major concern with

regard to the radon health hazard. Terms in Equation 1-4 need

to be multiplied by Avogadro's number (AJ) and the decay

constant of radon (Xn) to convert the molar flux density and

molar concentration density into activity flux density and

activity concentration density, respectively.

Then

A Rn Nn = fn N De VfRn C] A Rn (1-5)



Dividing Equation 1-5 by the molar fraction of Rn in the soil

gas yields

N
Af(Rn) = Am(Rn) -- D VA.(Rn) (1-6)
C e

where

Af(Rn) is the radon activity flux density (Bq/m2s), and

A.(Rn) is the radon activity concentration density (Bq/m3).

The value of N/C in the first term of Equation 1-6 has

units of velocity (m/s), and it is equivalent to the net soil

gas velocity, so it can be replace by the symbol V,

A.(Rn) = A.(Rn) V DVA (Rn) (1-7)


Equation 1-7 contains two transport terms. The first term

(A.(Rn)V) is the convective flux, and the second term (-D,

VA.(Rn)) is the diffusive flux.








27

Further assumptions must be made in order to apply

Equation 1-7 in a complex soil system. In fact, to account

for the effect of the soil fill materials and near-structure

conditions, an effective diffusion coefficient has already

been assumed. Further, these conditions increase the radon

mean free path. This increase is not helpful for the soil

porosity considerations which were assumed in developing the

above equations, since radon atoms are assumed to be

interacting with soil gas molecules (gaseous state). However,

support for this assumption can be derived from the fact that

soil pores are relatively larger than the applicable average

radon mean free path, which assures that the assumption is

reasonable.

It is typically assumed that pore dimensions are

comparable to the size of mineral grains. Since the required

size should be comparable to the soil gas (compared to the air

of 0.065 micrometer at 25C), the diffusion term can be

applied to the soils of grain size on the order of

approximately 0.065 micrometer or larger, which in fact covers

all soils larger than clays. Testing of soil-gas radon

concentration for the purpose of developing a potential

indicator cannot be facilitated in soils that have

significant amounts of clay.

Since radon is an almost chemically inert gas and the

average environmental temperatures are much higher than its








28

condensing temperature, the diffusion process in the soil is

dominated by gaseous radon diffusion.

Radon transport by diffusion in liquid and solid phases

can be neglected for most practical applications (Al-Ahmady

1995). Support for this assumption can be found in

experimental results, which show insufficient evidence to

consider these effects important (Tanner 1980).

The dominant driving force for the convective radon

transport component is the pressure differentials. Darcy's

law describes the volume of interstitial fluid flowing per

unit of time per unit of geometrical area as a result'of an

applied pressure differential, or the velocity vector. If the

geometrical area in the soil, where the flow is defined, is

small compared to the overall dimension of the soil and large

compared to the individual pores, then the net superficial

velocity vector can be written as


V -[K] VP (1-8)


where

[K] is the three-dimensional permeability matrix,

A is the viscosity of the fluid, and

P is the pressure.

If the soil permeability is constant and isotropic, the

three-dimensional permeability matrix becomes the permeability

coefficient K. Further adjustments can be made by dividing V

by the soil porosity e, which is a dimensionless fraction








29

representing the ratio of the air and water porosity to the

bulk volume. Substituting V in the convective component of

Equation 1-7, the superficial air velocity through the soil

expressed in term of Darcy's law per unit pore area yields


Af(Rn) = Am(Rn) -v De VAm(Rn) (1-9)
e

Substituting Equation 1-8,


Af(Rn) = -AM(Rn) K- VP De VAm(Rn) (1-10)
Pe

divided into two terms,


A/(Rn) = -A(Rn) -K- VP (1-11)
A{(Rn) = -De VA (Rn) (1-12)


then


Af(Rn) = Ac(Rn) + Af(Rn) (1-13)
\

where

Atc(Rn) is the radon activity flux density per unit pore area

due to convection, and

Ad(Rn) is the radon flux density due to molecular diffusion.

The nature of radon flux density removal mechanisms by

both molecular diffusion and convection can be characterized

by radon transport from a differential volume in a direction

perpendicular to a volume surface area. The total radon

diffusion from the differential volume can be calculated by

integrating both fluxes over the total differential surface








30
area. This integration is equivalent to integrating the

divergence of these fluxes over the total differential volume,

according to the divergence theorem,


f Af(Rn) ds = f VAd(Rn) dv
S v (1-14)
f A(Rn) ds= fVAc (Rn) dv
s v
The limitation on AEc(Rn) is determined by the dependence

of Darcy's law on the Reynolds number. Usually, Darcy's law

starts to give incorrect results for high values of the

Reynolds. number. Scheidegger has provided experimental

evidence showing that applications of Darcy's law for Reynolds

numbers smaller than 76 are acceptable (Scheidegger 1960).

The typical pressure gradients in the soil due to air flow

into structures results in Reynolds numbers much smaller than

76. Therefore, Darcy's law is approximately correct for radon

transport applications.

A general transport equation that describes radon

transport in the soil can be developed by considering the rate

of change in the quantities of production, convective flow,

molecular diffusion and decay. Under the limitations that

arise from the application of Fick's law for molecular

diffusion and Darcy's law for convective transport, the time

rate of change in the radon activity concentration in the

pore, for soils of low moisture content, can be written as










0 9Am(Rn)
J -m dv = c Af(Rn) ds
f atff
v st (1-15)
f A(Rn) ds f XRAm(Rn) dv + f S dv
S V V


where

S is the volumetric radon source term in (Bq/m3), and

Xn,, is the radon decay constant (2.1x10-1- disintegration/s for
222Rn).

The radon source term is the production of radon which

occurs in the interstitial space of the soil and has free

transport through the pore spaces. The production rate can be

written as


S = (l) A(Ra) XRn fe PS (1-16)
e

where

A(Ra) is the mass activity of radium concentration in the soil

in (Bq/kg),

fe is the emanation factor, the fraction of the radon that is

generated in the soil and enters the pore volume,

ps is the soil grain density in (kg/m3), and

e is the soil porosity. Substituting equations 1-11, 1-12,

and 1-16 into 1-15 yields











aA (Rn) K
f -a dv = f A (Rn) K VP ds
a9t Pe
v s
+ f De VAM (Rn) ds f XRn Am (Rn) dv (1-17)
s v
+ f (le) A(Ra) XRn fe Ps dv
V
v

Using Equation 1-14 for the total diffusion and convective

integral terms results in

f 9A (Rn) K
a-t- dv = VA (Rn) K VP dv
I f at f M PC
v v

v v
+ e A(Rn) XRn fe ps dv
v
V

or

9Am(Rn) K 2
-_A-- = A (Rn) V2p + D V2 A (Rn)
t e (1-19)
-Rn Am (Rn) + ( -) A(Ra) XRn fe Ps



Equation 1-19 is the differential form of the general

transport equation for radon transport in soil.

The equation can cover a certain area by integrating all

terms over that specific area. Notice that the equation has

time and space partial derivatives, which complicate the

analytical solution. Equation 1-19 can be solved analytically

for only simple geometries, requiring many assumptions. For

realistic conditions, numerical methods must be used.








33

Several assumptions can be made to simplify Equation 1-

19; for example, the steady state solution is based on

eliminating the time rate of change of the activity of radon

concentration, that is, the left-hand side of Equation 1-19

becoming zero.

To examine the effect of each term in Equation 1-19 for

particular applications, the molecular diffusion term can be

simplified. An example would consider one-dimensional (z-

axis) radon diffusion in soil without the effects of the

structure, that is, uncovered soil and low moisture content.

If the radon activity concentration is assumed to be zero at

the surface of the soil and the radon source is located at an

infinite depth in the soil, then the radon activity

concentration at depth z can be given by

z
Am(Rn) = A,(Rn) (1-e )(1-20)

where

Ak(Rn) is the radon activity concentration at z,

An (Rn) is the initial activity concentration, and

iRf is the radon diffusion length.

The radon diffusion length and the initial concentration can

be given as



1Rn De (1-21)
S Rn


and











A,(Rn) R= -(1-22)
Xan

Using Equation 1-16 results in


A,(Rn) = (1 ) e p A(Ra) (1-23)


Substituting Equations 1-20 and 1-23 into 1-12 yields

z
A d(Rn) = -D -e fp P A(Ra) V(l-e ) (1-24)
e e

and substituting Equation 1-21 into 1-24, for the one-

dimensional case, yields
Af(Rn) = fe Ps A(Ra) DXRn (1-25)

e

The diffusive radon activity flux density per unit of

geometric area is given by multiplying Equation 1-25 by the



soil porosity e,


Af(Rn) = (1-e) Ps fe A(Ra) DeXRn (1-26)


The radon activity flux density is related to the radon

activity concentration by Fick's law through the effective

diffusion coefficient, as shown in Equation 1-12. The

differential radon activity flux density from the molecular

diffusion in Equation 1-26 is in fact the application of

Equation 1-12 on a solution, for A.(Rn), in the following

partial differential equation. Describing the radon transport

in soil by diffusion only,










9A (Rn)
a (Rn) S Xan Am(Rn) + De V2Am(Rn) (1-27)


Substituting Equation 1-16 into 1-27 yields

aA (Rn) 1 -e
-at- (--l) A(a~a) X-a fe p
t e Rn e s (1-28)
XRn A (Rn) + De V2A (Rn)

Notice that Equation 1-28 is identical to Equation 1-19 except

for the convective transport term being absent.

Applying typical values for 222Rn in Equation 1-26 results

in radon activity flux densities on the order of (10-20)x 10-

(Bq/m2s). Wilkening et al. estimated values of the mean 222Rn

activity flux density of approximately 0.015 Bq/m2s, from data

collected on widely spread regions (Wilkening et al. 1972).

Nazaroff et al. provided the radon activity flux, using

typical values such as p.=2.65x103 kg/m3, f=0.2, e=0.5, De= 2x10-
m M2/s and radium mass activity of 30 Bq/kg, as 0.016 Bq/m2s

(Nazaroff et al. 1988).














CHAPTER 2
METHODOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN


Scope of the Methodology



The purpose of this section is to outline the scope of

research to permit the development of a construction-

management approach and the associated testing procedures.

These procedures are directed toward helping the decision

process of electing to install radon control systems based

on soil-gas radon testing prior to construction.

When considering the components of the testing process

and validation of test results to facilitate the management

decision, there are four areas where research is needed.

Those areas are mainly related to the physical conditions

that might affect the testing results. The timing and

scheduling of the tests also are factors that need to be

considered, but they relate more to management than to the

technical aspects of the implementation process.

Physical conditions that might affect the testing of

soil-gas radon concentration prior to construction are:

(1) the condition of soil moisture;

(2) the condition of temperature difference between the

testing system and the soil;










(3) the condition of the testing configuration; and

(4) the condition of soil compaction.

As to the first condition, related to soil moisture,

some theoretical results have established that soil moisture

can significantly alter the emanation of radon. Existence

of moisture in the pore space of the soil affects the range

of the radon atom's transport and thus the final destination

of the recoiled atom. This determines whether the recoiled

atom terminates its path in the pore space and thus becomes

capable of migrating. Only radon in a gaseous phase can

become mixed and carried with soil gas.

The subject of this research is not the details of the

process of emanation or radon transport as related to soil

moisture, but rather the investigation of the effect that

soil moisture would have on soil-gas radon during the

testing based on a system approach. In other words, the

research task on soil moisture is designed to answer the

question of whether soil moisture would invalidate soil-gas

radon moisture prior to construction as a representative

indicator in the management decision. If invalidation is

established, then the management approach must accommodate

this effect and require testing of specific conditions to

avoid the potential for misrepresentation.

It should be noted that the approach does not consider

creating the perfect conditions but rather is to develop the

procedure that best represents the soil conditions. Soil










water moisture is not an issue of control; it is a

characteristic of the site that can vary periodically or on

a relatively immediate basis, such as after a heavy rain.

The focus is whether testing of soil-gas radon prior to

construction, when used as an indicator for a construction-

management decision, should be avoided or rescheduled due to

abnormal soil moisture conditions. Alteration to natural or

normal soil moisture conditions as related to the soil-gas

radon testing could occur, for example, after heavy rain or

recent flooding. Investigations of the soil moisture

condition will be conducted based on experimentation.

The second physical condition of concern to the process

of testing soil-gas radon is the temperature effect. The

only established method for testing soil gas is based on

mechanical introduction of soil gas which is drawn from the

soil and into a scintillation cell while measuring the

radioactivity of the gas based on alpha decay.

The possible effect of temperature can occur due to a

temperature difference between the collection cell and the

soil. This temperature difference may affect the flow rate

upon which the soil gas is drawn and thus alter the device

readings. Investigations of these conditions will be based

on theoretical approach and supported by experimentation.

The third physical condition that might affect the

testing process is similar to the one derived from

temperature difference, that is, alteration to the flow rate










of the soil gas drawn from the system into the collection

cell. This may develop from a pressure drop due to

different lengths of tubing that might be used to conduct

the test. Investigations of this pressure condition will be

approached experimentally.

The fourth physical condition to address is soil

compaction. Air flow through compact soil, as a part of the

construction phase, may be affected by soil resistance to

air flow. This determination depends on the soil compaction

as an alteration to the soil's normal condition.

Investigation of this approach will be done managerially.



Soil-Gas Radon Testing Methodology



Radon gas in the soil can be determined directly by

testing its concentrations in soil gas. There are no

federal or local standards for testing soil-gas radon in the

soil. The most widely used procedure employs

photomultiplier-based instrumentation to measure the decay

of radon through alpha disintegration.

Soil-gas rich with radon is mechanically drawn into a

scintillation cell internally coated with ZnS. The flow

rate of the gas is controlled by a pump on the device.

Soil-gas is drawn from the soil approximately two to four

feet in depth by inserting a metal probe.










Before soil gas is introduced into the cell through

tubing, it must be filtered from moisture and dirt or soil

particles. Different types of filters can be used; however,

the filter rating must be 0.8 micron to stop most radon

progeny available in the soil gas.

Soil gas carrying radon and its progeny pass through

the filter into the cell. If selected correctly, the filter

stops radon progeny while allowing radon to pass into the

scintillation cell. Soil gas pumping into the cell is

applied for approximately ten minutes to allow for

equilibrium between the radon concentration in the cell

volume and the soil pore space. Pumping is stopped and then

the cell is kept for a minimum of four hours before

analysis. This period is necessary for radon within the

cell volume to reach equilibrium with its progeny.

The cell is read by measuring the count per time unit

interval using Pylon AB-5. Alpha particles, generated from

radon and progeny decay inside the cell, strike the inner

coating of film and generate lights. These light pulses are

counted by a photomultiplier system through a photo-coupling

fitted between the cell and the photomultiplier.

Pylon AB-5 is designed to provide the count, per any

selected time interval, and incorporate the balance between

the flow rate into the cell and the cell volume. The count

rate (CPM) is then converted into a concentration (pCi/l)

using a calibration factor. Figure 2-1 shows an








41

illustration of the soil-gas radon testing system using the

Pylon AB-5 system.



Design of the Testing Chamber



Figure 2-2 illustrates the block diagram of the

experimental assembly designed and constructed in this work.

Design objectives taken into consideration include

facilitating experiments mainly to investigate the effect of

the first physical condition on the soil-gas testing

process. Soil parameters such as permeability might have an

effect on radon transport and thus should be minimized to

isolate soil moisture as the control component. From a

system standpoint, utilizing this assembly is intended for

investigating soil moisture effects on radon availability in

the soil, within the context of the soil-gas testing

procedure.

The design incorporates a space for soil samples in

which the effect of soil permeability is minimized by

reducing the sample width. Radon generated from the sample

is observed when the sample is subjected to a range of'

moisture. Soil samples are selected to place on a wide,

open-face pan with a soil thickness of approximately 5 cm.

This design is utilized to minimize the effect of soil

permeability and spatial dependency of the radon diffusion










coefficient on the transport of radon from the soil sample

into the chamber space.

The assembly is equipped with a differential pressure

sensor, temperature sensor, and humidity sensor. A

computer-controlled data acquisition system is utilized to

collect the data on a continuous basis. The test chamber is

connected to an adjacent chamber that houses the electronic

equipment to detect soil-gas radon using scintillation

cells. Air flow mechanisms, contributing to the

convective transport of radon from the soil sample into the

chamber space, were minimized by controlling temperature and

pressure differences when possible. Temperature inside the

chamber was kept the same as the room temperature to

minimize temperature-driven air flow between the chamber and

the outside.

An air leakage control valve was also used to

compensate for conditions where convective flow may have

occurred. Since the soil samples' surface area is large

compared to the thickness, equilibrium between radon

concentration in the soil pore space and the chamber space

was considered to be reasonably achieved.

The design and conducting of experiments utilized a

system approach in which comparative indicators are sought

rather than absolute results. In this way, measurement of

radon concentrations in the chamber space can represent,

under the same operating conditions, the concentrations of








43
radon in the soil pore space. A change in the overall.radon

concentration in the soil pore space, therefore, is

reflected in observed changes in the radon concentration

measured in the assembly's chamber.



Design of the Experimental Procedure



In the testing chamber, radon gas collects due to the

molecular diffusion process from the soil sample in the open

pan into the equilibrium space. The space of the testing

chamber was flushed with air prior to the start of each

experiment. Radon concentrations were then continuously

monitored to observe the buildup of radon gas in the chamber

until reaching equilibrium inside the chamber. Radon

concentration, pressure, temperature, and relative humidity

data were simultaneously measured with a sampling time of 10

minutes, utilizing the data-logging system, and data were

retrieved from the logging system into a personal computer

system.

Soil samples were collected from three construction

sites (representing typical construction soils in Florida)

from three depths (2, 3, and 4 feet) typically representing

the usual range where in-situ soil-gas radon measurements

are performed. Soil samples were collected in sufficient

quantities and placed into airtight containers (site

containers), sealed, labeled, and transported to the



























































Figure 2-1: An illustration of the soil-gas radon testing
system using photomultiplier-based instrumentation



























































Figure 2-2: A block diagram illustrating the experimental
assembly used to test the effects of soil water content on
soil-gas radon measurements










testing laboratory.

At the lab, contents of site containers were divided

into three parts; each was placed in a smaller airtight

plastic container (lab container), and soil moisture was

measured. Drying samples were prepared using a convectional

hot-air oven for a minimum period of 48 hours. Dried

samples were then placed in the lab containers, sealed,

labeled, and left for a minimum of 14 days prior to testing

to allow for radon to reach equilibrium with its parent.

Saturated samples were prepared by adding water to soil

samples until saturation.



Design of Pressure Measurements



Continuous measurements were designed to measure the

time for dependent responses of pressure in the test

chamber. Measurements were facilitated by using a standard

3/16-inch inner diameter metal tube which connects to the

center of the test chamber. The tube is fitted into one

port of a Setra (Model C264) differential pressure

transmitter via plastic tube. The other port of the

transmitter is left open. The transmitter is located

outside the test chamber and placed in a closet which opens

to the room where the testing assembly is housed.

The transmitter selected for this application is a very

sensitive current-output differential-pressure transmitter








47

device which provides reasonable detection to the ranges of

pressure differentials encountered in the experiments. The

transmitter operates with a full-scale range of T25 Pa and

has a minimum sensitivity of less than 1% (0.25 Pa); it

provides a current control regulating to output signal to

the industrial standard current of 4-20 mA.

The low-pressure port was left open to the room

pressure. Therefore, the indoor pressure was used as the

reference pressure. Since the transmitter operates in

differential mode, its calibrated operating point is located

at 12 mA. The transmitter then decreases the current flow

if the pressure on the low port is higher than the pressure

on the high port and vice versa. Figure 2-3 illustrates

the operating range of the pressure transmitter and the

linear equation used during data processing and calibration.

Transmitter current output is collected by the analog

voltage input channel on the data acquisition and control

system (Campbell Scientific 21X). Since the data input

channel is for voltage, the transmitter current output was

converted into voltage by using high-precision <1% shunt

resistors. The pressure transmitter was zero-checked at the

beginning of each experimental period and calibrated monthly

according to the procedure described in a later section.










Design of Temperature and Humidity Measurements



Temperature and relative humidity were continuously

monitored in the test chamber using Vaisala relative

humidity and temperature transmitters (Model HMW 30 UB/YB).

Temperature measurement utilized T-type (copper vs. copper-

nickel) thermocouple wire and temperature transducer. *This

type of thermocouple wire was selected because of its

resistance to humidity (bare wire) and the linearity between

the signal output and the temperature degree for low-

temperature ranges such as those encountered in these

experiments. T-type thermocouple wire can be used to

measure temperature ranges from -200 to 350C (-328 to

662F) on thermocouple grade and from -60 to 100C (-76 to

212F) on extension grade.

The relative humidity sensor of the transmitter

achieves high accuracy in humidity measurement by sensing a

capacitance change in a micron-thin polymer layer as it

absorbs water vapor. This polymer is also unaffected by

most dust and chemicals that might exist in the test-chamber

environment. Both temperature and relative humidity sensors

and associated circuits regulate the current in their

corresponding power supply circuits to the standard output

of 4-20 mA.

These signals are integrated into analog input voltage

channels of the data acquisition and control system through


































-" 10
d-

'I)
L 5
(n
(D




S-10


-15

-20

-25


4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Output Current (mA)
Y(Po)=3.1135 X(mA)-57.362


Figure 2-3: The linear correlation and operating range of the
pressure measurement at the test chamber










high-accuracy shunt resistors. Figures 2-4 and 2-5

illustrate the operating range of relative humidity and

temperature transmitters and show the linear equations used

to calculate the equivalent engineering quantities from the

reported output converted signals.



Design of Data Collection



For data logging purposes, the Campbell Scientific

programmable micrologger (Model 21X) was utilized. One

differential-mode analog voltage channel was used to log the

pressure differential signals, and two single-mode analog

voltage input channels were used for the temperature and

relative humidity signals.

The logging and control system is equipped with

standard Programmable Read-Only Memory (PROM) that is used

for the system's operational programs. The system supports

eight analog input channels, four pulse input channels, four

excitation output channels, two continuous analog output

channels, and six digital control ports. It can be remotely

operated, and it supports standard serial input/output

communications.

The system is programmed with a group of command

instructions entered into a program table which can be

executed according to a pre-specified execution interval.

The latter interval determined the minimum time that










measurements controlled by the system and data collection

could be performed. The data in the system were

periodically retrieved through a phone line into a personal

computer at the Department of Civil Engineering.



Design of Soil-Gas Radon Measurements



The experiments consisted of measuring radon gas in the

test chamber corresponding to the tested soil samples.

Radon measurements were designed to monitor radon

concentrations continuously in order to characterize both

transient and steady-state responses due to the specific

soil-gas radon diffusion from the soil samples.

Continuous time-dependent measurements of radon

concentrations in the test chamber were performed using a

Pylon (Model AB-5) portable radon-monitoring system obtained

from the Department of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering.

Soil-gas radon measurements in the test chamber were

performed simultaneously with other measurements of

temperature, pressure, and relative humidity for each of the

tested samples.

Pylon AB-5 is a portable, programmable microprocessor-

based data-acquisition photomultiplier radiation monitor

equipped with modular accessories that can be used for

measuring radon and thoron gas, airborne alpha particles,























100

90

80


20-

10 - ^-------------- --
10

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Output Current (mA)
Y(%)=6.25 X(mA)-25











Figure 2-4: The linear correlation and operating range of the
relative humidity measurement at the test chamber










beta and gamma radiations, and surface contamination.

However, in this application, only airborne radon

measurement was needed. To facilitate measurement of radon

in the test chamber, soil gas was allowed to diffuse

directly to the measurement cell via a 1-foot flexible duct

sealed to the test chamber. Passive Radon Detector cells

(Model PRD-1) were used. Measurements using these cells

were performed by allowing the soil gas to diffuse through

the flexible duct and into the cell volume.

An equilibrium time of approximately one hour is

required for the PRD cell volume to achieve the same radon

concentration as the gas level present in the test chamber.

The cell is lined with ZnS(Ag) scintillator material on the

internal metal surface. Light pulses are generated when the

alpha particles emitted from radon strike the scintillator

surface. The cell is fitted to a photomultiplier window

coupler, where generated pulses are collected and computed.

The cells were flushed with room air and measured for radon

residual upon the conclusion of each test run.

The Pylon counts were accumulated over 10-minute

intervals, stored in the monitor memory at the end of each

interval, and then downloaded to an IBM PC at the end of the

experiment period. Experimental periods of various lengths,

but typically 72 hours, were used to perform the

measurements. This period provided information on the soil-










gas radon response during the transient period as well as

after the test chamber system had stabilized.



Collection and Processing of the Experimental Raw Data



To ensure the quality of the experimental data and the

data analysis collection, the processing and classifying of

the raw data and the calibration processes were carefully

conducted. At the conclusion of each experimental run, two

groups of output data files were generated.

The first group logs the Pylon cycle run and the soil-

gas radon concentration data. The second group logs the

experiment run time, temperature, relative humidity, and

differential pressure data. Raw data logged into the two

groups' files were retrieved into a BASIC program and

rewritten as processed data files in ASCII format.

Modifications to the raw data included calculations of

the equivalent engineering value corresponding to the

collected voltage according to the calibration curve of the

particular instrument. Processed data files were assigned

names indicating the experimental run number and dates and

kept consistent during the period of this research.

The processed ASCII files were then imported into a

spreadsheet software (QuattroPro) for plotting, exchange,

and analysis purposes. The name structure of each processed

ASCII file is kept the same with the exception of changing














































8 10 12 14
Output Current (mA)


16 18


Figure 2-5: The linear correlation and the operating range of
the temperature measurements at the test chamber


Y(degree-C)=6.25 X(mA)-45 (Duct Mounted)










SY(degree-C)=3.75 X(mA)-20 (Wall Mounted)


-10

-20


4








56

the file extension from (.PRO) to (.WQ1) while stored in the

spreadsheet format.

Design of Tube-Length Effect Experiments

Under the physical condition of pressure discussed

earlier in this chapter, pressure drop resulted. Different

tube lengths to draw soil gas into the testing system

(Figure 2-1) might have an effect on the representation of

soil-gas radon concentration. An experimental setup was

developed to observe and verify whether tube length

adversely affected measured radon concentration and thus

contributed to a misrepresentation of soil-gas radon.

Figure 2-6 provides an illustration of the experimental

setup utilized for the purpose of investigating tube-length

effect on soil-gas testing following the typical soil-gas

testing procedure outlined earlier. The testing setup

consisted of a Pylon AB-5 portable radiation monitor, a

Lucas scintillation cells (Model 300), plastic tubing at

different lengths, and a radon source.

A drum, half-filled with radium-based paint peeled from

old military airplanes, was used as the radon source. The

drum was prepared and calibrated at the Department of

Nuclear and Radiological Engineering (NRE).

Testing was performed using four scintillation cells

calibrated by NRE. The four cells were flushed with fresh

air upon the conclusion of each experimental run and checked

before the next run was prepared.


























































Figure 2-6: An illustration of the experimental setup to
investigate tube-length effect on soil-gas radon testing










Tube lengths were varied on 5-foot segments. Testing

was performed for each 5-foot tube segment sequentially. A

period of 5 minutes was utilized to circulate the air

through the scintillation cell before collecting the sample.

Once the sample was collected, tube length was changed

and the procedure repeated using another cell. Cells were

labeled, kept for a minimum of 4 hours, and then measured

using pylon AB-5. Radon concentrations were obtained from

measuring the count rate, accounting for the correction that

resulted from radon decay, and employing the calibration

factors developed by NRE. The same pumping system (Pylon

AB-5) was used to draw the samples.

Average radon concentration per each five feet segment

of tube length was compared to each other and the reference

radon concentration in the drum. The latter was calibrated

by NRE using a combination of passive and active radon

measurement instrumentation.



Quality Control and Assurance



A quality control and quality assurance plan was

utilized during the execution of this research. Procedures

of calibrating devices and equipment used for performing the

measurements were followed and implemented. Data

representations were performed through assessment of the










potential experimental errors associated with the

measurements.

Human and system errors form a significant part of

errors associated with experimental data. Human-related

errors are generated from the experiment conductor's

activity that may cause the system to malfunction or cause

an error during data collection, processing, analysis,

and/or interpretation. System errors are generated because

no system is perfect and from uncertainties developed by the

distribution of the variable being tested.

Minimization of system errors was implemented by

applying and following a careful design of the experimental

setup, including selecting instrumentation, performing

continuous equipment calibration as often as needed, and

cross-checking experimental results for different types of

devices that measure the same parameter. Minimization of

human errors was achieved by performing the experiment

carefully and also by repeating the testing.

In most physical measurements, error estimates can be

used to evaluate the overall system performance with regard

to the accuracy of the measurements and associated error

calculations. The estimators applied in the assessment

process are the following (Al-Ahmady 1995):

(1) Hysteresis is the maximum difference in the system

signal output, at any measured value within the specified










range, when the value is approached first when increasing

and then decreasing the variable under measurement.

(2) Linearity is the maximum deviation of any

calibrated point on a specified straight line (representing

the best straight line fit), during any one calibration

cycle.

(3) Repeatability is the ability to reproduce output

readings when the same variable under measurement is applied

consecutively, under the same conditions, and in the same

direction.

(4) Thermal error is the maximum change in output; at

any value of the measured variable within the specified

range, when the temperature is changed from room temperature

to a specified temperature extreme.

(5) Thermal zero shift is zero shift due to changes of

the ambient temperature from room temperature to the

specified limits of the operating temperature range.

(6) Overall thermal error is the combined error of

thermal zero shift and thermal error calculated using the

root sum of the squares (RSS) statistical method.

(7) Accuracy is the combined error of repeatability,

hysteresis, and linearity calculated using the RSS method.

(8) Overall combined error is the combination of all

the previous possible errors, when applicable, calculated by

using the RSS method.










Calculation of the overall experimental error is

computed using the statistical RSS method. Most of the

equipment used during this research had inherent hardware

corrections to the errors in their output signals that

resulted from thermal- driven factors. Such inherent

corrections may cause changes to applied correction levels

of approximately 70-100 % of the device output signals,

depending on the particular instrument and the condition of

the experiment.

However, in the following assessment of the overall

experimental error, the maximum possible overall thermal

error (OTE) was used in the computation, resulting in a 0%

correction level consideration from the instrument-inherent

corrections. Therefore, the utilized assessment is

considered conservative by implementing a built-in safety

consideration of 0% thermal correction on the part of OTE,

and by using the maximum possible error that might be driven

from non-linearity, non-repeatability, and hysteresis

factors for computing the combined accuracy error (CAE).

The assessment criteria developed to compute the

overall combined experimental error (OCEE) associated with

the measurements performed during this research is

OCEE = [OTE2 + CAE2 + OSE2] 0.5

where OSE represents all other possible sources of system

error that are individually based on particular

instrumentation and/or particular applications such as








62

errors induced by fluctuations of the external power supply

voltage.

Errors associated with differential pressure

measurement are those of the Setra C264 pressure

transmitters. The first system error which may occur is

overall thermal error. This is associated with the Setra

C264 (< 0.0033 %) from the full scale (FS) per each

temperature degree difference from the factory-adjusted

calibration temperature of 21.1 C (70 F). The range

of temperatures at which experiments were performed during

this research was -1.1 to 37.78 C (30 to 100F), giving a

maximum temperature difference of 4.45 C (40 F) from the

factory-adjusted temperature. This difference results in a

maximum overall temperature-induced error (TIE) of (0.0033%

FS/degree x 40 F = 0.132 % FS) in the transmitter output

signal.

The transmitter has an infinite resolution factor and

repeatability factor of < 0.3% FS. The combined RSS

statistical accuracy error (CAE) value of the system is

<1.0% of the full scale. Since the C264 transmitter

regulates current rather than voltage as an output signal,

its circuit current may be introduced with an error

resulting from variations in the power supply voltage. This

error corresponds to a 0.02 mA change in the transmitter's

current output, per volt change in the power supply.










The transmitter was calibrated for both zero and span

adjustments. The standard calibration procedure is used for

zero adjustment by applying a factory-selected 24 volts from

a power supply (by voltmeter) and a 250-ohm load for the

shunt resistor on the 21X data-acquisition system. The

output current was adjusted to 12 mA, the operating point

for these measurements, for bi-directional range from the

zero adjustment screw in the transmitter, when both pressure

ports are connected by a flexible tube.

Temperature measurements performed by the Vaisala HMW

30UB/YB transmitter have a linearity error factor of <0.1C,

and an overall thermal error of 0.02C. The overall

accuracy factor of the system is 0.2C. Utilizing the same

upper end temperature of 37.78C (100F), the resultant

maximum uncertainty in the signal output due to the thermal

zero shift and thermal errors is 0.75C. Therefore, the

overall combined experimental error associated with these

temperature measurements is <0.78C.

The output signal for the relative humidity has an

overall thermal error factor of 0.04% FS/C. An overall

accuracy, including linearity and repeatability factors, of

2% FS for a relative humidity range of 0-90% and 3% for a

relative humidity range of 90-100%. Since the maximum

possible measurement error developed by temperature is

1.508% FS, the maximum combined experimental error of the

relative humidity measurements is <2.5% FS for a relative








64

humidity range from zero to 90%, and <3.6% FS for a

relative humidity range of 90-100%.

Quality control of the soil-gas radon measurements

conducted in this research was ensured by the calibration

activity of the Pylon AB-5. The device was regularly

calibrated at the Department of Nuclear and Radiological

Engineering through the participation in the United States

Department of Energy Environmental Measurement Laboratory

(EML) calibration activities (Al-Ahmady 1995).














CHAPTER 3
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION



Observation and Evaluation of the Testing
Configuration Condition




As outlined in the Scope of Methodology section of

Chapter 2, when the components of the soil-gas radon testing

process are considered (in validating the test results to

facilitate the management decision), testing configuration is

one of the four conditions that must be investigated.

The most widely used testing configuration available is

the utilization of scintillation cells and radiation

instrumentation to measure alpha decay generated from radon in

the soil gas. This methodology is discussed in the Soil-Gas

Radon Testing Methodology section of Chapter 2.

Figure 2-1 illustrates the most widely used experimental

setup for the purpose of testing soil-gas radon

concentrations. Within this setup, testing configurations are

relatively limited. However, the most possible variations are

changes in the length of the tubing. Due to construction site

characteristics, testers have been using different lengths of

tubing to complete the test in the easiest way. The test may

be performed according to the availability of tubing at the

65








66

site, surface water in the site, availability of shelter, and

availability of electric power.

For the purpose of this research, the likelihood that a

tester will change the test configuration is mainly restricted

to the use of different tubing lengths. Accordingly, results

should be viewed and used within this scope. Pressure is

defined as the most significant condition that might alter the

validity of the results within the soil-gas testing

configuration. Pressure condition alterations due to changes

in the tubing lengths was investigated by utilizing the

experimental assembly specifically designed for this purpose

(Figure 2-6). Using this assembly, radon concentrations were

drawn from the drum, which was considered a constant source

representing the soil gas, and passed through tubing lengths

ranging from 5 to 50 feet and segmented every 5 feet.

Tables 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, and 3-4 show the results of these

measurements. To attain results from the scintillation cells,

which were filled with sample gas drawn from the drum, the

measurements in Table 3-1 were kept for 271, 296, and 408

minutes (a minimum of 4 hours) before accounting for tube

lengths of 5, 10, and 15 feet, respectively. Samples

collected for tubing lengths of 20, 25, and 30 feet were kept

for 434, 308, and 276 minutes, respectively (Table 3-2).

Results of configurations of tubing lengths of 35, 40,

and 45 feet are shown in Table 3-3. In these, the elapse time

between the radon collection time and the measurement time was











Table 3-1: Results of the tubing length (5, 10, and 15 feet)
effect on the measured radon concentration using the testing
setup of Figure 2-6. (L = tube length, E.T. = elapse time, CPM
= counts per minute, Rn-C = radon concentration in pCi/1)


L 5 10 15
(ft)
Cell 203 781 584
no.

E.T. 271 296 408

Min CPM Rn-C Min CPMI Rn-C ]Min CPM Rn-C

1 272 262 189.7 297 251 182.3 409 244 179.8
2 273 250 156.2 298 243 171.5 410 233 147.2
3 274 284 177.5 299 237 167.3 411 234 147.8
4 275 275 171.9 300 251 177.2 412 227 143.4
5 276 251 156.9 301 265 187.1 413 229 144.7
6 277 287 179.5 302 285 201.3 414 214 135.2
7 278 259 162.0 303 231 163.1 415 189 119.4

8 279 269 168.2 304 256 180.8 416 230 145.4

9 280 265 165.8 305 236 166.7 417 215 135.9
10 281 305 190.8 306 244 172.4 418 205 129.6
11 282 308 192.7 307 252 178.1 419 205 129.6

12 283 297 185.8 308 242 171.0 410 181 114.4
13 284 298 186.5 309 238 168.2 411 222 140.4
14 285 254 159.0 310 292 206.4 412 206 130.3

15 286 248 155.2 311 227 160.5 413 232 146.8
16 287 279 174.7 312 269 190.2 414 195 123.4
17 288 268 167.8 313 231 163.3 415 221 139.8
18 289 257 160.9 314 254 179.6 416 216 136.7
19 290 273 171.0 315 265 187.4 417 219 138.6
20 291 284 177.9 316 266 188.2 418 192 121.5
21 292 277 173.5 317 255 180.4 419 240 151.9
.r










Table 3-1 Cotinued

L 5 10 15
(ft)
Cell 203 781 584
no.
E.T. 271 296 _____ 408 ____

Min CPM I Rn-C Min M CPM IRn-C Min CPM Rn-C

293 267 167.3 318 257 181.9 420 211 133.6
22_____ __________
23 294 278 174.2 319 242 171.3 421 217 137.4
24 295 311 194.9 320 282 199.6 422 238 150.7
25 296 273 171.1 321 248 175.5 423 212 134.3
26 297 286 179.3 322 222 157.2 424 215 136.2
27 298 260 163.0 323 257 182.0 425 230 145.7
28 299 290 181.8 324 278 196.9 426 216 136.9
29 300 279 175.0 325 249 176.3 427 223 141.3
30 301 287 180.0 326 262 185.6 428 214 135.6
Avg. [173.7 179.0 I 138.5

Std. 10.99 12.09 11.84
Dev. ____ ____________ ____


313, 395, 431, and 457 minutes, respectively. The results for

the 50-foot tube length are shown in Table 3-4.

The delay is necessary for allowing time to eliminate

activity contributions from the radon progeny. These might

have been present during the collection time. Despite filters

being used in the tubing line, this is a normal means to

remove most radon progeny present in the gas stream being

tested.

Tables 3-3 and 3-4 show the results of the count rates









69

and the corresponding concentrations of radon found in the

cells used with tube lengths of 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50 feet.

The corresponding elapse time between the filling and counting

were 276, 313, 395, 431, and 457 minutes, respectively.



Table 3-2: Results of the tubing-length (20, 25, and 30 feet)
effect on the measured radon concentration using the testing
setup of Figure 3-6 (L = tube length, E.T. = elapse time, CPM
= counts per minute, Rn-C = radon concentration in pCi/l)


L 20 25 30
(ft)
Cell 596 720 203
No.

E.T. 434 308 276____2

IMin ICPM Rn-C Min CPM I Rn-C IMin CPM Rn-C

1 435 143 105.7 309 97 70.5 277 116 84.0
2 436 170 107.7 310 80 49.9 278 93 58.1
3 437 173 109.6 311 101 63.0 279 95 59.4
4 438 153 97.0 312 95 59.2 280 104 65.0
5 439 150 95.1 313 119 74.2 281 114 71.3
6 440 140 88.7 314 92 57.4 282 108 67.5
7 441 160 101.4 315 89 55.5 283 85 53.2
8 442 159 100.8 316 108 67.4 284 94 58.8
9 443 141 89.4 317 105 65.5 285 78 48.8
10 444 154 97.7 318 94 58.7 286 89 55.7
11 445 163 103.4 319 81 50.5 287 105 65.7


L
(ft)
Cell
No.

E.T.


20

596


434


25

720


308


30

203


276










Table 3-2 Continued


Min CPM Rn-C Min CPM Rn-C Min CPM Rn-C

12 446 148 93.9 320 110 68.7 288 81 50.7
13 447 159 100.9 321 91 56.8 289 100 62.6
14 448 159 100.9 322 95 59.3 290 109 68.2
15 449 138 87.6 323 102 63.7 291 87 54.5
16 450 151 95.8 324 109 68.1 292 81 50.7
17 451 145 92.0 325 106 66.2 293 87 54.5
18 452 141 89.5 326 84 52.5 294 82 51.3
19 453 161 102.2 327 102 63.7 295 109 68.3
20 454 159 101.0 328 104 65.0 296 102 63.9
21 455 165 104.8 329 102 63.7 297 113 70.8
22 456 131 83.2 330 102 63.7 298 87 54.5
23 457 152 96.6 331 98 60.3 299 103 64.6
24 458 177 112.5 332 97 60.6 300 104 65.2
25 459 152 96.6 333 80 50.0 301 102 63.9
26 460 148 94.0 334 88 55.0 302 114 71.5
27 461 162 103.0 335 84 52.5 303 91 57.1
28 462 149 94.7 336 67 41.9 304 104 65.2
29 463 149 94.7 337 92 57.5 305 110 69.0
30 464 156 99.2 338 112 70.1 306 107 67.1

Avg. F 98.03 [ 60.45 _____62.08
Std. 6.66 7.23 7.89
Dev.__________ _____ ________ _____


Counting procedures follow the practice established by

the NRE during the counting by taking 30 readings, correcting

for the time difference in radon decay, and using calibration

factors to convert Pylon AB-5 count-per-minute (CPM) readings








71

into concentration units. Radon concentrations in each cell,

corresponding to a specific length of tubing in these

experiments, are the simple average of the 30 corrected

readings of that cell. The simple average and corresponding

standard deviation for the tests of 5 to 50 feet in 5-foot

segments are given in Tables 3-1 and 3-2.


Table 3-3: Results of the tubing-length (35, 40, and 45 feet)
effect on the measured radon concentration using the testing
setup of Figure 3-6 (L = tube length, E.T. = elapse time, CPM
= counts per minute, Rn-C = radon concentration in pCi/l)


L 35 40 45
(ft)
Cell 781 584 596
No.
E.T. 313 395 431
Min I CPM Rn-C Min CPM Rn-C Min CPM Rn-C

1 314 55 40.0 396 48 35.3 432 54 39.9
2 315 52 36.7 397 67 42.2 433 45 28.5
3 316 64 45.2 398 58 36.5 434 51 32.3
4 317 54 38.2 399 64 40.3 435 52 32.9
5 318 71 50.2 400 58 36.6 436 58 36.7
6 319 69 48.8 401 61 38.4 437 52 32.9
7 320 45 31.8 402 53 33.4 438 42 26.6
L(ft) 35 40 45
Cell 781 584 596
E.T. 313 395 __ 431 __

IMinI CPM Rn-C Min ICPM Rn-C Min CPM Rn-C
8 321 43 30.4 403 67 42.2 439 53 33.6


21.5


9


322


38.9


I404


45.4


1 440










Table 3-3 Continued


10 323 43 30.4 405 69 43.5 441 47 29.8
11 324 52 36.8 406 77 48.6 442 55 34.8

12 325 57 40.3 407 56 35.3 443 44 27.9

13 326 51 36.1 408 50 31.5 444 53 33.6
14 327 44 31.1 409 53 33.4 445 42 26.6

15 328 67 47.4 410 65 41.0 446 50 31.7
16 329 66 46.7 411 60 37.9 447 55 34.9
17 330 51 36.1 412 57 36.0 448 53 33.6

18 331 61 43.2 413 60 37.9 449 43 27.3

19 332 49 34.7 414 68 42.9 450 61 38.7
20 333 64 45.3 415 49 30.9 451 49 31.1

21 334 55 39.0 416 45 28.4 452 53 33.6
22 335 62 43.9 417 48 30.3 453 63 40.0
23 336 54 38.3 418 58 36.6 454 48 30.4

24 337 53 37.6 419 74 46.8 455 58 36.8
25 338 53 37.6 420 57 36.0 456 61 38.7
26 339 63 44.7 421 63 39.8 457 47 29.8

27 340 47 33.3 422 72 45.5 458 46 29.2
28 341 53 37.6 423 57 36.0 459 53 33.6
29 342 63 44.7 424 61 38.6 460 50 31.7

30 343 45 31.9 425 58 36.7 461 56 35.6

Avg. 39.2 38.18 32.5

Std. 5.59 4.93 4.24
Dev. 1 1 1 1








73

Table 3-4: Results of the 50-foot tube-length effect on the
measured radon concentration using the testing setup of Figure
3-6 (L = tube length, E.T. = elapse time, CPM = counts per
minute, Rn-C = radon concentration in pCi/1)



L 50

(ft)
Cell 720

No.
E.T. 457

Min ICPM Rn-C Min CPM IRn-C IMin CPM Rn-C

1 458 44 32.6 468 33 21.0 478 36 22.9
2 459 31 19.7 469 46 29.2 479 35 22.3
3 460 48 30.5 470 31 19.7 480 36 22.9
4 461 31 19.7 471 45 28.6 481 33 21.0
5 462 35 22.2 472 38 24.2 482 43 27.4
6 463 38 24.1 473 53 33.7 483 40 25.5
7 464 35 22.2 474 50 31.8 484 46 29.3
8 465 45 28.6 475 48 30.5 485 37 23.6
9 466 37 23.5 476 40 25.4 486 34 21.6
10 467 49 31.1 477 47 29.9 487 40 25.5

Avg. 25.71
Std. 4.18

Dev.____


Observation of the average radon concentrations for the

experimental runs correspond to tube lengths from 5 to 50

feet. This indicates that obtained concentrations are

decreasing as the tube length increases. This observation is

significant in terms of validating the condition of the

experimental setup to test for soil-gas concentration, as a








74

potential indicator to the need to incorporate a passive or

active radon-control system decision prior to construction.

Figure 3-1 illustrates a bar diagram plot of the average

radon concentration versus the length of the tube. As seen in

the plot, obtained concentrations dropped from approximately

174 pCi/l to 26 pCi/l when the tube lengths used were 5 and 50

feet, respectively. This is a drop of approximately 7 times

and is very substantial in underestimating the soil-gas radon

concentration.

The effect of the tube length may easily alter the

management decision in determining the need to install a

radon-control system from positive to negative. At a tube

length of 20 feet, radon concentration dropped by more than

half (approximately 56%) compared to the obtained

concentration at the tube length of 5 feet, although the

source of radon is the same. Figure 3-1 also shows the

standard deviation of the average radon concentrations

obtained from these experiments.

The standard deviation for each experimental run

corresponding to a tube length is plotted at the top of the

bar drawing representing the average radon concentration.

Calculated standard deviations were performed based on the 30

decay-corrected radon concentration readings of the grab

samples collected in this experiments.

The general trend of the standard deviation is consistent

with the calculated average radon concentrations.

Fluctuations in the calculated values are derived from the








75

radon nature of the radioactive decay of radon gas in the

testing cells. Consistency was observed throughout the

samples, as the absolute value of the standard deviation

generally decreases with the decrease in the corresponding

average radon concentration.

To better assess the relationship of the range of

fluctuation associated with each tube experiment, the ratio of

the absolute value of the standard deviation to the

corresponding average indoor radon concentration is plotted in

Figure 3-2. The ratios, expressed in percentages, reflect the

statistical uncertainty in the measured and calculated average

radon concentrations.

As seen in the graph, the maximum statistical uncertainty

is less than 20%. Uncertainty gradually increased by

increasing the tube length, which is a normal observation when

the number of events, corresponding to the decay of radon in

the test cell, becomes smaller as the length of the collection

tube increases. The range of statistical uncertainty is

acceptable within the scope of such measurements.

Figure 3-3 shows the plot of the experimental values of

average radon concentration versus the tube length. A clear

exponential relationship is shown in the graph. An

exponential curve is fitted to the data where the dependent

variable (Y) is assigned to the average radon concentration

and the independent variable (X) is assigned to the collection

tube length. The best-fitted curve provides an exponent

coefficient of 0.0464 and an initial average .radon

























200 Il

180


-.160 -

'-140

c
0
I 120
U


'I 80 4-
0

0- 60

< 40

20


i i i !, _






i I ,
t i | J ; -
l------ T-------' ---l.--- --.-----TI y---------1-----


| r '" I i r
| I : I [ I I ;



t .' ) I "I r | I -I 4 '


l l l l f t t.l i I l I t \-

5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Tube Length (ft.)


Figure 3-1: Average radon concentrations as a function of the
soil-gas radon collection tube (or line) and the corresponding
standard deviations










concentration of approximately 242 in the following form:

Y (pCi/l) = 242.26 exp [-0.0464 X (feet)]

The initial average radon concentration that corresponds

to a zero tube length is obtained from the above equation when

X takes the value of zero. Figure 3-3 also shows the

exponential relationship between the average radon

concentration and the length of the collection tube in the

experimental setup of Figure 3-6.

Errors associated with the above fitted equation can be

assessed from calculating the average square root of the

square of difference between the equation value and the

experimental value for a given length. Figure 3-4 shows the

square root value of the square of difference between the

experimental average radon concentration and the predicted

average radon concentration using the above equation for tube

lengths from 5 to 50 feet. The average root square value of

the square of differences between the experimental and

mathematical average radon concentrations is approximately 13

pCi/l.

The above results indicate that the experimental

configuration condition and specifically the length of the

tube used to collect soil gas during the testing of soil-gas

radon concentration can adversely affect the reported

concentrations. This is the main measurement figure that a

construction manager would use to complete the decision to

incorporate a radon-control system into building construction

plans. Therefore, the soil-gas system configuration must be




































-15
V-'
S14
0
u
r 13
.)
d>
.12

Q, 1 1
_0
S10
0 9

So


0 5 10 15


20 25 30
Tube Length (ft.)


35 40 45 50 55


Figure 3-2: The maximum percentage of average radon
concentrations that is attributed to statistical uncertainty
of the measurement


A





A A^











A



A A ^
A








79

carefully considered. Using the above equation, the

theoretical average radon concentration at no tube length is

the same as the coefficient in the equation when the length

variable is set to zero. Therefore, the effect of the length

of the collection tube or line on the measured soil-gas

concentration can be assessed from

Y/Yo = exp [-0.0464 X]

where Yo is the theoretical zero-tube-length average radon

concentration. Figure 3-5 shows the relationship between the

reduction in average radon concentration and the tube length.

According to this figure, a collection tube length of more

than 50 feet may result in affecting the reported soil-gas

concentration by more than 90% lower than the concentration

immediately available in the soil.

An explanation for this observation can be derived from

the relationship between the pressure drop across the

collection pump and the collection time. Soil-gas samples are

collected in the scintillation cells in preparation for

measurement at a later time to correct for the decay of radon

progeny. The collection procedure involves circulation of

soil gas throughout the scintillation cell to obtain a

representative sample (Figure 2-6). Most of the pumps used

for this type of measurement are built into the system of

measurement (for example, the Pylon AB-5). This is designed

to provide a maximum air flow rate of 4 liters per minute

(1/m) under zero static pressure. Most similar built-in pumps

are designed to operate within the range of 0.5 to 4 1/m under




























200


\
180-


<-160 \
L3 \
Q,, \

S140-\
0
6 \

S120-\
U \
C "
0

0.) \
-100 -

o \ \
0

80-
60
." 60-
| o ------------ ---------


40-


2 0 .....
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Tube Lrgth (ft.)
















Figure 3-3: Experimental and fitted relationships between the
average radon concentration and the length of radon collection
tube of the soil-gas radon testing setup








81

zero static pressure and typically adjusted to 1.8 to 2 1/m.

The subsoil system where soil-gas samples are drawn

represent a substantial resistance to air flow, especially in

low-permeability soils and fill materials, compared to air

drawn from the outdoors or indoors. The adverse effect of the

lengthy collection tube or line is attributed to two factors:

(1) mass flow rate is changing due to the length of tube; and

(2) the length of tube is contributing fresh air into the

cell in which the soil-gas sample is misrepresented. This is

strongly dependent upon the collection time.

A collection time of 5 or 10 minutes under a specific

pressure drop associated with a 5-foot collection tube would

probably allow enough soil gas to be drawn into the cell (in

which the cell volume is in equilibrium with the soil gas).

However, the same collection time of 5 or 10 minutes may not

be sufficient to bring enough soil gas through a lengthier

collection tube at the lower flow rate in the system.

Further, more fresh air would have to be removed (in a

longer tube) before soil gas reached the cell. If the

collection time is not sufficient, the content of the system

scintillation cell volume is not representative of the soil

gas. This results in a configuration with lower radon content,

in turn resulting in a lower radon concentration when samples

are measured after the 4-hour waiting period.

The procedure to test for soil-gas radon concentration

prior to construction as a potential for indoor radon problems

must consider the compatibility of the radon collection tube






















30


25




0
>

a)
5
0)
15
V)

010
(/1



5


0


5 10 15 20 25 30
Tube Length (ft.)


35 40


45 50


Figure 3-4: The square root of the square of difference
between the experimental average radon concentration, and the
predicted average radon concentration as a function of the
collection tube length


A____________________



^ / \

____________________________^___________________A__________________________________________


\ A, ~


\/ \A ~

v V V-









and sample collection time.

It is suggested that counts be monitored during the

collection of the soil-gas sample. Most electronic

instrumentation, such as Pylon AB-5, permits a count during

the sniffing. This does not interface with the soil-gas flow

rate into the pump. The user should then establish a plateau

from the sniff count before collecting the grab sample. This

will ensure that a representative sample is obtained and will

minimize adverse effects of the testing configuration

conditions on soil-gas radon testing.



Observation and Evaluation of the Temperature Condition



Temperature effects on the testing of soil-radon gas

concentration prior to construction are expected to have an

indirect effect. The latter may be developed from different

temperatures between the site soil and the testing cell used

during the test. Temperature of the soil-gas at depths of 2

to 4 feet, where soil gas is typically drawn for the purpose

of the soil-gas radon testing, is not a parameter under the

tester's control. A general framework is needed to address

the temperature effect. The framework should relate between

the temperature in a first region (the soil) and the

temperature at a second region (the scintillation cell).

The indirect effect of temperature differences between the

first and second region may be developed by altering the

differential pressure normally generated between the two








84
regions and associated with the flow of soil gas from the soil

pore space into the testing cell. Thus, to investigate such

an effect, a general model was employed that can relate

temperature differences to corresponding pressure differences

between two regions (or areas) that are relatively separated.

The temperature-induced pressure differential model was

developed by Al-Ahmady (1995) for applications concerned with

indoor radon concentration driving forces and the design and

optimization of radon control systems. Although the

application for which the model was developed differs from

this application, the model is readily applicable to any two

zones that exhibit different temperatures. For the purpose

of providing the general analytical basis for the model

development and the integrity of information provided in this

research, the temperature-induced pressure differential model

is re-derived in this work. The analytical approach to

developing the temperature-induced pressure differences can be

achieved by employing the fundamental physics concept of the

conservation of forces related to pressure under hydrostatic

equilibrium. If pressure in the specific zone is under

hydrostatic equilibrium, the forces with air pressure must

counteract the gravitational force.

If a specific volume is considered under such

equilibrium, the net force at any point in this volume must be

zero; therefore,

dP/dh=-pg (3-1)
where h is the height measured from a reference level (m),

























50 ----

45--


40 --


35 -----


-30-


-J

-20
I-


15-


0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
Fraction of Radon Concentration


0.8 0.9 1


Figure 3-5: Ratio of measured average radon concentration to
zero-tube radon concentration per length of the collection
tube




Full Text
17
electrostatic attraction between electrical charges on water
and the solid soil grain; it consists of only a very small
amount of the water in the soil and often is embedded within
the solid soil grain.
Most of the soil moisture effect is developed by the
capillary component of soil moisture water. This component is
responsible for generating water films around solid grains
that act as a trap for recoiled radon atoms (Al-Ahmady 1995).
If water in soil exists in excess of the capillary water
component, only a minimal effect on the radon emanation
occurs, since most of the atoms are being stopped by the
capillary water films. The gyroscopic component also has a
minimal effect on emanation, since it represents a very small
percentage of soil moisture. Therefore, the capillary water
component among soil moisture components may carry the
potential to alter soil-gas testing results. This component
will be experimentally examined for that purpose.
Al-Ahmady (1995) describes three components in explaining
the emanation of the radon atom from the solid soil grain into
its surroundings. These are the direct recoil, indirect
recoil, and diffusion components. The diffusion component
refers to the recoil radon atoms that terminate their paths in
the same solid grain where they formed and migrate into the
pore space through molecular diffusion. The indirect
component refers to the percentage of generated radon atoms
that traverse the soil pore space, penetrate another grain,


7
Table 1-1: Selected physical properties of radon
Property3
Value
Boiling point (C)
-61.8
Critical temperature (C)
104.0
Critical pressure (atmosphere)
62.0
Density (at normal pressure and temperature)
(kg/m3)
9.96
Melting point (C)
-71.0
Vapor pressure (at 99.0C) (kPa)
13.0
Vapor pressure (at 61.8C) (kPa)
100.0
Solubility coefficient in water
(atmospheric pressure, 100C)
0.106
Solubility coefficient in water
(atmospheric pressure, 0 C)
0.507
a modified from (UNSC 1982)
Table 1-2: Major characteristics of 222Rn and its decay
products (part of 238U decay chain)
Radionuclide
Half-Life
Alpha (MeV)
Beta (MeV)
Ra-226
1600y
4.06, 4.78
Rn-222
3.825d
5.49
Po-218
3.11m
6.00
Bi-214
19.9m
3.27, 1.54, 1.5
Po-214
164/xs
7.69
Pb-210
22.3y
0.02, 0.06
Bi-210
5 Old
1.16
Po-210
138d
5.03
Pb-206
stable


63
The transmitter was calibrated for both zero and span
adjustments. The standard calibration procedure is used for
zero adjustment by applying a factory-selected 24 volts from
a power supply (by voltmeter) and a 250-ohm load for the
shunt resistor on the 21X data-acquisition system. The
output current was adjusted to 12 mA, the operating point
for these measurements, for bi-directional range from the
zero adjustment screw in the transmitter, when both pressure
ports are connected by a flexible tube.
Temperature measurements performed by the Vaisala HMW
30UB/YB transmitter have a linearity error factor of <0.1C,
and an overall thermal error of 0.02C. The overall
accuracy factor of the system is 0.2C. Utilizing the same
upper end temperature of 37.78C (100F), the resultant
maximum uncertainty in the signal output due to the thermal
zero shift and thermal errors is 0.75C. Therefore, the
overall combined experimental error associated with these
temperature measurements is <0.78C.
The output signal for the relative humidity has an
overall thermal error factor of 0.04% FS/C. An overall
accuracy, including linearity and repeatability factors, of
2% FS for a relative humidity range of 0-90% and 3% for a
relative humidity range of 90-100%. Since the maximum
possible measurement error developed by temperature is
1.508% FS, the maximum combined experimental error of the
relative humidity measurements is <2.5% FS for a relative


LIST OF TABLES
Table No. page
1-1 Selected physical properties of radon 7
1-2 Major characteristics of 222Rn and its
decay products (part of 238U
decay chain) 7
1-3 The risk of exposure to annual radon
levels 10
1-4 Possible number of lung cancers and
comparison of the risk of radon
exposure for smokers 12
1-5 Possible number of lung cancers and
comparison of the risk of radon exposure
for nonsmokers 13
3-1 Results of the tubing length (5, 10, and
15 feet) effect on the measured radon
concentration using the testing setup of
Figure 3-6 67
3-2 Results of the tubing length (20, 25, and
30 feet) effect on the measured radon
concentration using the testing setup of
Figure 3-6 69
3-3 Results of the tubing length (35, 40, and
45 feet) effect on the measured radon
concentration using the testing setup of
Figure 3-6 71
3-4 Results of the 50-foot tube length effect
on the measured radon concentration
using the testing setup of Figure 3-6 72
vi


151
Symposium on Radon and Radon Reduction Technology, Atlanta.
EPA: EPA-600/9-91-026a.
James, A. C. 1984. Dosimetric approaches for risk assessment
for indoor exposure to radon daughters. Radiation Protection
Dosimetry 7:353.
Kahlos, H., and M. Asikainen. 1980. Internal radiation doses
from radioactivity of drinking water in Finland. Health
Physics 39:108.
Kozik, A. C., P. Oppenheim, and D. Schneider. 1993. The effect
of interior door position and methods of handling return air
on differential pressures in a Florida house. The 1992
international symposium on radon and radon reduction
technology 1:79-92. EPA-600/R-93-083a. NTIS PB93-196194.
Springfield, Va.
Landman, K. A. 1982. Diffusion of radon through cracks in a
concrete slab. Health Physics 30:65.
Makofske, W. J., and M. R. Edelstein, eds. 1988. Radon and the
environment. New Jersey: Noyes Publications.
National Academy of Science. 1988. Health risks of radon and
other internally deposited alpha-emitters. BEIR IV.
Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Science Press.
Nazaroff, W. W., A. Feustal, A. Nero, K. L. Revzan, D. T.
Grimsrud, M. A. Essling, and R. E. Toohey. 1988. Radon
transport into a detached one-story house with a basement.
Atmospheric Environment 19:31.
Nazaroff, W. W., S. R. Lewis, S. M. Doyle, B. A. Moed, and A.
V. Nero. 1987. Experiments on pollutant transport from soil
into residential basements by pressure-driven airflow.
Environmental Science and Technology 21:459.
Nazaroff, W. W., B. A. Moed, and R. G. Sextro. 1988. Soil as
a source of indoor radon: generation, mitigation and entry. In
radon and its decay products in indoor air, edited by W. W.
Nazaroff and A. V. Nero. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Nero, A. V. 1988. Radon and its decay product in indoor air:
an overview. In radon and its decay products in indoor air,
edited by W. W. Nazaroff and A. V. Nero. New York: John Wiley


4
measurement technology and to determine appropriate testing
conditions, including soil and environmental conditions.
Properties of Radon
Radon (Rn) is a gas formed from the radioactive decay of
radium (Ra) Radium is part of the naturally occurring
radioactive decay series of uranium (U-238 and U-235) and
thorium (Th-232). Radioactive disintegration of these
elements produces three isotopes of radon: 222Rn, 220Rn, and
219Rn; with half-lives of 3.825 days, 55.6 seconds, and 3.92
seconds, respectively.
Radon is a noble or inert odorless and colorless gas that
is approximately ten times heavier than air. It is the
heaviest element in the inert gases column in the periodic
table. In this position, radon has the highest critical
pressure, critical temperature, boiling point, and melting
point among inert gases.
Because radon is an inert gas, its chemical properties
are extremely limited and its chemical reactions with soil,
concrete, carpet, and other materials available in the indoor
environment do not exist in environmental conditions. Table
1-1 gives some selected physical properties of radon.
Radon isotopes are usually in secular equilibrium with
their parents in the environment. In radiological terms, 222Rn
(from the decay of 226Ra) is the most important among radon


121
Soil Sample 1.0.
Figure 3-22: An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing chamber for the dried
soil samples collected from the three construction sites at
depths of 2 to 4 feet


Differential Pressure (Pa)
49
r(Pa)-3.1135 X(mA)-37.362
Figure 2-3: The linear correlation and operating range of the
pressure measurement at the test chamber


Temperature (degree F)
95
Time (min.)
Figure 3-10: A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-dependent
temperature response in the testing chamber for the saturated
soil sample collected from site 2 at a 4-foot depth


116
Original sample * Dryed Sample -A- Saturated Sample
Figure 3-19: Illustration of the original, dried, and
saturated soil samples water contents collected from two to
four feet below grade from the three construction sites in
Gainesville.


138
results obtained from soil-gas radon testing, prior to
construction, to facilitate decisions on incorporating radon
control systems into the building plans.
Soil-gas radon testing is one of the available parameter
to be measured, prior to construction, which can provide a
direct indicator of the potential for future indoor radon
problems after the completion of the structure. Accordingly,
increasing attention has been given to an emerging practice
that packages soil-gas radon testing as a part of the first-
and second-phase environmental assessments of the construction
site.
Three conditions associated with the soil-gas radon
testing, which might affect the testing prior to construction,
have been addressed in this research. These conditions are:
the condition of temperature difference between the testing
system and the soil gas, the condition of the testing
configuration that is used to test the soil gas, and the
condition of soil moisture at the site during the time when
the soil sample is collected. A fourth condition that is
expected to affect soil-gas radon testing is the condition of
soil compaction. Since the condition of soil compaction was
not addressed by this research but is it may potentially
affect the testing of soil-gas radon, it is recommended that
soil-gas radon testing to be conducted prior to compacting
soil at the construction site.
It should be noted that the above recommendation,


3
Furthermore, testing of soil gas prior to construction is
subject to several factors that might affect the test results.
This is the primary factor in deciding to incorporate radon-
control features in structures. This research addresses the
factors that might affect testing of soil-gas radon
concentration prior to construction, as well as the testing
procedures, for the purpose of developing a construction-
management approach to soil-gas radon testing prior to
construction.
Objectives of the Research
The first objective of this research is to evaluate the
effects of soil and environmental conditions including
temperature, soil moisture, pressure, and testing device
characteristics used for and associated with the measurement
of soil-gas radon concentration prior to construction.
The second objective is to develop a construction-
management approach that can be used by construction and
design contractors, consultants, and any other interested
party to coordinate testing of soil-gas radon concentration
prior to construction.
The third objective is to determine testing procedures
for soil-gas radon concentrations that can be used prior to
construction by incorporating currently available radon-


Relative Humidity (%)
97
Figure 3-11: A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-dependent
relative humidity response in the testing chamber for the
saturated soil sample collected from site 2 at a 4-foot depth


119
maximum average radon concentration was also developed from
the 2-foot sample of the construction site S3 with a level of
approximately 12.5 pCi/1.
Figure 3-23 shows the distribution of the average radon
concentration measured in the test chamber for the saturated
soil samples. The observed concentrations are comparable with
those from the in-situ and the dry soil conditions, except for
the 2-foot sample collected from construction site SI, which
showed a drop in the emanated radon by approximately 50% and
was inconsistent with the rest of the test results.
Although the overall profile in Figure 3-23 looks different
than those illustrated in Figures 3-22 and 3-21, the profiles
(except for the inconsistency above) are similar and
comparable. The shape of the plot in Figure 3-23 is
influenced by the 50% reduction in the average radon
concentration that occurred at the 2-foot sample collected at
construction site SI.
Figure 3-24 shows the maximum range of average radon
concentration variations that resulted due to drying or
saturating the in-situ samples and in relation to the in-situ
soil samples. Except for the 2-foot sample above (Sl-1), the
maximum alteration in average radon concentration measured in
the testing chamber due to the range of soil water moisture
from dry to saturated was approximately 2 pCi/1 among all
samples combined.
Figure 3-25 illustrates the comparative responses of


130
Soil Sample I.D.
Figure 3-26: An illustration to the changes in the measured
average radon concentration of original in-situ soil samples
in response to the range of soil water moisture from dryness
to saturation.


73
Table 3-4: Results of the 50-foot tube-length effect on the
measured radon concentration using the testing setup of Figure
3-6 (L = tube length, E.T. = elapse time, CPM = counts per
minute, Rn-C = radon concentration in pCi/1)
L
(ft)
50
Cell
No.
720
E.T.
457
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
1
458
44
32.6
468
33
21.0
478
36
22.9
2
459
31
19.7
469
46
29.2
479
35
22.3
3
460
48
30.5
470
31
19.7
480
36
22.9
4
461
31
19.7
471
45
28.6
481
33
21.0
5
462
35
22.2
472
38
24.2
482
43
27.4
6
463
38
24.1
473
53
33.7
483
40
25.5
7
464
35
22.2
474
50
31.8
484
46
29.3
8
465
45
28.6
475
48
30.5
485
37
23.6
9
466
37
23.5
476
40
25.4
486
34
21.6
10
467
49
31.1
477
47
29.9
487
40
25.5
Avg.
25.71
Std.
4.18
Dev.
Observation of the average radon concentrations for the
experimental runs correspond to tube lengths from 5 to 50
feet. This indicates that obtained concentrations are
decreasing as the tube length increases. This observation is
significant in terms of validating the condition of the
experimental setup to test for soil-gas concentration, as a


Figure No,
page
2-6
3-1
3-2
3-3
3-4
3-5
3-6
3-7
An illustration of the experimental setup
to investigate tube-length effect on
soil-gas radon testing 57
Average radon concentrations as a
function of the soil-gas radon
collection tube (or line) and
the corresponding standard deviations 76
The maximum percentage of average
radon concentrations that is attributed
to statistical uncertainty of the
measurement 78
Experimental and fitted relationships
between the average radon concentration
and the length of the radon collection tube
of the soil-gas radon testing setup 80
The square root of the square of
difference between the experimental
average radon concentration and
the predicted average radon
concentration as a function of
the collection tube length 82
Ratio of measured average radon
concentration to zero-tube radon
concentration per length of the
collection tube 85
Predictions of the pressure differentials
induced by temperature differences
between two zones 90
A two-and-a-half-day temporal response
of the temperature inside the testing
chamber for the dried configuration
sample of site SI collected at
a 3-foot depth 92
ix


Figure No
page
3-15
3-16
3-17
3-18
3-19
3-20
3-21
A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent differential pressure response
across the testing chamber during the
placement of the original soil sample
collected at site 2 at a 2-foot depth 101
Distribution of soil water content of the
original soil samples collected at the
three construction sites for depths of 2,
3, and 4 feet, respectively Ill
Distribution of soil water content of the
processed dried soil samples collected at
the three construction sites for depths
of 2, 3, and 4 feet, respectively 113
Distribution of soil water content of the
processed saturated soil samples collected at
the three construction sites for depths
of 2, 3, and 4 feet, respectively 115
Illustration of the original, dried, and
saturated soil samples water contents
collected from 2 to 4 feet below grade
from the three construction
sites in Gainesville 116
The maximum range of soil moisture
variation observed among original and
processed samples collected from 2
to 4 feet below grade from the three
construction sites in Gainesville 118
An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing
chamber for the original soil samples
collected from the three construction
sites at depths of 2 to 4 feet 120
xi


56
the file extension from (.PRO) to (.WQ1) while stored in the
spreadsheet format.
Design of Tube-Length Effect Experiments
Under the physical condition of pressure discussed
earlier in this chapter, pressure drop resulted. Different
tube lengths to draw soil gas into the testing system
(Figure 2-1) might have an effect on the representation of
soil-gas radon concentration. An experimental setup was
developed to observe and verify whether tube length
adversely affected measured radon concentration and thus
contributed to a misrepresentation of soil-gas radon.
Figure 2-6 provides an illustration of the experimental
setup utilized for the purpose of investigating tube-length
effect on soil-gas testing following the typical soil-gas
testing procedure outlined earlier. The testing setup
consisted of a Pylon AB-5 portable radiation monitor, a
Lucas scintillation cells (Model 300), plastic tubing at
different lengths, and a radon source.
A drum, half-filled with radium-based paint peeled from
old military airplanes, was used as the radon source. The
drum was prepared and calibrated at the Department of
Nuclear and Radiological Engineering (NRE).
Testing was performed using four scintillation cells
calibrated by NRE. The four cells were flushed with fresh
air upon the conclusion of each experimental run and checked
before the next run was prepared.


134
managing such approaches.
As a result of not having an appropriate framework and
procedure upon which testing of soil-gas radon concentration
and the utilization of testing results may be effectively
pursued, the practice of employing soil-gas radon
concentration testing results is not yet appropriately
developed. Many testing results may not be representative
since testing conditions are not considered. This contributes
to much lower efficiency in the associated management
decisions and process.
An appropriate framework addressing the development of
soil-gas radon testing procedures, and therefore the formation
process of a construction-management approach, can be achieved
by incorporating the experimental and theoretical results
discussed in this chapter.
The construction-management approach must incorporate all
the results previously addressed with the applicable, but
flexible, procedures that would allow adequate assurance
against adverse conditions. Considering the advantages
briefly discussed above, soil-gas radon testing prior to
construction must be included in any construction management
operation involving residential or large structures that
people will occupy.
Based on the experimental setup used in this research,
and within the limitations of the specific procedures
discussed throughout the text, Table 3-7 briefly summarizes


135
the type of the investigation approach used in this research
to assess the effect of the experimental setup configuration
(as used in this research), the temperature condition, and the
soil water content. Further, Table 3-7 shows the potential
effect of the testing configuration condition, the tempertaure
condition, and the soil water content on the resulted soil-gas
average concentration when measured at the site using the
experimental setup discussed in this research. The
corresponding expected contribution for each of the above
three conditions to potentially alter the results of the soil-
gas radon testing, using the experimental setup of this
research, when performed in-situ prior to construction is also
given in Table 3-7.
Table 3-8 shows the recommendations as to the degree of
necessity to incorporate a precaution, or the procedure as
developed in this research, into the practice of testing soil-
gas radon prior to construction for the experimental setup
configuration condition, the tempertaure condition, the soil
compaction condition, and the soil moisture condition.
Accordingly, table 3-8 briefly summarizes the directions that
the construction management operation (or the construction
manager) should follow in designing, developing, and executing
soil-gas radon testing at the construction site, as well as in
addressing the need for soil-gas radon testing prior to
construction, and consequently the incorporation of radon
control systems.


91
differentials simultaneously collected during a two-and-a-
half-day testing of water-saturated soil samples collected
from a site in Gainesville (S3) at a depth of 4 feet. The
second set of figures (3-13 to 3-15) also shows the time-
dependent responses of temperature, relative humidity, and
pressure differentials simultaneously collected during a two-
and-a-half-day testing of original soil samples collected at
the same site (S3) but from a depth of 2 feet.
Giving the range of temperature differences between
outdoors and the soil, the limited effect of temperature-
induced pressure differentials for temperature differences
encountered between the testing cell and the soil, temperature
does not adversely affect soil-gas testing prior to
temperature condition should be satisfied if the testing cells
are kept at relatively the normal air temperature.
Evaluation of the Soil Compaction Condition
The mechanical compaction of soil and fill materials (if
used) at the construction site is a practice that is used to
improve soil conditions for construction purposes.. In
soils,the pore space is typically filled with gas (air) and
liquid (water) The rest of the volume, other than the
collective pore space, is filled with solid soil components.
Although soil-gas and water content in the soil system are
constantly changing, the practice of soil compaction during


142
and the radon testing performance, but also provides for
potential savings in simplifying other managerial aspects that
may be related to both the soil compaction and the testing of
soil-gas radon, such as scheduling and liability.
Based on the experimental radon testing setup used in
this research it has been shown that the effect of the
testing configuration condition is mainly related to the
length of tubes (or collection lines) that are used to collect
the soil gas in the process of testing. Further, tube or line
length is generally the item of the soil-gas radon testing
configuration that enables maximum variation depending on the
user or the tester. It should be noted that at the field, the
length of the tube is the most likely element to be altered
during the testing. Further, attention should be given to the
diameter of the tube. Testing configurations that use tubes
with different diameters than the one used in this research
may exhibit different effects. However, the general scope of
observations points out to the importance of insuring
appropriate sizing and compatibility in the testing
configuration, including the tubing and the suction pump.
The experimental investigations conducted in this
research have shown that alteration of the soil-gas tube
length can directly influence pressure differentials and flow
rates associated with the testing configuration. Average
radon concentrations reported in soil-gas testing decrease
with the increase in the soil-gas tube length. Therefore,


21
At high permeability values, convective soil-gas
transport becomes the dominant transport mechanism permitting
increased radon entry and, generally, increased indoor radon
concentrations. At low permeability values, convective flow
is minimal and molecular diffusion transport of soil gas is
dominant.
The second parameter regulating soil-gas transport in
porous soil media is the diffusion length. Radon diffusion
length in soil depends on both soil water content and soil
porosity. Diffusion length is a characteristic parameter of
radon diffusivity in the soil that is driven by concentration
gradients and facilitated by molecular diffusion. It relates
the radon diffusive flux to the radon concentration gradient.
This relationship is governed by Fick's law. When the latter
relation is utilized, the mathematical representation of radon
diffusion length is usually replaced by the radon diffusion
coefficient (Al-Ahmady 1995).
In a porous medium, there are four formats of radon
diffusion coefficients that can be used depending on the type
of physical soil quantities utilized. A descriptive quantity
of bulk versus pore volumes to determine concentration and
bulk versus pore volumes to determine density results in a
bulk and effective, or intrinsic, diffusion coefficient.
The effective diffusion coefficient relates the gradient
of the interstitial radon concentration to the radon flux
density calculated across the pore soil area (Al-Ahmady 1995).


148
expenses associated with testing soil-gas radon concentration
prior to construction, the cost of incorporating indoor radon
preventive and control measures, construction-management
details related to implementing indoor radon preventive and
control measures during construction, savings realized for
such applications, management advantages in sales and
advertising, and benefits realized from minimizing or
eliminating general liability.
(5) It is recommended that the current research findings
be incorporated into an implementation analysis study to
integrate soil-gas radon testing procedures and the associated
construction-management approach into newly developed or in
developing radon-resistant construction standards for
residential and large building construction, nationally or on
a state basis, such as in the state of Florida.


6
Health Hazards of Indoor Radon Exposure
Potential health problems from exposure to indoor radon
result from dose accumulation due to inhaling radon and its
immediate progeny. Deposits of radon progeny inside the lungs
could build up to levels that directly contribute to the
development of lung cancer over a period of time.
Radon has been classified as a Group A carcinogen in
humans, with sufficient evidence that it causes cancer, based
on data from epidemiologic studies and underground miners.
Exposure to radon has been declared a major public health
concern by many national and international organizations.
These include, but are not limited to: the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (USEPA 1992) ; the National Academy of
Science (NAS), through the Biological Effects of Ionizing
Radiation (BEIR IV) Committee (NAS 1988); the World Health
Organization (WHO), through the International Agency for
Research and Cancer (IARC 1988); the National Council on
Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP 1984); the
International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP
1987); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
the American Medical Association (AMA); the American Lung
Association (ALA); and the American Public Health Association
(APHA). Since radon and its progeny are mainly alpha emitters,
the accumulated dose received by the lungs is generated from
alpha particles' decay.


41
illustration of the soil-gas radon testing system using the
Pylon AB-5 system.
Design of the Testing Chamber
Figure 2-2 illustrates the block diagram of the
experimental assembly designed and constructed in this work.
Design objectives taken into consideration include
facilitating experiments mainly to investigate the effect of
the first physical condition on the soil-gas testing
process. Soil parameters such as permeability might have an
effect on radon transport and thus should be minimized to
isolate soil moisture as the control component. From a
system standpoint, utilizing this assembly is intended for
investigating soil moisture effects on radon availability in
the soil, within the context of the soil-gas testing
procedure.
The design incorporates a space for soil samples in
which the effect of soil permeability is minimized by
reducing the sample width. Radon generated from the sample
is observed when the sample is subjected to a range of'
moisture. Soil samples are selected to place on a wide,
open-face pan with a soil thickness of approximately 5 cm.
This design is utilized to minimize the effect of soil
permeability and spatial dependency of the radon diffusion


108
Table 3-6: Results of soil water weights and sample water
contents for the original and processes soil samples collected
at the three construction sites at three depths
Soil
sample
I.D.
Sample
weight
(g)
Processed
sample
weight
(g)
Sample
container
weight
(g)
Sample
water
weight
(g)
Soil
water
content
(%)
Sl-10
176.8
167.4
33.5
9.45
6.6
SI- ID
174.4
173.5
33.5
0.94
0.67
S1-1S
238.2
201.5
19.5
36.68
17.9
Sl-20
94.8
89.8
33.3
5.04
6.7
S1-2D
154.9
153.7
33.4
1.21
0.99
S1-2S
229.6
195.2
35.4
34.44
17.6
Sl-30
168.2
159.4
33.4
8.77
6.6
S1-3D
197.1
196.7
33.4
0.33
0.2
S1-3S
234.7
198.9
33.4
35.73
17.8
S2-10
195.3
178.4
33.4
16.85
10.4
S2-1D
184.2
182.9
33.4
1.20
0.8
S2-1S
253.8
210.1
33.4
43.7
19.8
S2-20
225.7
207.2
33.4
18.51
9.6
S2-2D
210.1
208.9
33.4
1.20
0.7
S2-2S
258.2
212.0
33.4
46.15
20.5
S2-30
214.5
191.9
33.2
22.69
12.5
S2-3D
191.8
191.7
33.2
0.13
0.1
S2-3S
281.4
241.5
33.2
39.91
16.0
S3 -10
154.9
123.7
33.2
31.19
25.6
S3 ID
162.6
161.6
33.2
1.07
0.8
S3 IS
208.1
151.3
33.2
56.77
32.4
S3 -20
151.5
123.4
33.2
28.10
23.8
S3 -2D
133.1
132.9
33.2
0.18
0.2
S3-2S
236.9
166.5
33.2
70.39
34.6


147
apply pressure on soil samples. Different loads, representing
typical soil-compaction operations, can be applied to the soil
samples while air flow is measured throughout the sample.
Results may be used to construct mathematical modeling and/or
be integrated into a theoretical framework. This may be
developed from Darcy's law and other theories describing fluid
flow in porous media. This research would permit the
establishment of correction factors or alternative testing
procedures that would allow for soil-gas testing after soil
compaction.
(2) Development of an integrated measurement system is
recommended for the specific purpose of testing soil-gas radon
concentration prior to construction. There is no integrated
system design for the practical purpose of testing soil-gas
radon concentration prior to construction. Available testing
assemblies were designed for different purposes, mainly using
the scintillation cell approach. The proposed system must
incorporate measures for the four conditions addressed in the
current research and associated correction factors.
(3) It is recommended that the current research findings
be incorporated into a systematic investigation for the
purpose of developing national soil-gas radon testing
standards. These must address varieties of soils and fill
materials at the construction sites and environmental
conditions in a matter suitable for integration into codes.
(4) A cost-benefit analysis is recommended for the


34
Am[Rn) =
X
(1-22)
Rn
Using Equation 1-16 results in
AJRn) = ( ) feps A(Ra)
G
(1-23)
Substituting Equations 1-20 and 1-23 into 1-12 yields
A? (Rn) = -D f p A(Ra) V(l-e 1r") (1-24)
e e
and substituting Equation 1-21 into 1-24, for the one
dimensional case, yields
AfiRn) = ip f. P, A(Ra) (1-25)
The diffusive radon activity flux density per unit of
geometric area is given by multiplying Equation 1-25 by the
soil porosity e,
A?(Rn) = (1-e) psfeA(Ra) jDl^n (1-26)
The radon activity flux density is related to the radon
activity concentration by Fick's law through the effective
diffusion coefficient, as shown in Equation 1-12. The
differential radon activity flux density from the molecular
diffusion in Equation 1-26 is in fact the application of
Equation 1-12 on a solution, for A^iRn), in the following
partial differential equation. Describing the radon transport
in soil by diffusion only,


123
Soil Sample I.D.
Figure 3-23: An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing chamber for the
saturated soil samples collected from the three construction
sites at two to four feet depth.


35
dAJRn)
dt
= S A A (Rn) + D V2A (Rn)
Rn m' e m '
(1-27)
Substituting Equation 1-16 into 1-27 yields
dA (Rn) 1-0
= < ) \nfePs
dt
- XB A (Rn) + D V2A (Rn)
Rn m ' e m 1 '
(1-28)
Notice that Equation 1-28 is identical to Equation 1-19 xcept
for the convective transport term being absent.
Applying typical values for 222Rn in Equation 1-26 results
in radon activity flux densities on the order of (10-20) x 10-3
(Bq/ims) Wilkening et al. estimated values of the mean 222Rn
activity flux density of approximately 0.015 Bq/ims, from data
collected on widely spread regions (Wilkening et al. 1972).
Nazaroff et al. provided the radon activity flux, using
typical values such as ps=2.65xl03 kg/m3, f=0.2, e=0.5, De= 2x10-
6 m2/s and radium mass activity of 30 Bq/kg, as 0.016 Bq/rms
(Nazaroff et al. 1988).


87
magnitude of the quantity (mgh/k) represents a constant of
value C=0.0477 K, when m is the average molecular mass of air
(28.8 u) at an atmospheric composition of approximately 80% N2
and 20% 02/ at uniform temperature of 280 K.
Because the constant C is small, the value of the
exponent on the right-hand side of Equation 3-3, exp(-C/T), is
approximately unity and can be approximated as (1-C/T).
Applying this treatment to two pressure conditions P! and P2,
which correspond to temperatures and T2, respectively, yields
P1-P2 = AP = P0 C [ (Ti-Tj) /TjT2] (4-4)
the pressure difference generated between two zones of
different temperatures. This equation can be used to
characterize the pressure differences induced by soil-gas zone
temperature (temperature of the soil gas in the soil pore) and
soil-gas testing cell zone (temperature inside the testing
cell).
A simpler analytical format that linearly relates the
pressure differentials between two zones developed from
different zone temperatures is that developed by Furrer et al.
(1991). According to Furrer's model, the relationship between
differential pressure and differential temperature can be
written as
AP=ATxkxgxh (4-5)
where AP is the pressure difference in pascal developed due to
temperature difference, AT in C, k is a constant representing
the specific decrease in air density (4xlQ-3kg/m3K) ,


84
regions and associated with the flow of soil gas from the soil
pore space into the testing cell. Thus, to investigate such
an effect, a general model was employed that can relate
temperature differences to corresponding pressure differences
between two regions (or areas) that are relatively separated.
The temperature-induced pressure differential model was
developed by Al-Ahmady (1995) for applications concerned with
indoor radon concentration driving forces and the design and
optimization of radon control systems. Although the
application for which the model was developed differs from
this application, the model is readily applicable to any two
zones that exhibit different temperatures. For the purpose
of providing the general analytical basis for the model
development and the integrity of information provided in this
research, the temperature-induced pressure differential model
is re-derived in this work. The analytical approach to
developing the temperature-induced pressure differences can be
achieved by employing the fundamental physics concept of the
conservation of forces related to pressure under hydrostatic
equilibrium. If pressure in the specific zone is under
hydrostatic equilibrium, the forces with air pressure must
counteract the gravitational force.
If a specific volume is considered under such
equilibrium, the net force at any point in this volume must be
zero; therefore,
dP/dh=-pg (3-1)
where h is the height measured from a reference level (m),


141
temperatures do not adversely affect soil-gas testing prior to
construction. From the viewpoint of testing conditions, the
temperature condition should be satisfied if the testing cells
are kept relatively close to the normal ambient temperature.
Therefore, the temperature condition does not have an adverse
effect on the soil-gas radon testing, and the construction
manager or other interested parties need only to use common-
sense precautions as far as the temperature condition is
concerned.
The effects of the condition of soil compaction may be
developed from the mechanical compaction of soil and fill
materials, when exist, at the site for different purposes,
mainly for soil preparation during construction. Soil
compaction forms a condition which may alter soil-gas testing
results if the testing occurs before and after the compaction.
For example, soil compaction changes the pore-space physical
characteristics. The change in the pore-space may result in
increasing fluid-flow resistance and thus might affect the
sampling of soil-gas radon that is drawn from the soil into
the testing cell.
As discussed above, in this research and based on the
managerial concept of avoiding the unknown, it is recommended
that testing of soil-gas radon to be conducted prior to soil
compaction, if soil compaction is to take place at the
construction site. This recommendation not only provides for
avoiding any possible interference between the soil compaction


114
of soil water content (% weight) for the original in-situ and
processed dry and saturated condition soil samples collected
from the three construction sites at depths ranging from 2 to
4 feet below grade. The average soil moisture content level
from in-situ samples (original soils) was generally higher for
samples collected at the corresponding sites SI, S2, and S3,
respectively. In the original samples, maximum and minimum
soil water contents were 25.64% and 6.60% weight, both
collected at the 2-foot depth in S3 and SI, respectively.
Figure 3-20 shows the overall maximum range of soil
moisture variation observed in all the samples including the
dry and saturation conditions. The maximum change in soil
moisture, due to processing, occurred in the 2-foot depth
sample collected from the construction site SI. Soil water
content was altered by more than 11% of weight due to the
processing. The minimum change occurred in the 4-foot sample
collected from construction site S2 with a range of less than
4% of weight.
The majority of soil samples exhibited an alteration of
soil moisture content by at least 9% of weight when they were
processed through the saturation condition compared to the dry
conditions.
The maximum consistency of soil moisture alteration response
was observed in the samples collected from construction site
SI, while the most volatile response was exhibited by the
samples collected from construction site S2.


39
of the soil gas drawn from the system into the collection
cell. This may develop from a pressure drop due to
different lengths of tubing that might be used to conduct
the test. Investigations of this pressure condition will be
approached experimentally.
The fourth physical condition to address is soil
compaction. Air flow through compact soil, as a part of the
construction phase, may be affected by soil resistance to
air flow. This determination depends on the soil compaction
as an alteration to the soil's normal condition.
Investigation of this approach will be done managerially.
Soil-Gas Radon Testing Methodology
Radon gas in the soil can be determined directly by
testing its concentrations in soil gas. There are no
federal or local standards for testing soil-gas radon in the
soil. The most widely used procedure employs
photomultiplier-based instrumentation to measure the decay
of radon through alpha disintegration.
Soil-gas rich with radon is mechanically drawn into a
scintillation cell internally coated with ZnS. The flow
rate of the gas is controlled by a pump on the device.
Soil-gas is drawn from the soil approximately two to four
feet in depth by inserting a metal probe.


33
Several assumptions can be made to simplify Equation 1-
19; for example, the steady state solution is based on
eliminating the time rate of change of the activity of radon
concentration, that is, the left-hand side of Equation 1-19
becoming zero.
To examine the effect of each term in Equation 1-19 for
particular applications, the molecular diffusion term can be
simplified. An example would consider one-dimensional (z-
axis) radon diffusion in soil without the effects of the
structure, that is, uncovered soil and low moisture content.
If the radon activity concentration is assumed to be zero at
the surface of the soil and the radon source is located at an
infinite depth in the soil, then the radon activity
concentration at depth z can be given by
Z
Amz(Rn) = Am(Rn) (1-e ) (1-20)
where
Anz(Rn) is the radon activity concentration at z,
An (Rn) is the initial activity concentration, and
lRn is the radon diffusion length.
The radon diffusion length and the initial concentration can
be given as
1
Rn
(1-21)
and


153
New Hampshire. Journal of American Water Workers Association
53:75.
Steck, D. J. 1990. A comparison of epa screening measurements
and annual 222Rn concentrations in statewide surveys. Health
Physics 60:523.
Stranden, E. 1988. Building materials as a source of indoor
radon. In radon and its decay products in indoor air, edited
by W. W. Nazaroff and A. V. Nero. New York: John Wiley and
Sons.
Stranden, E., A. K. Kolstad, and B. Lind. 1984. The influence
of moisture and temperature on radon exhalation. Radiation
Protection Dosimetry 7:55.
Strong, K. P., and D. M. Levins. 1982. Effect of moisture
content on radon emanation from uranium ore and tailings.
Health Physics 42:27.
Suomela, M., and H. Kahlos. 1972. Studies on the elimination
rate and radiation exposure following ingestion of 222Rn-rich
water. Health Physics 23:641.
Tanner, A. B. 1964. Radon mitigation in the ground: A review.
In Natural radiation environment, edited by J. A. Adams and W.
M. Lowder. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Tanner, A. B. 1980. Radon migration in the ground: A
supplementary review. Proceedings of Natural Radiation
Environment III, edited by F. Gesell and W. M. Lowder. Conf.
780422, U.S. Department of Commerce. National Technical
Information Service. Springfield, Va.
Toohey, R. E. 1987. Radon vs. lung cancer: New study weighs
the risks. Argonne National Laboratory logos 5:7.
Toth, A. 1984. Simple field method for determining of 220Rn and
222Rn daughter energy concentrations in room air. Radiation
Protection Dosimetry 7:247.
Turner, R. C., J. M. Radley, and W. V. Mayneord. 1961.
Naturally occurring alpha-activity of drinking waters. Nature
189:348.
Tsang, Y. W., and T. N. Narasimhan. 1991. Effects of periodic
atmospheric pressure variation on radon entry into buildings.


117
Radon concentrations were monitored in the test chamber
for the original and the processed soil samples as they may
exist naturally at the site during soil-gas radon testing
prior to construction. Figure 3-21 shows the measured average
radon concentrations in the test chamber generated from the
original soil samples collected from the three construction
the original soil samples collected from the three
construction sites at sampling depths of 2 to 4 feet.
In-situ soil samples from construction sites SI and S2
developed radon concentrations in the testing chambers that
averaged between 10 to 11 pCi/1 at the three sampling depths.
Soil obtained from construction site S3 developed higher
average radon concentrations by approximately 30% than the
other construction sites at the three sampling depths. This
is attributed to higher concentrations of radium in the soil
at construction site S3. The maximum average radon
concentration obtained from the in-situ (original) condition
developed in the 2-foot sample from construction site S3 at
approximately 14 pCi/1.
Figure 3-22 shows the distribution of average radon
concentration of the three construction sites at the three
depth samples for the dry preparation condition. The overall
concentrations measured in the testing chamber are lower than
the in-situ samples by a minimal margin. The profile of the
average radon concentrations for the dry soil condition was
similar to that associated with the in-situ condition. The


115
Soil Sample I.D.
Figure 3-18: Distribution of soil water content of the
processed saturated soil samples collected at the three
construction sites for depths of two, three, and four feet,
respectively.


107
collected on sunny days and within a two-week period in
September.
Samples were collected by excavating the soil, checking
the depth, and retrieving the samples. Upon collection,
samples were placed in airtight containers (site containers),
sealed, labeled, transported, and stored in the concrete
laboratory at the Department of Civil Engineering. Table 3-5
listed soil sample classifications and other sample
characteristics used in these experiments.
Processing of soil sample site containers was performed
at the department's soil laboratory. The contents of the site
container were divided into three parts, where each part was
placed in a smaller airtight plastic container (lab
container).
A fourth sample was prepared for each site and each depth
and used for measuring soil water content. The latter was
performed by weighing the sample, placing the sample in a
conventional oven for a minimum of two days, and weighing the
sample at the conclusion of the heating. Table 3-6 shows the
weights of soil samples and the corresponding soil moisture
percentages obtained from measuring soil moisture at the soil
laboratory of the Department of Civil Engineering.
Preparation of dry soil samples was performed using the
same convectional hot-air oven for a minimum period of 48
hours. Dried samples were then placed in the lab containers,


77
concentration of approximately 242 in the following form:
Y (pCi/1) = 242.26 exp [-0.0464 X (feet)]
The initial average radon concentration that corresponds
to a zero tube length is obtained from the above equation when
X takes the value of zero. Figure 3-3 also shows the
exponential relationship between the average radon
concentration and the length of the collection tube in the
experimental setup of Figure 3-6.
Errors associated with the above fitted equation can be
assessed from calculating the average square root of the
square of difference between the equation value and the
experimental value for a given length. Figure 3-4 shows the
square root value of the square of difference between the
experimental average radon concentration and the predicted
average radon concentration using the above equation for tube
lengths from 5 to 50 feet. The average root square value of
the square of differences between the experimental and
mathematical average radon concentrations is approximately 13
pCi/1.
The above results indicate that the experimental
configuration condition and specifically the length of the
tube used to collect soil gas during the testing of soil-gas
radon concentration can adversely affect the reported
concentrations. This is the main measurement figure that a
construction manager would use to complete the decision to
incorporate a radon-control system into building construction
plans. Therefore, the soil-gas system configuration must be


131
All related parties to the construction industry, such as
designers, project engineers, construction managers, builders,
and consultants, can utilize the assessment results obtained
from soil-gas radon testing, prior to construction, to
facilitate the decision of incorporating radon control systems
into the building plans. The general areas in which advantages
are realized can be divided into three main areas:
(1) cost savings associated with incorporating indoor
radon preventive measure during construction compared to after
the completion of the building;
(2) minimization of the general liability of involved
parties concerning the issue of indoor radon problems; and
(3) significant improvement to the public health and
sales and advertisement advantages resulting from providing
buildings that are free from elevated indoor radon
concentrations.
Incorporating radon preventive and control measures
during the construction process provides significant
advantages in the overall construction-management operation
and the delivery of the contract. Construction plans that
incorporate radon preventive measures, when needed, in the
design phase and prior to the construction phase could
substantially reduce the cost of this preventive measure when
compared with the same measure taken after the building's
completion.
Most radon preventive and control systems are installed


143
appropriate tube length is significant in terms of validating
the condition of the experimental setup to test for soil-gas
concentration as a potential indicator of the need to
incorporate a passive or active radon control system prior to
construction. The tube configuration, including length as well
as diameter, to be used in the testing procedure must be
selected within limits that does not interfere with the
pumping capacity of the experimental setup.
If the soil-gas collection time is not sufficient, the
content of the system scintillation cell volume is not
representative of the soil gas; it is at lower radon content,
resulting in lower radon concentration when samples are
measured after the 4-hour waiting period. The procedure to
test for soil-gas radon concentration prior to construction as
a potential to indoor radon problems must consider the
compatibility of the radon collection tube and the sample
collection time, as well.
Based on the above observations, Alpha counts should be
be monitored during the collection of soil gas during the
radon testing. The tester may then establish a plateau from
the sniff counting results before collecting the grab sample.
The latter ensures that a representative sample is obtained
and thus minimizes adverse effects of the testing
configuration conditions on soil-gas radon testing.
Experimental results showed very small changes in radon
concentration obtained from soil-gas radon testing setups due


109
Table 3-6 Continued
Soil
sample
I.D.
Sample
weight
(g)
Processed
sample
weight
(g)
Sample
container
weight
(g)
Sample
water
weight
(g)
Soil
water
content
(%)
S3 -30
197.7
167.8
33.2
30.49
18.5
S3 -3D
167.2
166.8
33.2
0.33
0.2
S3-3S
226.6
172.4
33.2
54.21
28.0
sealed, labeled, and left for a minimum of 14 days prior to
testing, allowing for radon to reach equilibrium with its
parent. Saturated samples were prepared by adding water into
soil samples until saturation. As with the prepared dried
soil samples, saturated samples were placed in the lab
containers, sealed, labeled, and left for a minimum of 14 days
prior to testing.
Figure 3-16 shows the distribution of soil water contents
for the in-situ (original) samples collected at the three
construction sites in Gainesville. Although no control is
available on the in-situ soil moisture, observation of soil
moisture in the original samples shows a gradual increase in
amount of water hold in the soil pore space. The soil
moisture of the samples collected at the first construction
site (SI) shows little change as sampling goes from soil
surface to 4 feet deep, and all were below 8% by weight of
water content.
Samples collected from the second construction site (S2)
show a water content profile that is slightly decreased as the


66
site, surface water in the site, availability of shelter, and
availability of electric power.
For the purpose of this research, the likelihood that a
tester will change the test configuration is mainly restricted
to the use of different tubing lengths. Accordingly, results
should be viewed and used within this scope. Pressure is
defined as the most significant condition that might alter the
validity of the results within the soil-gas testing
configuration. Pressure condition alterations due to changes
in the tubing lengths was investigated by utilizing the
experimental assembly specifically designed for this purpose
(Figure 2-6). Using this assembly, radon concentrations were
drawn from the drum, which was considered a constant source
representing the soil gas, and passed through tubing lengths
ranging from 5 to 50 feet and segmented every 5 feet.
Tables 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, and 3-4 show the results of these
measurements. To attain results from the scintillation cells,
which were filled with sample gas drawn from the drum, the
measurements in Table 3-1 were kept for 271, 296, and 408
minutes (a minimum of 4 hours) before accounting for tube
lengths of 5, 10, and 15 feet, respectively. Samples
collected for tubing lengths of 20, 25, and 30 feet were kept
for 434, 308, and 276 minutes, respectively (Table 3-2).
Results of configurations of tubing lengths of 35, 40,
and 45 feet are shown in Table 3-3. In these, the elapse time
between the radon collection time and the measurement time was


96
site preparation for construction forms a condition that is
expected to adversely affected soil-gas testing if it occurs
after the compaction. Soil compaction changes the pore space
physical characteristics, resulting in increasing fluid flow
resistance, and thus it might affect sampling of soil-gas
radon drawn from the soil into the testing cell.
An applied load which reduces the total volume of soil
causes compaction. Because the soil particles and water are
relatively incompressible, compaction causes reorientation of
soil particles and reduces the volume of air. This slows down
water and air movement and reduces the water holding capacity
of the soil.
Not only might the increase of air-flow resistance in the
soil system affect the soil-gas testing, but also a reduction
of the soil's water-holding capacity can indirectly affect
soil-gas testing. This may alter radon emanation and the
percentage of radon atoms that terminate their range in the
soil pore where they become migrable. In addition to the
effect on soil-gas testing, excessive soil compaction may
result in poor drainage, increased energy for tillage, and
reduced crop yields because of reduced water and air movement
in the soil. It may also result in reduced rate of root
growth, and delays in tillage, planting, and harvesting.
Ponding of water on the soil surface in wheel-track
depressions and on turn rows that receive extra machine
traffic usually show the first evidence of excessive


90
Indoor-Outdoor Temperature (K)
Figure 3-6: Predictions of the pressure differentials induced
by temperature differences between two zones


30
area. This integration is equivalent to integrating the
divergence of these fluxes over the total differential volume,
according to the divergence theorem,
J Af(Rn) ds J VAf(Rn) dv
s v (1-14)
J Af (Rn) ds = J Va/ (Rn) dv
S V
The limitation on Afc(Rn) is determined by the dependence
of Darcy's law on the Reynolds number. Usually, Darcy's law
starts to give incorrect results for high values of the
Reynolds number. Scheidegger has provided experimental
evidence showing that applications of Darcy's law for Reynolds
numbers smaller than 76 are acceptable (Scheidegger 1960).
The typical pressure gradients in the soil due to air flow
into structures results in Reynolds numbers much smaller than
76. Therefore, Darcy's law is approximately correct for radon
transport applications.
A general transport equation that describes radon
transport in the soil can be developed by considering the rate
of change in the quantities of production, convective flow,
molecular diffusion and decay. Under the limitations that
arise from the application of Fick's law for molecular
diffusion and Darcy's law for convective transport, the time
rate of change in the radon activity concentration in the
pore, for soils of low moisture content, can be written as


16
atora terminates its range in the soil pore space. Fluid-
filled soil pores contain most of the soil moisture. When the
content of water in the pore space increases, the direct
emanation coefficient component increases because a greater
fraction of the recoil radon atoms are trapped in the pore.
The transition processes controlling the radon-emanating
fraction in the soil are affected by soil moisture, soil
temperature, soil grain-size distribution, and the
intragranular location of radium atoms as seen in Figure 1-2
(Al-Ahmady 1995). The interagranular location of radium atoms
and the soil grain-size distribution are not controlled during
construction.
For the purpose of this research, the above two soil
characteristics are considered to be there and are not related
to the testing process itself. Soil moisture and soil
temperature can be changed from day to day depending on
environmental parameters; thus their effects on the soil-gas
radon testing must be considered.
Soil moisture content can be analyzed in three
components: capillary, gravitational, and gyroscopic.' The
capillary component represents films of water around the solid
soil grains that develop from the capillary properties of
liquids with narrow channeling and surfaces. The
gravitational component represents the bulk of the water in
the soil system that is affected by gravitational forces. The
gyroscopic component of soil moisture is derived from the


Table No.
page
3-5 Soil samples identification system
and corresponding sample configuration 106
3-6 Results of soil water weights and sample
water contents for the original and
processed soil samples collected at the
three construction sites at three depths 107
3-7 A brief summary of the investigation
approach, potential effect, and potential
contribution to soil-gas radon testing
result misrepresentation for testing (setup)
configuration condition (A), temperature
condition (B), soil compaction condition
(C), and soil water content
condition (D) 136
3-8 A brief summary of the recommendation for
the degree of necessity to incorporate
precaution or procedures developed in this
research in designing, developing, and
executing soil-gas radon testing to support
the construction management decision for
incorporating radon control system(s)
installation prior to construction.
Testing codes are: A = testing (setup)
configuration condition, B = temperature
condition, C = soil compaction condition,
and D = soil water content condition 136
vii


8
Alpha radiation has the highest quality factor for
depositing its energy into living tissues, compared to other
radiations. Thus, the radiological significance of radon
exposure arises from two factors:
(1) radon is a chemically inactive gas but has a half-life
that is long enough to easily reach and decay in the lung
during inhalation; and (2) once radon has decayed in the lung,
its progeny are chemically very active and have short half-
lives that allow them to attach easily to the lung tissue and
deposit most of their decay energy into tissues.
More evidence can be found in recent studies supporting
the belief that 222Rn is the major contributor to the radon
health concern (NAS 1988) For this reason, radon in this
work shall refer to 222Rn.
The major radiological risk of inhaled radon and its
decay products is the development of lung cancer. Lung cancer
of the respiratory tract has emerged as the most common form
of lethal cancer. It is estimated that lung cancer accounts
for approximately one-fifth of all cancer deaths yearly in the
United States (James 1984).
The EPA has estimated that radon is responsible for about
14,000 deaths per year (with a possible range of 7,000 to
30,000) and that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer
in the United States. Estimates of the possible number of
deaths in a sample of 100 persons versus exposure to different
levels of radon concentration is shown in Table 1-3. The


Relative Humidity (%)
52
4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Output Current (mA)
Y(%)=6.25 X(mA)-25
Figure 2-4: The linear correlation and operating range of the
relative humidity measurement at the test chamber


25
multicomponent diffusion in radon transport are minimal for
soil-structure configurations dominated by the convective
transport of soil gas (Nazaroff et al. 1988).
Since the objective of this treatment is to generally
address radon transport in the soil system and not the details
of molecular diffusion phenomena, an effective diffusion
coefficient (De) is systematically assumed. The latter can be
used to replace the binary diffusion coefficient (Db) .
Under normal conditions, the mole fraction of radon
isotopes in the soil gas is nearly equivalent to the mole
fraction of 222Rn (7.6x10 at 20 C) which is small compared
to the soil gas (Nazaroff et al. 1988). Therefore, if the
molecular diffusion of radon in the soil as a source of
convection in the mixture is neglected, then Nj can be
neglected compared to the soil-gas flux density N2. This
assumption results in reducing Equation 1-1 to
l A C D. Vfl
(1-2)
If the molar concentration of soil gas remains constant in
time and space, then
"i = A D'
(1-3)
or
AL = f
Rn
Rn
N ~ P V ( C fn )
e Rn1
(1-4)
where N is the molar flux density of the soil gas (air) in the
soil pore space.


22
The radon bulk diffusion coefficient relates radon flux
density to the gradient of interstitial radon concentration
calculated across a geometric or superficial area. When soil
moisture increases, a high percentage of pore space is
blocked, reducing the radon diffusion in the soil.
Researchers have concluded that increasing soil moisture
reduces the radon diffusion coefficient, while increasing the
soil porosity increases the radon diffusion coefficient
(Rogers et al. 1984).
Radon Transport in Soils
A system approach has been utilized for conducting this
research. With the focus on the construction-management
approach prior to construction and the associated testing
procedures, the details of transport of radon in the soil
system is a secondary aspect of this work.
Details of the transport of radon in soils would be of
primary importance for researching the fate and movement of
radon for different purposes. However, mathematical
consideration for radon transport in soils is discussed in
this chapter as an integral background for future research.
The terminology and primary coverage of the subject is adapted
from Al-Ahmady (1995).
The transport of radon, as other chemicals, in soil
results from movement of the source before generation and from


100
Time (min.)
Figure 3-14: A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-dependent
relative humidity response in the testing chamber during the
placement of the original soil sample collected at site 2 at
a 2-foot depth


24
Wx = f1 (N^N2) ~ C Db Vfx (1-1)
where
Nx is the molar flux of gas 1 (moles/m:s) ,
N2 is the molar flux of gas 2 (moles/m:s) ,
fx is the molar fraction of gas 1 in the mixture,
C is the molar concentration of the gas (moles/m5) ,
Db is the binary diffusion coefficient (m2/s), and
V is the three-dimensional gradient operator.
In the above equation, the second term represents the
molecular diffusion component relative to the mean convective
velocity, and the first term represents the convective
transport component.
In the molecular diffusion process, the dominant
driving force of gas molecular movement between two areas is
the concentration difference of the gas between these two
areas. Therefore, the second term in Equation 1-1 is
constructed based on Fick's first law, governing the relation
between the concentration gradient and the diffusional flux
density.
If the gas labeled as 2 is the soil gas and 1 is radon,
then Nx represents the molar flux density of radon. Radon is
considered here within the assumption of a binary mixture in
the soil gas. This neglects the effect of the transport of
radon that may result from the diffusion of one or several
other species in the soil gas. However, the effects of this


5
radonisotopes. 222Rn has the longest half-life and its parent
(uranium series) is the most abundant among radon isotopes'
parents in geological materials.
222Rn decays to 218Po by releasing an alpha particle of 5.4 9
million electron-volt (MeV) that can be described by the
following equation:
222Rn 218Po + 4He + 5.4 9 (MeV)
Table 1-2 gives the radionuclide, half-life, alpha and beta
particles' decay energies for part of the U-238 decay chain
starting with Ra-226. Polonium-218 in the above equation
disintegrates into Lead-214, releasing an alpha particle of
6.00 MeV as seen in the table. Polonium-218, Lead-214,
Bismuth-214, and Polonium-214 are called the immediate
daughters or progeny of the isotope Rn-222.
The immediate progeny carry the significant part of
radiation that is delivered to human lungs upon inhalation of
radon. They are chemically very active elements, and ali have
relatively short half-lives of less than 30 minutes. This
characteristic makes these radionuclides radiological toxins,
as they will disintegrate within the time frame needed to
complete one breathing cycle by the normal lung-clearance
mechanism. Thus, they can decay to 2l0Pb, which has a half-
life of 22.3 years.


58
Tube lengths were varied on 5-foot segments. Testing
was performed for each 5-foot tube segment sequentially. A
period of 5 minutes was utilized to circulate the air
through the scintillation cell before collecting the sample.
Once the sample was collected, tube length was changed
and the procedure repeated using another cell. Cells were
labeled, kept for a minimum of 4 hours, and then measured
using pylon AB-5. Radon concentrations were obtained from
measuring the count rate, accounting for the correction that
resulted from radon decay, and employing the calibration
factors developed by NRE. The same pumping system (Pylon
AB-5) was used to draw the samples.
Average radon concentration per each five feet segment
of tube length was compared to each other and the reference
radon concentration in the drum. The latter was calibrated
by NRE using a combination of passive and active radon
measurement instrumentation.
Quality Control and Assurance
A quality control and quality assurance plan was
utilized during the execution of this research. Procedures
of calibrating devices and equipment used for performing the
measurements were followed and implemented. Data
representations were performed through assessment of the


12
Table 1-4: Possible number of lung cancers and comparison of
the risk of radon exposure for smokers
on level
(pCi/1)
Possible number of
lung cancers per 1000
people (lifetime
exposure)
Radon exposure risk
of cancer compares
to ...
20
135
100 times the risk
of drowning.
10
71
100 times the risk
of dying in a home
fire.
8
57
80 times the risk of
dying in a home
fire.
4
29
100 times the risk
of dying in an
airplane crash.
2
15
2 times the risk of
dying in a car
crash.
1.3
9
(average indoor
radon level)
0.4
3
(average outdoor
radon level)
Since the uranium content of the generated soils has to
be about the same as in the forming rocks, uranium
concentrations in the soil average between 1-3 ppm.
Construction materials used in structures, for
foundations and walls and so forth, that are prepared from
processed geological materials contain some percentage of
radium that is derived from predecessor radioisotopes in the
earth materials. Earth materials such as light-colored
volcanic rocks, granite, dark shales, phosphate-bearing
sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks contain


122
average radon concentration plotted for original, dried, and
saturated soil samples collected at the construction sites
from 2- to 4-foot depths. As seen in the graph, minimal
deviation of average radon concentrations was observed between
the dried to saturated soil samples and the original soil
sample, particularly for sites SI and S2. Samples collected
from site S3 experienced some differences between the
dried/saturated samples and the original; however, these
differences were small.
The differences between the maximum and the minimum time-
averaged radon concentrations (concentration span) measured at
the assembly chamber for all samples were comparable except
for the 2-foot depth at site SI. This sample showed a
concentration span value that significantly differs from the
rest of the samples; therefore, it is omitted from
consideration.
The span of time-averaged radon concentration is
calculated as
Rnspan = ABS [Rnsaturated Rn dried1
where ABS refers to the absolute value of the difference.
Rnspan (pCi/1) represents the range of average radon
concentration changes corresponding to the range of soil water
content from dryness to saturation.
Ignoring the soil sample collected at a 2-foot depth in
site SI, the maximum span of the average radon concentration
among soil samples was observed at a depth of 4 feet in site


126
the qualitative behavior of the average radon concentration
with respect to the soil water content since comparable
uncertainties, with minimal differences, are incorporated into
all the points of the qualitative comparison.
To represent the span of radon concentrations measured
with original soil samples without alteration to their water
content, the following parameter may be utilized:
Rnratio = 100 x (Rnspan/Rnoriginal) = 100 x (ABS [Rnsaturated -
R^ried ] / R^original )
where Rnrati0 (%) represents the ratio of time-averaged radon
concentration span to the time-averaged radon concentration
measured with original soil. This parameter indicates the
percent change of averaged radon concentrations measured in
the assembly chamber, with soil water content alteration from
dryness to saturation, to the radon concentration measured
from the original soil sample without water content
alteration.
Figure 3-26 shows the percent change in measured radon
concentrations with water content alteration with respect to
original soils.A maximum change of approximately 6% was
observed in the 4-foot sample collected at site S3. Soil
water content alterations for samples collected at SI and S2
were less than 3% and 5%, respectively, with respect to radon
concentrations of original soil samples.
These changes in radon concentration due to alteration of
soil water content are very small. The scope of such changes


20
Structure Features
Quality of Construction
Building Operation
Structure Related
Diffusion Length
Migration in
T
Entry into
Soil
Structures
Permeability
A
Flow Mech.
Wind
Bar. Pres. Changes
Precipitation
Changes in water table
Snow or ice cover
Figure 1-3: Illustration of the third and fourth states of
radon in the soil representing radon migration


105
different purposes.
The block diagram of the experimental assembly used in
this research to test the soil moisture effect on the testing
of soil-gas radon concentration is given in Chapter 2 (Figure
2-2). Soil samples were placed on a wide, open-face pan with
a soil thickness of approximately 5 cm.
The above design is utilized to minimize the effect of
soil permeability and spatial dependency of the radon
diffusion coefficient on the transport of radon from the soil
sample into the chamber space. The chamber space was flushed
with air prior to the start of each experiment.
Radon concentrations were then continuously monitored to
observe the buildup of radon gas in the chamber until reaching
equilibrium inside the chamber. Radon concentration, pressure,
temperature, and relative humidity data were simultaneously
measured with a sampling time of 10 minutes. Utilizing the
data-logging system, data were retrieved from the logging
system and automatically entered into a personal computer
system.
Soil samples were collected from three construction
sites, representing typical construction soils in Florida from
three depths (2, 3, and 4 feet). These depths typically
represent the usual range where in-situ soil-gas radon
measurements are performed. The procedure used to handle soil
samples is specifically designed to collect enough soil, which
is divided into samples from the three depths. Collection of


101
Time (min.)
Figure 3-15: A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-dependent
differential pressure response across the testing chamber
during the placement of the original soil sample collected at
site 2 at a 2-foot depth


82
Tube Length (ft.)
Figure 3-4: The square root of the square of difference
between the experimental average radon concentration, and the
predicted average radon concentration as a function of the
collection tube length


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
My name is Esfandiar Salimi Tari. I was born on November
3, 1954, in Tehran, Iran. I am the first child in a family of
six children. I received my diploma in Tehran in 1974 and
then was drafted into the military for two years. I first
came to the United States in February 1977. I returned to my
country in 1978 and got married. I came back to the United
States with my wife, Pouran, and we both enrolled at
California State University at Sacramento. I received my
bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from California
State University at Sacramento in 1983. I received my
master's degree in irrigation engineering at Utah State
University at Logan in 1988. My wife and I moved to
Gainesville, Florida, and I applied for a Ph.D. in civil
engineering at the University of Florida. I worked with Dr.
Najafi on various research projects before becoming involved
with radon research. This research interested me, and I
decided to write my dissertation on it. My wife and I had a
daughter, Maryam, in 1992. Besides going to school full time,
I also run my own business.
155


78
Tube Length (ft.)
Figure 3-2: The maximum percentage of average radon
concentrations that is attributed to statistical uncertainty
of the measurement


27
Further assumptions must be made in order to apply
Equation 1-7 in a complex soil system. In fact, to account
for the effect of the soil fill materials and near-structure
conditions, an effective diffusion coefficient has already
been assumed. Further, these conditions increase the radon
mean free path. This increase is not helpful for the soil
porosity considerations which were assumed in developing the
above equations, since radon atoms are assumed to be
interacting with soil gas molecules (gaseous state). However,
support for this assumption can be derived from the fact that
soil pores are relatively larger than the applicable average
radon mean free path, which assures that the assumption is
reasonable.
It is typically assumed that pore dimensions are
comparable to the size of mineral grains. Since the required
size should be comparable to the soil gas (compared to the air
of 0.065 micrometer at 25C), the diffusion term can be
applied to the soils of grain size on the order of
approximately 0.065 micrometer or larger, which in fact covers
all soils larger than clays. Testing of soil-gas radon
concentration for the purpose of developing a potential
indicator cannot be facilitated in soils that have
significant amounts of clay.
Since radon is an almost chemically inert gas and the
average environmental temperatures are much higher than its


10
Table 1-3: The risk of exposure to annual radon levels
Annual3
radon level
(pCi/1)
Sample of 100
people (possible
deaths %)
Radon risk of lung cancer
compares to . .
100
(27-63)%
having 2,000 chest x-rays
each year.
40
(12-38)%
smoking 2 packs of
cigarettes each day.
20
(6-21)%
smoking 1 pack of
cigarettes each day.
10
(3-12)%
having 500 chest x-rays
each year.
4
(1.3-5)%
smoking half a pack of
cigarettes each year.
2
(0.7-3)%
having 100 chest x-rays
each year.
3 modified from (EPA 1986)
Availability of Radon in the Soil Gas
The focal concern in this research is the availability of
radon in a gaseous phase in the porous soil medium in which
soil-gas radon is to be tested. Geologically, uranium is the
umate source of radon in the soil. The following is the
process by which radon is generated, starting from uranium.
It has been noted above that radon is generated from
radium, which is a decay product in the uranium series. All
rocks contain some uranium, with quantities estimated as 1-3
parts per million (ppm). The rocks break down due to
environmental, mechanical, and chemical weathering factors to
form soils at the earth's surface.


CHAPTER 3
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Observation and Evaluation of the Testing
Configuration Condition
As outlined in the Scope of Methodology section of
Chapter 2, when the components of the soil-gas radon testing
process are considered (in validating the test results to
facilitate the management decision), testing configuration is
one of the four conditions that must be investigated.
The most widely used testing configuration available is
the utilization of scintillation cells and radiation
instrumentation to measure alpha decay generated from radon in
the soil gas. This methodology is discussed in the Soil-Gas
Radon Testing Methodology section of Chapter 2.
Figure 2-1 illustrates the most widely used experimental
setup for the purpose of testing soil-gas radon
concentrations. Within this setup, testing configurations are
relatively limited. However, the most possible variations are
changes in the length of the tubing. Due to construction site
characteristics, testers have been using different lengths of
tubing to complete the test in the easiest way. The test may
be performed according to the availability of tubing at the
65


125
S3, and it is approximately 1 pCi/1. Such a span is very
small and is expected to have a minimal effect on the
predicted average in-situ soil-gas radon concentration
(Slimitari et al. 1996).
It should be noted that since the same experimental setup
used for collecting the radon emanated from the soil samples,
it can be safely assume that errors that may be introduced due
to instrumentation are the same. Further, the standard
deviation, or the variance, in the measured quantities of
radon is mainly the square root of measured quantity in each
reported value. This variance is due to the radioactive decay
process, which can be reasonably represented by Possion
distribution. However, since only the qualitative behavior
of the average radon concentration, measured in the testing
assembly, with respect to the soil water content is of
concern, it can be safely assumed that similar and comparable
uncertainty is exhibited in the average radon concentrations
reported for the samples.
Accordingly, for the purpose of this research, the
relative change in the average radon concentration emanated
from the soil sample under conditions of saturation and
dryness may be used as a qualitative indicator to the
relationship between the average radon concentration and the
soil water content. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the
uncertainty in the measured radon concentrations and then in
the calculated average radon concentrations will not change


60
range, when the value is approached first when increasing
and then decreasing the variable under measurement.
(2) Linearity is the maximum deviation of any
calibrated point on a specified straight line (representing
the best straight line fit), during any one calibration
cycle.
(3) Repeatability is the ability to reproduce output
readings when the same variable under measurement is applied
consecutively, under the same conditions, and in the same
direction.
(4) Thermal error is the maximum change in output; at
any value of the measured variable within the specified
range, when the temperature is changed from room temperature
to a specified temperature extreme.
(5) Thermal zero shift is zero shift due to changes of
the ambient temperature from room temperature to the
specified limits of the operating temperature range.
(6) Overall thermal error is the combined error of
thermal zero shift and thermal error calculated using the
root sum of the squares (RSS) statistical method.
(7) Accuracy is the combined error of repeatability,
hysteresis, and linearity calculated using the RSS method.
(8) Overall combined error is the combination of all
the previous possible errors, when applicable, calculated by
using the RSS method.


74
potential indicator to the need to incorporate a passive or
active radon-control system decision prior to construction.
Figure 3-1 illustrates a bar diagram plot of the average
radon concentration versus the length of the tube. As seen in
the plot, obtained concentrations dropped from approximately
174 pCi/1 to 26 pCi/1 when the tube lengths used were 5 and 50
feet, respectively. This is a drop of approximately 7 times
and is very substantial in underestimating the soil-gas radon
concentration.
The effect of the tube length may easily alter the
management decision in determining the need to install a
radon-control system from positive to negative. At a tube
length of 20 feet, radon concentration dropped by more than
half (approximately 56%) compared to the obtained
concentration at the tube length of 5 feet, although the
source of radon is the same. Figure 3-1 also shows the
standard deviation of the average radon concentrations
obtained from these experiments.
The standard deviation for each experimental run
corresponding to a tube length is plotted at the top of the
bar drawing representing the average radon concentration.
Calculated standard deviations were performed based on the 30
decay-corrected radon concentration readings of the grab
samples collected in this experiments.
The general trend of the standard deviation is consistent
with the calculated average radon concentrations.
Fluctuations in the calculated values are derived from the


51
measurements controlled by the system and data collection
could be performed. The data in the system were
periodically retrieved through a phone line into a personal
computer at the Department of Civil Engineering.
Design of Soil-Gas Radon Measurements
The experiments consisted of measuring radon gas in the
test chamber corresponding to the tested soil samples.
Radon measurements were designed to monitor radon
concentrations continuously in order to characterize both
transient and steady-state responses due to the specific
soil-gas radon diffusion from the soil samples.
Continuous time-dependent measurements of radon
concentrations in the test chamber were performed using a
Pylon (Model AB-5) portable radon-monitoring system obtained
from the Department of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering.
Soil-gas radon measurements in the test chamber were
performed simultaneously with other measurements of
temperature, pressure, and relative humidity for each of the
tested samples.
Pylon AB-5 is a portable, programmable microprocessor-
based data-acquisition photomultiplier radiation monitor
equipped with modular accessories that can be used for
measuring radon and thoron gas, airborne alpha particles,


48
Pesian of Temperature and Humidity Measurements
Temperature and relative humidity were continuously
monitored in the test chamber using Vaisala relative
humidity and temperature transmitters (Model HMW 30 UB/YB).
Temperature measurement utilized T-type (copper vs. copper-
nickel) thermocouple wire and temperature transducer. This
type of thermocouple wire was selected because of its
resistance to humidity (bare wire) and the linearity between
the signal output and the temperature degree for low-
temperature ranges such as those encountered in these
experiments. T-type thermocouple wire can be used to
measure temperature ranges from -200 to 350C (-328 to
662F) on thermocouple grade and from -60 to 100C (-76 to
212F) on extension grade.
The relative humidity sensor of the transmitter
achieves high accuracy in humidity measurement by sensing a
capacitance change in a micron-thin polymer layer as it
absorbs water vapor. This polymer is also unaffected by
most dust and chemicals that might exist in the test-chamber
environment. Both temperature and relative humidity sensors
and associated circuits regulate the current in their
corresponding power supply circuits to the standard output
of 4-20 mA.
These signals are integrated into analog input voltage
channels of the data acquisition and control system through


72
Table 3-3 Continued
10
323
43
30.4
405
69
43.5
441
47
29.8
11
324
52
36.8
406
77
48.6
442
55
34.8
12
325
57
40.3
407
56
35.3
443
44
27.9
13
326
51
36.1
408
50
31.5
444
53
33.6
14
327
44
31.1
409
53
33.4
445
42
26.6
15
328
67
47.4
410
65
41.0
446
50
31.7
16
329
66
46.7
411
60
37.9
447
55
34.9
17
330
51
36.1
412
57
36.0
448
53
33.6
18
331
61
43.2
413
60
37.9
449
43
27.3
19
332
49
34.7
414
68
42.9
450
61
38.7
20
333
64
45.3
415
49
30.9
451
49
31.1
21
334
55
39.0
416
45
28.4
452
53
33.6
22
335
62
43.9
417
48
30.3
453
63
40.0
23
336
54
38.3
418
58
36.6
454
48
30.4
24
337
53
37.6
419
74
46.8
455
58
36.8
25
338
53
37.6
420
57
36.0
456
61
38.7
26
339
63
44.7
421
63
39.8
457
47
29.8
27
340
47
33.3
422
72
45.5
458
46
29.2
28
341
53
37.6
423
57
36.0
459
53
33.6
29
342
63
44.7
424
61
38.6
460
50
31.7
30
343
45
31.9
425
58
36.7
461
56
35.6
Avg.
39.2
38.18
32.5
Std.
Dev.
5.59
4.93
4.24


110
depth increases. Soil water moisture started at approximately
10% by weight at the first 2 feet, dropped to 9% at another
feet, and increased to more than 12% at a depth of 4 feet.
Soil moisture profiles for the in-situ samples collected
at the third construction site were systematically lower as
the sampling depth increases. Soil moisture dropped from
approximately 25% at a sampling depth of 2 feet to 18.5% at a
sample depth of 4 feet. The overall distribution of in-situ
soil moisture as shown in Figure 3-16 provides for an overall
range of soil moisture content expected to cover most soils
suitable for normal construction.
Figure 3-17 shows soil moisture distribution for the
processed (dried) soil samples collected from the three depths
at the three construction sites. Processing of these samples
started from the same in-situ soil collected from the site.
Drying in the context of these experiments consisted of
environmental drying to simulate dry soil conditions as
naturally as possible.
In-situ samples were first drained of gravitational
water, under the effect of gravity, and then left open while
being exposed to sunlight in a covered area for a minimum of
12 hours before measurement. Soil samples were then weighed
and placed in a conventional oven where they remained for a
minimum of 48 hours. Finally, samples were weighed again to
calculate soil moisture.
The calculated soil moisture represents the dry soil


83
and sample collection time.
It is suggested that counts be monitored during the
collection of the soil-gas sample. Most electronic
instrumentation, such as Pylon AB-5, permits a count during
the sniffing. This does not interface with the soil-gas flow
rate into the pump. The user should then establish a plateau
from the sniff count before collecting the grab sample. This
will ensure that a representative sample is obtained and will
minimize adverse effects of the testing configuration
conditions on soil-gas radon testing.
Observation and Evaluation of the Temperature Condition
Temperature effects on the testing of soil-radon gas
concentration prior to construction are expected to have an
indirect effect. The latter may be developed from different
temperatures between the site soil and the testing cell used
during the test. Temperature of the soil-gas at depths of 2
to 4 feet, where soil gas is typically drawn for the purpose
of the soil-gas radon testing, is not a parameter under the
tester's control. A general framework is needed to address
the temperature effect. The framework should relate between
the temperature in a first region (the soil) and the
temperature at a second region (the scintillation cell).
The indirect effect of temperature differences between the
first and second region may be developed by altering the
differential pressure normally generated between the two


106
soil samples from the three sites were avoided under abnormal
weather conditions in the Gainesville area, such as heavy rain
Table 3-5: Soil samples identification system and
corresponding sample configuration (0 = original in situ, D =
dried soil sample, S = water-saturated soil sample)
Site
Sample
Collection
Code
Sample
I.D.
Identification
Depth (ft.)
Configuration
SI
Sl-1
2
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
Sl-2
3
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
SI 3
4
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
S2
S2-1
2
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
S2-2
3
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
S2-3
4
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
S3
S3 -1
2
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
S3 -2
3
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
S3 -3
4
0
Original
D
Dried Soil
S
Saturated Soil
and thunderstorms in an attempt to obtain samples that were as
normal as possible. All samples from the three sites were


31
/
dAm(Rn)
dt
- J Af(Rn) ds
S
dv = -J Af (Rn) ds
S
- j \RnAm (Rn) dv + J
V V
S dv
(1-15)
where
S is the. volumetric radon source term in (Bq/m3) and
A,,,, is the radon decay constant (2.1xl0-6 disintegration/s for
222Rn) .
The radon source term is the production of radon which
occurs in the interstitial space of the soil and has free
transport through the pore spaces. The production rate can be
written as
s = where
A(Ra) is the mass activity of radium concentration in the soil
in (Bq/kg),
fe is the emanation factor, the fraction of the radon that is
generated in the soil and enters the pore volume,
ps is the soil grain density in (kg/m3) and
e is the soil porosity. Substituting equations 1-11, 1-12,
and 1-16 into 1-15 yields


2
have focused on residential structures. Although research is
underway to control radon exposure in large structures such as
hospitals, office buildings, commercial buildings, and
shopping centers, remediation of the indoor radon problem in
large structures is much less developed than for residential
structures.
Due to the cost associated with controlling indoor radon
problems, significant savings can be realized if appropriate
procedures and systems are implemented during the construction
phase and before the building is completed. Therefore,
development of radon-resistant construction standards for both
residential and commercial buildings has been heavily pursued.
Nevertheless, one important problem exists. The indoor
radon problem, as the name indicates, only exists after a
structure is built and the indoor space is established. The
space is defined upon issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
Testing for radon in the soil can only indicate a potential
problem.
The significant cost savings from installing radon-
control systems during construction indicates a need to
develop procedures and approaches to test for soil-gas radon
concentration. Upon discerning the concentration, a decision
can be made to incorporate passive and/or active radon-control
systems. Despite this need, apart from testing for indoor
radon concentrations, no standards have been developed for
testing radon concentrations in soil.


57
Figure 2-6: An illustration of the experimental setup to
investigate tube-length effect on soil-gas radon testing


146
and testing system configuration conditions that might affect
the outcome of the soil-gas radon testing results. Findings
of this research are integrated into testing a procedural
development for constructing and optimizing a practical
approach for the construction-management function and
operation. Further, findings of this research are applicable
to the specific experimental setups used in the
investigations. Different experimental setups may alter the
findings. Accordingly, the current recommendations should be
considered within the scope of the experimental setup used in
the research. It is recommended that the soil-gas testing
configuration, as described in this research, be used in
testing soil-gas radon concentration at construction sites
prior to construction.
Several areas addressed in this research may form the
basis for conducting additional research to investigate the
overall approach of construction management, relationships
among the testing conditions, testing devices development, and
policy development.
The following future works are recommended as an
extension of the current research.
(1) Experimental investigations and theoretical modeling
of the effect of soil compaction on the testing of soil-gas
radon testing procedures are recommended. Experiments may be
developed by constructing a suitable airtight assembly that
provides controlled passages for air and the capability to


120
Soil Sample I.D.
Figure 3-21: An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing chamber for the
original soil samples collected from the three construction
sites at two to four feet depth.


71
into concentration units. Radon concentrations in each cell,
corresponding to a specific length of tubing in these
experiments, are the simple average of the 30 corrected
readings of that cell. The simple average and corresponding
standard deviation for the tests of 5 to 50 feet in 5-foot
segments are given in Tables 3-1 and 3-2.
Table 3-3: Results of the tubing-length (35, 40, and 45 feet)
effect on the measured radon concentration using the testing
setup of Figure 3-6 (L = tube length, E.T. = elapse time, CPM
= counts per minute, Rn-C = radon concentration in pCi/1)
L
(ft)
35
40
45
Cell
No.
781
584
596
E.T.
313
395
431
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
1
314
55
40.0
396
48
35.3
432
54
39.9
2
315
52
36.7
397
67
42.2
433
45
28.5
3
316
64
45.2
398
58
36.5
434
51
32.3
4
317
54
38.2
399
64
40.3
435
52
32.9
5
318
71
50.2
400
58
36.6
436
58
36.7
6
319
69
48.8
401
61
38.4
437
52
32.9
7
320
45
31.8
402
53
33.4
438
42
26.6
L(ft)
35
40
45
Cell
781
584
596
E.T.
313
395
431
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
8
321
43
30.4
403
67
42.2
439
53
33.6
9
322
55
38.9
404
72
45.4
440
34
21.5


54
gas radon response during the transient period as well as
after the test chamber system had stabilized.
Collection and Processing of the Experimental Raw Data
To ensure the quality of the experimental data and the
data analysis collection, the processing and classifying of
the raw data and the calibration processes were carefully
conducted. At the conclusion of each experimental run, two
groups of output data files were generated.
The first group logs the Pylon cycle run and the soil-
gas radon concentration data. The second group logs the
experiment run time, temperature, relative humidity, and
differential pressure data. Raw data logged into the two
groups' files were retrieved into a BASIC program and
rewritten as processed data files in ASCII format.
Modifications to the raw data included calculations of
the equivalent engineering value corresponding to the
collected voltage according to the calibration curve of the
particular instrument. Processed data files were assigned
names indicating the experimental run number and dates and
kept consistent during the period of this research.
The processed ASCII files were then imported into a
spreadsheet software (QuattroPro) for plotting, exchange,
and analysis purposes. The name structure of each processed
ASCII file is kept the same with the exception of changing


deaths/year
(Thousands)
11
Figure 1-1: Estimate of fatalities per year attributed to
indoor radon exposure and its relative position with respect
to fatality causes


128
indicates that only a minimal effect, on the order of less
than 10%, may be experienced during in-situ soil gas radon
measurement.
Although a large impact of soil moisture on radon
emanation from the solid soil grain into the pore space has
been demonstrated by several researchers in uranium tailing
(Stranden et al. 1984, Strong and Levins 1983), soil moisture
significance on gaseous radon concentration in the collective
pore space at the macroscopic level is minimal.
On the microscope level, the effect of soil moisture is
particularly significant when alteration to the soil moisture
capillary component occurred. Trapping of recoiled radon
atoms, generated from radioactive decay of radium in the pore
space, is profoundly reduced when capillary water surrounding
a solid grain is reduced or eliminated. Alteration to the
soil water content in the gravitational water (toward
saturation) is expected to have a minimal effect on the
trapping of recoiled radon atoms transported from the soil
solid grain into the pore space, since most atoms trapped in
the capillary water film around the solid grain. In this
scope, alterations of water content in tested samples during
saturation were expected to have less effect than alterations
toward dryness.
Except for the sample collected at 2 feet in site SI,
where measured radon concentration dropped by more than 50%
during dried-sample testing, samples tested during soil


EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF SOIL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS FOR SOIL-GAS RADON TESTING
PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION
By
E. SALIMI TARI
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
1999


19
Moisture
Porosity
Moisture
T
Radon Generation
Emanating Fraction
Radon in Soil
Pores
Diffusion Length
Ra-decay
i
Permeability
A A
Flow Mech.
Temp.
Soil groin-size dist.
Introgronular location of Ra atom
Soil grain-size
Moisture
Porosity
Temp. Diff.
Wind
Bar. Pres. Changes
Precipitation
Changes in water table
Snow or ice cover
Figure 1-2: Illustration of the first two states of radon in
the soil representing radon availability


TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
LIST OF TABLES vi
LIST OF FIGURES viii
ABSTRACT xiii
CHAPTERS
1 INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE SURVEY 1
Statement of the Problem 1
Objectives of the Research 3
Properties of Radon 4
Health Hazards of Indoor Radon Exposure 6
Availability of Radon in the Soil Gas 10
Radon Transport in Soils 22
2 METHODOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN 36
Scope of the Methodology 3 6
Soil-Gas Radon Testing Methodology 3 9
Design of the Testing Chamber 41
Design of the Experimental Procedure 43
Design of Pressure Measurements 46
Design of Temperature and Humidity
Measurements 4 8
Design of Data Collection 50
Design of Soil-Gas Radon Measurements 51
Collection and Processing of the Experimental
Raw Data 54
Design of Tube-Length Effect Experiments 56
Quality Control and Assurance 58
3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 65
IV


59
potential experimental errors associated with the
measurements.
Human and system errors form a significant part of
errors associated with experimental data. Human-related
errors are generated from the experiment conductor's
activity that may cause the system to malfunction or cause
an error during data collection, processing, analysis,
and/or interpretation. System errors are generated because
no system is perfect and from uncertainties developed by the
distribution of the variable being tested.
Minimization of system errors was implemented by
applying and following a careful design of the experimental
setup, including selecting instrumentation, performing
continuous equipment calibration as often as needed, and
cross-checking experimental results for different types of
devices that measure the same parameter. Minimization of
human errors was achieved by performing the experiment
carefully and also by repeating the testing.
In most physical measurements, error estimates can be
used to evaluate the overall system performance with regard
to the accuracy of the measurements and associated error
calculations. The estimators applied in the assessment
process are the following (Al-Ahmady 1995):
(1) Hysteresis is the maximum difference in the system
signal output, at any measured value within the specified


144
to alteration of soil water content. The scope of such
changes indicates that only a minimal effect, on the order of
less than 10%, may be experienced during in-situ soil-gas
radon measurement due to fluctuations in natural soil .water
content.
Alteration to the soil water content in the gravitational
water (toward saturation) is expected to have a minimal effect
on the trapping of recoiled radon atoms transported from the
soil solid grain into the pore space, since capillary water
film, around the solid grain, is sufficient to trap the
majority of the radon atoms that are emanated from the solid
grain into the pore space. In this scope, alterations of water
content in tested samples during saturation were expected to
have less effect than alterations toward dryness. It should
be noted that dryness and saturation conditions for the tested
soils were developed for the purpose of qualitative
assessment. The exact percentage of water content is not the
concern of this research. However, the experimental procedure
used in this research ensures that a reasonable range of soil
water content (from dryness to saturation), or soil water
content fluctuations were induced (around the natural soil
water level) in the samples tested. This range (or
fluctuations) is generally wider than the typical fluctuations
at the site when the construction occurs, or to be occurred.
It should be noted that in the majority of the cases,
construction (specifically pouring of the building slab) does


150
Cothern, C. R., and J. E. Smith, eds. 1987. Environmental
radon. New York: Plenum Press.
Crameri, R., H. H. Brunner, R. Buchli, C. Wernli, and W.
Burkart. 1989. Indoor Rn levels in different geologicalareas
in Switzerland. Health Physics 57:29.
Cummings, J. B., J. J. Tooley, and N. Moyer. 1991.
Investigation of air distribution system leakage and its
impact on Central Florida houses. Florida Solar Energy Center
Report FSEC-CR-397-91. Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Dyess T. M., T. Brennan, and M. Clarkin. 1993. Designs for new
residential HAC systems to achieve radon and other soil gas
reduction. Proceedings of the 1993 International Radon
Conference, AARST, Denver.
Fejer, J. A. 1967. In The encyclopedia of atmospheric sciences
and astrogeology, edited by R. W. Fairbridge. New York:
Reinhold.
Fukuda, H. 1955. Air and vapor movement in soil due to wind
gustiness. Soil Sciences 79:249.
Furrer, D., R. Crameri, and W. Burkart. 1991. Dynamics of Rn
transport from the cellar to the living area in an unheated
house. Health Physics 60: 393.
Garzn, L., J. M. Juaneo, J. M. Perez, J. M. Fernandez, and B.
Arganaz. 1986. The universal Rn wave: an approach. Health
Physics 51:185.
Gumming, C., and A. G. Scott. 1982. Radon and thoron daughters
in housing. Health Physics 42:527.
Hems, G. 1966. Acceptable concentration of radon in drinking
water. International Journal of Air and Water Pollution
10:769.
Hubbard, L. M., B. Bolker, R. A. Socolow, D. Dickerboff, and
R. B. Mosley. 1989. Radon dynamics in a house heated
alternatively by forced air and by electric resistance.
Proceedings of the 1988 Symposium on Radon and Radon Reduction
Technology, Vol. 1, EPA-600/9-89-006a (NTIS PB89-167480) .
Hull, D. A., and T. A. Reddy. 1990. Study on the reliability
of short-term measurements to predict long-term basement radon
levels in a resident. Proceedings of the 1990 International


61
Calculation of the overall experimental error is
computed using the statistical RSS method. Most of the
equipment used during this research had inherent hardware
corrections to the errors in their output signals that
resulted from thermal- driven factors. Such inherent
corrections may cause changes to applied correction levels
of approximately 70-100 % of the device output signals,
depending on the particular instrument and the condition of
the experiment.
However, in the following assessment of the overall
experimental error, the maximum possible overall thermal
error (OTE) was used in the computation, resulting in a 0%
correction level consideration from the instrument-inherent
corrections. Therefore, the utilized assessment is
considered conservative by implementing a built-in safety
consideration of 0% thermal correction on the part of OTE,
and by using the maximum possible error that might be driven
from non-linearity, non-repeatability, and hysteresis
factors for computing the combined accuracy error (CAE).
The assessment criteria developed to compute the
overall combined experimental error (OCEE) associated with
the measurements performed during this research is
OCEE = [OTE2 + CAE2 + OSE2]0-5
where OSE represents all other possible sources of system
error that are individually based on particular
instrumentation and/or particular applications such as


88
g is the acceleration due to gravity (9.8 m/s2), and
h is the height above the basement level (m).
If the same height of 1.4m is used in this model,
Furrer's and Al-Ahmady's models are in agreement within 15%.
The temperature-induced pressure differential model can
be used to predict pressure differences induced over a range
of temperature differences. Figure 3-6 shows predictions of
the temperature-induced pressure differences over a
temperature difference ranging from -50 to 50K.
As seen in the graph, the temperature-induced pressure
differentials show a linear relationship with the temperature-
difference driving forces. Differences between the indoors
(inside the testing chamber) and outdoors (inside the room
where the assembly is located) show a linear correlation with
the corresponding temperature differences.
Temperature differs between the soil zone (or area) where
the soil-gas radon testing tube is located and the testing
cell, where the difference is not expected to be large.
Although no experiments were conducted in the field, unless
the testing cells are placed in the sun for a long period of
time prior to use, temperature difference between the cell and
the soil is not sufficient to cause alteration to the flow
rate of soil gas from the soil into the cell.
Figure 3-6 indicates that a temperature difference of 50K
results in a pressure difference of approximately 3 pascal.
Within temperature differences around 10 to 15 degrees, the


32
/
dA (Rn)
^ dv
dt
= / VR">
ds /
V
VP ds
pe
A (Rn) dv
m '
+ / (^) A(i?a) Afin fe Ps dv
(1-17)
Using Equation 1-14 for the total diffusion and convective
integral terms results in
c dA (Rn) r K
/ - dv = VA (Rn) VP dv
J dt J m ue
V
+
/ De ^AJRn) dv f \Am(Rn) dv
V V
1-e
i
A(Rn) XRn fe ps dv
(1-18)
or
i (Kn) v
- vRn> v p *D,v vRn>
-ab v*1 + Aanieps
(1-19)
Equation 1-19 is the differential form of the general
transport equation for radon transport in soil.
The equation can cover a certain area by integrating all
terms over that specific area. Notice that the equation has
time and space partial derivatives, which complicate the
analytical solution. Equation 1-19 can be solved analytically
for only simple geometries, requiring many assumptions. For
realistic conditions, numerical methods must be used.


42
coefficient on the transport of radon from the soil sample
into the chamber space.
The assembly is equipped with a differential pressure
sensor, temperature sensor, and humidity sensor. A
computer-controlled data acquisition system is utilized to
collect the data on a continuous basis. The test chamber is
connected to an adjacent chamber that houses the electronic
equipment to detect soil-gas radon using scintillation
cells. Air flow mechanisms, contributing to the
convective transport of radon from the soil sample into the
chamber space, were minimized by controlling temperature and
pressure differences when possible. Temperature inside the
chamber was kept the same as the room temperature to
minimize temperature-driven air flow between the chamber and
the outside.
An air leakage control valve was also used to
compensate for conditions where convective flow may have
occurred. Since the soil samples' surface area is large
compared to the thickness, equilibrium between radon
concentration in the soil pore space and the chamber space
was considered to be reasonably achieved.
The design and conducting of experiments utilized a
system approach in which comparative indicators are sought
rather than absolute results. In this way, measurement of
radon concentrations in the chamber space can represent,
under the same operating conditions, the concentrations of


14
radon in soil consists of the radon generation state and the
radon in soil pores state.
The other category of radon migration in the soil system
consists of migration in the soil state and entry into the
structure state. The conditions in which radon may be
classified in soil are complicated and affected by many
parameters.
Radon can move from one state to another by transition
processes that operate between two states. These processes
are affected by many parameters, most of which are
interrelated. Figures 1-2 and 1-3 illustrate the radon state
in the soil, the transition processes, and the factors
affecting these transitions (Al-Ahmady 1995).
Since radon is generated from the radioactive decay of
226Ra, which is a solid, the initial location and thus the
generation site for radon atoms must be within the- soil
grains. For the radon to be in the soil gas, the gas
occupying the pore space of the soil, radon atoms generated in
the grain must move toward and become trapped in the pore
space to be included in the soil gas.
The transition process controlling this transfer is
called radon emanation, and it is characterized by the radon
emanation coefficient. This is defined as the percentage (or
fraction) of radon that is available in the pore space of the
soil to that originally generated in the soil grains. For
most soils, only 10-50% of the radon produced in the first


38
water moisture is not an issue of control; it is a
characteristic of the site that can vary periodically or on
a relatively immediate basis, such as after a heavy rain.
The focus is whether testing of soil-gas radon prior to
construction, when used as an indicator for a construction-
management decision, should be avoided or rescheduled due to
abnormal soil moisture conditions. Alteration to natural or
normal soil moisture conditions as related to the soil-gas
radon testing could occur, for example, after heavy rain or
recent flooding. Investigations of the soil moisture
condition will be conducted based on experimentation.
The second physical condition of concern to the process
of testing soil-gas radon is the temperature effect. The
only established method for testing soil gas is based on
mechanical introduction of soil gas which is drawn from the
soil and into a scintillation cell while measuring the
radioactivity of the gas based on alpha decay.
The possible effect of temperature can occur due to a
temperature difference between the collection cell and the
soil. This temperature difference may affect the flow rate
upon which the soil gas is drawn and thus alter the device
readings. Investigations of these conditions will be based
on theoretical approach and supported by experimentation.
The third physical condition that might affect the
testing process is similar to the one derived from
temperature difference, that is, alteration to the flow rate


REFERENCES
Al-Ahmady, K. K. 1995. Measurements and theoretical modeling
of radon driving forces and indoor radon concentration and the
development of radon prevention and mitigation technology.
Ph.D. diss., University of Florida.
Al-Ahmady, K. K. 1992. Measurements and theoretical modeling
of a naturally occurring 222rn entry cycle for structures built
over low permeability soils. Master's thesis, University of
Florida.
Beer, T. 1976. The aerospace environment. New York: Springer-
Verlag.
Bird, R. B., W. E. Stewart, and E. N. Lightfoot. 1960.
Transport phenomena. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Blair, T. A., and R. C. Fite. 1965. Weather elements.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Brookins, D. G. 1990. The indoor radon problem. New York:
Columbia University Press.
Browne, E., and R. B. Firestone. 1986. In Table of Radioactive
Isotopes, edited by V. S. Shirley. New York: Wiley-
Interscience.
Bossus, D. A. W. 1984. Emanating power and specific surface
area. Radiation Protection Dosimetry 7:73.
Clements, W. E., and M. H. Wilkening. 1974. Atmospheric
pressure effects on 222rn transport across the earth-air
interface. Journal of Geophysical Research 79, no. 33:5025-
5029 .
Cohen, B. L. 1990. Surveys of radon levels in homes by
University of Pittsburgh radon project. Proceedings of the
1990 International Symposium on Radon and Radon Reduction
Technology, Atlanta. EPA-600/9-91-026a.
Cothern, C. R., and P. A. Rebers, radon eds. 1990. Radium and
uranium in drinking water. Michigan: Lewis Publication.
149


81
zero static pressure and typically adjusted to 1.8 to 2 1/m.
The subsoil system where soil-gas samples are drawn
represent a substantial resistance to air flow, especially in
low-permeability soils and fill materials, compared to air
drawn from the outdoors or indoors. The adverse effect of the
lengthy collection tube or line is attributed to two factors:
(1) mass flow rate is changing due to the length of tube; and
(2) the length of tube is contributing fresh air into the
cell in which the soil-gas sample is misrepresented. This is
strongly dependent upon the collection time.
A collection time of 5 or 10 minutes under a specific
pressure drop associated with a 5-foot collection tube would
probably allow enough soil gas to be drawn into the cell (in
which the cell volume is in equilibrium with the soil gas) .
However, the same collection time of 5 or 10 minutes may not
be sufficient to bring enough soil gas through a lengthier
collection tube at the lower flow rate in the system.
Further, more fresh air would have to be removed (in a
longer tube) before soil gas reached the cell. If the
collection time is not sufficient, the content of the system
scintillation cell volume is not representative of the soil
gas. This results in a configuration with lower radon content,
in turn resulting in a lower radon concentration when samples
are measured after the 4-hour waiting period.
The procedure to test for soil-gas radon concentration
prior to construction as a potential for indoor radon problems
must consider the compatibility of the radon collection tube


29
representing the ratio of the air and water porosity to the
bulk volume. Substituting V in the convective component of
Equation 1-7, the superficial air velocity through the soil
expressed in term of Darcy's law per unit pore area yields
Af(Rn) = Am(Rn) - De VAm(Rn) (1-9)
s
Substituting Equation 1-8,
AJRn) = -AIRn) VP DVAm(Rn) (1-10)
pe
divided into two terms,
Af (Rn) = -A (Rn) VP (1-11)
pe
Af (Rn) = -D VA (Rn) (1-12)
then
\
Af(Rn) = Af (Rn) + Af(Rn)
(1-13)
where
Afc(Rn) is the radon activity flux density per unit pore area
due to convection, and
Afd(Rn) is the radon flux density due to molecular diffusion.
The nature of radon flux density removal mechanisms by
both molecular diffusion and convection can be characterized
by radon transport from a differential volume in a direction
perpendicular to a volume surface area. The total radon
diffusion from the differential volume can be calculated by
integrating both fluxes over the total differential surface


9
expectations are based on the independent effects of radon
compared to other risk factors, such as smoking. Smoking will
significantly enhance the radon risk factor. The sample is
adult persons; children may be at higher risk (USEPA 1992) .
The position of radon as a cause of death with respect to
other causes as reported by the 1990 National Safety Council
reports is shown in Figure 1-1. Table 1-4 shows the risk of
radon exposure for smoking, while Table 1-5 shows the risk for
nonsmoking populations. The equivalent risks corresponding to
fatality rates shown in Figure 1-1 are also given in Tables 1-
4 and 1-5.
Finally, it is important to note that induction of cancer
in biological systems is believed to be a stochastic process.
Thus, exposure to radon does not by itself create cancer but
rather increases the probability of cancer. This probability
increases with the increase in the radiation dose and the
exposure time.
Although concern is mainly for the isotope 222Rn, small
concentrations of 220Rn may be available in the indoor area,
especially in areas where soil has a noticeable concentration
of thoron. In it, the decay of the short-lived daughter 220Rn
also contributes to the total dose delivered by inhaling radon
gas.


50
high-accuracy shunt resistors. Figures 2-4 and 2-5
illustrate the operating range of relative humidity and
temperature transmitters and show the linear equations used
to calculate the equivalent engineering quantities from the
reported output converted signals.
Design of Data Collection
For data logging purposes, the Campbell Scientific
programmable micrologger (Model 21X) was utilized. One
differential-mode analog voltage channel was used to log the
pressure differential signals, and two single-mode analog
voltage input channels were used for the temperature and
relative humidity signals.
The logging and control system is equipped with
standard Programmable Read-Only Memory (PROM) that is used
for the system's operational programs. The system supports
eight analog input channels, four pulse input channels, four
excitation output channels, two continuous analog output
channels, and six digital control ports. It can be remotely
operated, and it supports standard serial input/output
communications.
The system is programmed with a group of command
instructions entered into a program table which can be
executed according to a pre-specified execution interval.
The latter interval determined the minimum time that


62
errors induced by fluctuations of the external power supply
voltage.
Errors associated with differential pressure
measurement are those of the Setra C264 pressure
transmitters. The first system error which may occur is
overall thermal error. This is associated with the Setra
C264 (< 0.0033 %) from the full scale (FS) per each
temperature degree difference from the factory-adjusted
calibration temperature of 21.1 C (70 F) The range
of temperatures at which experiments were performed during
this research was -1.1 to 37.78 C (30 to 100F), giving a
maximum temperature difference of 4.45 C (40 F) from the
factory-adjusted temperature. This difference results in a
maximum overall temperature-induced error (TIE) of (0.0033%
FS/degree x 40 F = 0.132 % FS) in the transmitter output
signal.
The transmitter has an infinite resolution factor and
repeatability factor of < 0.3% FS. The combined RSS
statistical accuracy error (CAE) value of the system is
<1.0% of the full scale. Since the C264 transmitter
regulates current rather than voltage as an output signal,
its circuit current may be introduced with an error
resulting from variations in the power supply voltage. This
error corresponds to a 0.02 mA change in the transmitter's
current output, per volt change in the power supply.


118
Soil Sample I.D.
Figure 3-20: The maximum range of soil moisture variation
observed among original and processed samples collected from
2 to 4 feet below grade from the three construction sites in
Gainesville


75
radon nature of the radioactive decay of radon gas in the
testing cells. Consistency was observed throughout the
samples, as the absolute value of the standard deviation
generally decreases with the decrease in the corresponding
average radon concentration.
To better assess the relationship of the range of
fluctuation associated with each tube experiment, the ratio of
the absolute value of the standard deviation to the
corresponding average indoor radon concentration is plotted in
Figure 3-2. The ratios, expressed in percentages, reflect the
statistical uncertainty in the measured and calculated average
radon concentrations.
As seen in the graph, the maximum statistical uncertainty
is less than 20%. Uncertainty gradually increased by
increasing the tube length, which is a normal observation when
the number of events, corresponding to the decay of radon in
the test cell, becomes smaller as the length of the collection
tube increases. The range of statistical uncertainty is
acceptable within the scope of such measurements.
Figure 3-3 shows the plot of the experimental values of
average radon concentration versus the tube length. A clear
exponential relationship is shown in the graph. An
exponential curve is fitted to the data where the dependent
variable (Y) is assigned to the average radon concentration
and the independent variable (X) is assigned to the collection
tube length. The best-fitted curve provides an exponent
coefficient of 0.0464 and an initial average .radon


Observations and Evaluation of the Testing
Configuration Condition 65
Observations and Evaluation of the Temperature
Condition 83
Evaluation of the Soil Compaction Condition 91
Observations and Evaluation of the Soil
Moisture Condition 103
The Construction-Management Approach : 129
4 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 137
REFERENCES 14 9
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 155
v


Average Radon Concentration (pCi/l)
80
Figure 3-3: Experimental and fitted relationships between the
average radon concentration and the length of radon collection
tube of the soil-gas radon testing setup


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
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.
ilK
Mang Tia 1
Prof essor^ oj: 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.
'^^^Samim Anghaie (/
Professor of Nuclear and
Radiological 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-v scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doct/oq off R^hpipsophy.
Roy J. Bolduc
ProfessoryEmeritus
of Instruction and
Curriculum


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.
Kaiss Al-Ahmady
Consultant of Conley,
Rose, Tayon, PC
Austin, Tx
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, 1999
Dean, College of
Engineering
M. J. Ohanian
Dean, Graduate School


145
not take place if environmental conditions at the site is
severally abnormal. Accordingly, the induced soil water
content range covers the potential scope of soil water content
variations that may exist at the site when soil-gas radon
testing is performed.
Based on the above, for soil-gas radon testing to be used
as a basis for a construction-management approach to
incorporating a radon-control system prior to construction,
the soil water content condition does not show sufficient
evidence of influencing later soil-gas testing results.
Therefore, the soil water moisture condition does not
invalidate the representation of soil-gas radon testing.
The construction-management approach to soil-gas radon
testing should accommodate for the conditions of soil-gas
radon testing related to tube length and soil compaction.
Under those conditions, incorporation of the testing practice
must adopt a procedure to monitor alpha count during sniff
sampling for the purpose of establishing a count plateau and
in scheduling the testing before soil compaction if it is
needed for the site.
The construction-management approach to accommodating the
conditions of temperature and soil water content must adopt a
practice to ensure appropriate storage and handling of the
testing cells and schedule soil-gas radon testing under normal
environmental and soil conditions.
This research mainly addresses the environmental, soil,


154
Journal of Geophysical Research 97:9161.
United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic
Radiation. 1982. Ionizing radiation: sources and biological
effects. New York: United Nations Press.
U.S. Department of Energy. 1986. Understanding radiation.
Energy booklet DOE/NE-0074.
U.S. Department of the Interior. 1992. The geology of radon.
U.S. Geological Survey. U.S. Government Printing Office 0-326-
248 .
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1986. A citizen's guide
to radon, what it is and what to do about it. U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Health and
Human Services OPA-86-004.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1992. A citizen's guide
to radon. 2d edition. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Air and Radiation ANR-464, 402-k92-001.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1988. Application of
radon reduction methods. EPA/625/5- 88/024. Air and Energy
Engineering Research Laboratory, N.C.


140
prior to construction. The influence of temperature on the
testing results mainly depends on the size of temperature
difference between the testing cell and the soil gas. The
range of temperature differences between the site's soil and
the testing cell is generally very small. However, the
temperature of the soil gas at depths of 2 to 4 feet, where
soil gas is typically drawn for the purpose of the soil-gas
radon testing, is not a parameter under the tester's control.
Therefore, attention can be given to the temperature of the
testing cell, which can be controlled by the tester, to
minimize any temperature difference (of concern) between the
soil gas and the testing cell.
The temperature-induced pressure differential model can
be used to predict pressure differences induced over a range
of temperature differences associated with soil-gas radon
testing and thus to evaluate the temperature condition.
Temperature difference is not expected to be large between the
soil zone (or area) where the soil-gas radon testing tube is
located and the testing cell. Experimental observations of
temperature and differential pressure in the testing assembly
indicate differences that are of minimal concern in all soil
samples tested.
Given the range of temperature differences between
outdoor and the soil and the limited effect of temperature-
induced pressure differentials for temperature differences
encountered between the testing cell and the soil,


47
device which provides reasonable detection to the ranges of
pressure differentials encountered in the experiments. The
transmitter operates with a full-scale range of t25 Pa and
has a minimum sensitivity of less than 1% (0.25 Pa); it
provides a current control regulating to output signal to
the industrial standard current of 4-20 mA.
The low-pressure port was left open to the room
pressure. Therefore, the indoor pressure was used as the
reference pressure. Since the transmitter operates in
differential mode, its calibrated operating point is located
at 12 mA. The transmitter then decreases the current flow
if the pressure on the low port is higher than the pressure
on the high port and vice versa. Figure 2-3 illustrates
the operating range of the pressure transmitter and the
linear equation used during data processing and calibration.
Transmitter current output is collected by the analog
voltage input channel on the data acquisition and control
system (Campbell Scientific 21X). Since the data input
channel is for voltage, the transmitter current output was
converted into voltage by using high-precision <1% shunt
resistors. The pressure transmitter was zero-checked at the
beginning of each experimental period and calibrated monthly
according to the procedure described in a later section.


104
Soil moisture content consists of three components:
gyroscopic, capillary, and gravitational. Most of the soil
moisture effect is developed by the capillary component. This
component is responsible for generating water films around
solid grains that act as a trap for recoiled radon atoms.
The existence of water in excess of the capillary water
will have a small effect on the radon emanation since most of
the atoms are being stopped by the capillary water films. The
gyroscopic component has only a minimal effect on emanation
since it represents a very small percentage of soil moisture.
Although soil moisture content is expected to
significantly affect the radon emanation coefficient, the
focus of this section is to investigate whether soil moisture
would interface with the testing of soil-gas radon
concentration to a level that adversely affects the testing
results.
Within the context of a construction management, testing
of radon in the soil pore (soil gas) prior to construction has
been evolving as an important measure by which the potential
for elevated indoor radon concentration, after construction,
may be predicted.
The above-mentioned measure may be used as the basis for
managerial decisions on the need for applying radon-resistant
construction standards. Furthermore, a continuing increase in
such testing can be observed in the requirements for initial
environmental assessment of sites prior to construction for


Figure No
page
3-22
3-23
3-24
3-25
3-26
An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing
chamber for the dried soil samples
collected from the three construction
sites at depths of 2 to 4 feet 121
An illustration of the average radon
concentrations measured at the testing
chamber for the saturated soil samples
collected from the three construction
sites at depths of 2 to 4 feet 123
The maximum range of average radon
concentration variations measured at the
testing chamber for all soil samples
collected from the three construction
sites in Gainesville 124
The time-integrated response radon
concentrations for original, dried, and
saturated soil samples measured in
the testing chamber 127
An illustration of the changes in the
measured average radon concentration of
original in-situ soil samples in response
to the range of soil water moisture from
dryness to saturation 13 0
xii


133
consultant, construction manager, or owner.
Since indoor radon problem, by definition, does not exist
except after the complete closing of the structure, which for
legal purposes means after the issuing of the certificate of
occupancy, there is no direct quantitative measure that could
be applied to facilitate the managerial decision of
incorporating radon prevention systems prior to construction.
Soil-gas radon testing is the only available parameter to be
measured, prior to construction, which can be used to provide
a direct indicator of the potential of a future indoor radon
problem after the completion of the structure.
There has been a remarkable increase in the testing of
radon concentration in the soil prior to construction which
has been generally approached to provide a preliminary
evaluation of construction sites. This evaluation is being
employed by engineering and construction companies,
contractors, consultants, engineers, architects, and owners in
an attempt to minimize their general liability.
Testing of soil-gas radon concentration is being
specifically noticed as an emerging practice of packaging
soil-gas radon testing as a part of the first- and second-
phase environmental assessments of the construction site.
Despite the emerging practice of soil-gas radon testing
and the potential advantages of developing this practice into
a construction-management approach, there are neither standard
testing procedures nor management approaches in employing and


64
humidity range from zero to 90%, and <3.6% FS for a
relative humidity range of 90-100%.
Quality control of the soil-gas radon measurements
conducted in this research was ensured by the calibration
activity of the Pylon AB-5. The device was regularly
calibrated at the Department of Nuclear and Radiological
Engineering through the participation in the United States
Department of Energy Environmental Measurement Laboratory
(EML) calibration activities (Al-Ahmady 1995).


103
approach. The effect of soil compaction may be qualitatively
assessed in a future research whereas findings may be readily
incorporated into the findings of this research.
Observations and Evaluation of the Soil Moisture Condition
For most soils, only 10-50% of the radon generated
actually emanates from the mineral grain and enters th pore
volume of the soil (USDOI 1992) Depending on the relative
position of formation and the direction of the recoil, the
newly formed radon atom travels from its generation site in
the solid grain until it loses its energy to the host
materials.
The host materials could be the solid grain of the
formation, another solid grain, or materials confined in the
soil pore, primarily water and air. The transport range in
water is approximately 600 times less than the range in air.
This fact suggests that the soil water content may have a
noticeable effect on radon availability in the pore space.
In fact, among the factors that influence radon
emanation, soil moisture content has been demonstrated to have
a significant impact (Strong and Levins 1982). Fluid-filled
soil pores contain most of the soil moisture. When the
content of water in the pore space increases, the direct
emanation coefficient component is increased, since a greater
fraction of the recoil radon atoms are trapped in the pore.


CHAPTER 2
METHODOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
Scope of the Methodology
The purpose of this section is to outline the scope of
research to permit the development of a construction-
management approach and the associated testing procedures.
These procedures are directed toward helping the decision
process of electing to install radon control systems based
on soil-gas radon testing prior to construction.
When considering the components of the testing process
and validation of test results to facilitate the management
decision, there are four areas where research is needed.
Those areas are mainly related to the physical conditions
that might affect the testing results. The timing and
scheduling of the tests also are factors that need to be
considered, but they relate more to management than to the
technical aspects of the implementation process.
Physical conditions that might affect the testing of
soil-gas radon concentration prior to construction are:
(1) the condition of soil moisture;
(2) the condition of temperature difference between the
testing system and the soil;
36


40
Before soil gas is introduced into the cell through
tubing, it must be filtered from moisture and dirt or soil
particles. Different types of filters can be used; however,
the filter rating must be 0.8 micron to stop most radon
progeny available in the soil gas.
Soil gas carrying radon and its progeny pass through
the filter into the cell. If selected correctly, the filter
stops radon progeny while allowing radon to pass into the
scintillation cell. Soil gas pumping into the cell is
applied for approximately ten minutes to allow for
equilibrium between the radon concentration in the cell
volume and the soil pore space. Pumping is stopped and then
the cell is kept for a minimum of four hours before
analysis. This period is necessary for radon within the
cell volume to reach equilibrium with its progeny.
The cell is read by measuring the count per time unit
interval using Pylon AB-5. Alpha particles, generated from
radon and progeny decay inside the cell, strike the inner
coating of film and generate lights. These light pulses are
counted by a photomultiplier system through a photo-coupling
fitted between the cell and the photomultiplier.
Pylon AB-5 is designed to provide the count, per any
selected time interval, and incorporate the balance between
the flow rate into the cell and the cell volume. The count
rate (CPM) is then converted into a concentration (pCi/1)
using a calibration factor. Figure 2-1 shows an


46
testing laboratory.
At the lab, contents of site containers were divided
into three parts; each was placed in a smaller airtight
plastic container (lab container), and soil moisture was
measured. Drying samples were prepared using a convectional
hot-air oven for a minimum period of 48 hours. Dried
samples were then placed in the lab containers, sealed,
labeled, and left for a minimum of 14 days prior to testing
to allow for radon to reach equilibrium with its parent.
Saturated samples were prepared by adding water to soil
samples until saturation.
Design of Pressure Measurements
Continuous measurements were designed to measure the
time for dependent responses of pressure in the test
chamber. Measurements were facilitated by using a standard
3/16-inch inner diameter metal tube which connects to the
center of the test chamber. The tube is fitted into one
port of a Setra (Model C264) differential pressure
transmitter via plastic tube. The other port of the
transmitter is left open. The transmitter is located
outside the test chamber and placed in a closet which opens
to the room where the testing assembly is housed.
The transmitter selected for this application is a very
sensitive current-output differential-pressure transmitter


15
state actually emanates from the mineral grain and enters the
pore volume of the soil (USDOI 1992) .
Among the factors that could influence radon emanation,
soil moisture content may have a significant impact (Strong
and Levins 1982) Calculations show that the radon atom
recoils with an average kinetic energy of 86 keV (Bossus
1984). Thus, the relative position of formation and the
direction of the recoil determine if the formed radon atom
will terminate its path in the soil pore space.
The location characteristic where the path termination
occurs is called the host material. This could be the solid
grain of the formation, another solid grain, or materials
confined in the soil pore, primarily water and air (Al-Ahmady
1995) .
The range of the newly formed radon atom is the distance
the atom travels between the formation point in the mineral
grain and the termination point in the host material. This
range depends on the density and composition of the host
materials, the relative location of formation in the mineral
grain, and the direction of the recoiled radon atom. The
range of radon is 63 /m in air and 0.1 un in water (Tanner
1980) Therefore, its range in water is approximately 600
times less than the range in air.
If the pore soil space is theoretically assumed to be
filled with dry air (no water vapor) its availability is
expected to significantly influence whether the recoil radon


99
Time (min.)
Figure 3-13: A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-dependent
temperature response in the testing chamber during the
placement of the original soil sample collected at site 2 at
a 2-foot depth


Temperature (degree F)
92
Figure 3-7: A two-and-a-half-day temporal response of the
temperature inside the testing chamber for the dried
configuration sample of site SI collected at a 3-foot depth


113
1
0.9
0.8
0.7
50.6 -
| 0.5 -
O
(J
0.4-
4
O
l 0.3
O
CO
0.2
0.1
0
S1-1 S1-2 S1-3 S2-1 S2-2 S2-3 S3-1 S3-2 S3-3
Soil Sample I.D.
Figure 3-17: Distribution of soil water content of the
processed dried soil samples collected at the three
construction sites for depths of two, three, and four.feet,
respectively.


136
Table 3-7: A brief summary of the investigation approach,
potential effect, and potential contribution to soil-gas radon
testing result misrepresentation for testing (setup)
configuration condition (A), temperature condition (B) ; soil
compaction condition (C) and soil water content condition
(D) .
Testing Code
A
B
C
D
Item
Investigation
Approach
experiment
al
theore
tical
manag
erial
experime
ntal
Potential
Effect
significant
minimal
not
asses
sed
minimal
Contribution
to Result
Miss-
representation
substantial
very
limited
not
asses
sed
minimal
Table 3-8: A brief summary of the recommendation for the
degree of necessity to incorporate precaution or procedures
developed in this research in designing, developing, and
executing soil-gas radon testing to support the construction
management decision for incorporating radon control system(s)
installation prior to construction. Testing codes are: A =
testing (setup) configuration condition, B = temperature
condition, C = soil compaction condition, and D = soil water
content condition.
Testing Code
A
B
C
D
Incorporation
Recommendation
must
recomm
ended
must
should


86
p is the air density (kg/m3) and g is the gravitational
acceleration constant (9.8 m/s2).
Air can be considered an ideal gas for this application.
Thus the ideal gas law may be used to introduce the
temperature into the above equation, through the equivalent of
the right-hand side of Equation 3-1, pg as
dP/dh=-P(mg/kT) (3-2)
where m is the mass of air (kg), k is the Boltzmann constant
(1.38xl0-?3 J/K) and T is the absolute temperature (K) .
Equation 3-2 establishes the explicit relation between
temperature and pressure in a specific volume representing a
zone in this application; however, this relation is not
linear, as will be shown by its solution. An analytical
solution to this first-order differential equation requires
application of a boundary condition.
An applicable boundary condition to this implementation
is P=P0 at h=0, which yields
P=P0 exp(-mgh/kT) (4-3)
The location of the soil-gas radon testing system (one
temperature zone) is usually near the ground surface, however,
to account for possible usage, a maximum height of
approximately 4.5 feet above the ground can be safely
selected. It is highly unexpected that the testing assembly
will be placed at heights more than a foot or two from the
ground.
Utilizing the maximum height selection (1.4 meters), the


45
Figure 2-2: A block diagram illustrating the experimental
assembly used to test the effects of soil water content on
soil-gas radon measurements


28
condensing temperature, the diffusion process in the soil is
dominated by gaseous radon diffusion.
Radon transport by diffusion in liquid and solid phases
can be neglected for most practical applications (Al-Ahmady
1995) Support for this assumption can be found in
experimental results, which show insufficient evidence to
consider these effects important (Tanner 1980).
The dominant driving force for the convective radon
transport component is the pressure differentials. Darcy's
law describes the volume of interstitial fluid flowing per
unit of time per unit of geometrical area as a result of an
applied pressure differential, or the velocity vector. If the
geometrical area in the soil, where the flow is defined, is
small compared to the overall dimension of the soil and large
compared to the individual pores, then the net superficial
velocity vector can be written as
v = -J2-VP d-8)
p
where
[K] is the three-dimensional permeability matrix,
p is the viscosity of the fluid, and
P is the pressure.
If the soil permeability is constant and isotropic, the
three-dimensional permeability matrix becomes the permeability
coefficient K. Further adjustments can be made by dividing V
by the soil porosity e, which is a dimensionless fraction


misrepresentation in test results.
(3) Soil compaction can significantly affect soil-gas
radon testing, indicating that testing should be conducted
before soil compaction at the construction site.
(4) Soil water content, encountered in normal
environmental conditions, has only a minimal effect on the
validity of soil-gas radon testing.
It should be noted that the components of the recommended
construction-management approach in this research are based on
the limitations of the above conditions and the experimental
setup and testing procedures related to the testing apparatus
referenced above. Accordingly, the findings and
recommendations presented in this research should be viewed
within the configurations limited by the scope of the
referenced conditions and testing apparatus since they may not
necessarily be valid for other configurations.
xv


Tube Length (ft.)
85
Fraction of Radon Concentration
Figure 3-5: Ratio of measured average radon concentration to
zero-tube radon concentration per length of the collection
tube


and recognized to ensure appropriate soil radon representation
and testing administration. Accordingly, various setups may
be used for the purpose of testing soil-gas radon
concentrations. This research adapts the use of Pylon AB-5
with standard 300A scintillation cell that is coupled with
the testing probe and the Pylon's suction pump through 5/16
I.D. Tubing. This testing apparatus is the most widely used
setup in the industry for testing radon-soil gas
concentrations. Using appropriate soil-gas testing procedures
as a construction-management practice facilitates timely
decisions on incorporating indoor radon prevention and control
systems. This approach offers important advantages that
include installation cost savings, design flexibility, reduced
general liability, and improved public health.
Four conditions can contribute to invalidating the
results of soil-gas testing: testing setup configuration,
temperature, soil compaction, and soil water content.
Experimental, theoretical, and managerial approaches have been
utilized to investigate these conditions. The present
research demonstrated the following conclusions.
(1) A soil-gas collection tube length can significantly
affect reported radon concentration. Increasing the tube
length results in reducing the soil-gas flow rate and
consequently the measured radon concentration.
(2) Temperature differences have minimal effects on the
reported radon concentration and do not cause significant
xiv


139
concerning the condition of soil compaction, is drawn from a
managerial standpoint rather than from quantitative
investigations. This recommendation is developed to avoid
potential interferences between soil compaction and soil-gas
radon testing giving the case in which the effect of the
former on the latter is not assessed (or known) This
recommendation may be altered, canceled, or modified when the
effect of soil compaction on the testing of soil-gas radon is
adequately addressed or become known. Accordingly,
experimental, theoretical, and managerial approaches may be
used to investigate the above conditions and to qualify the
testing of soil-gas radon concentration within their contexts
and effects.
The condition of temperature can be evaluated through
both theoretical and experimental investigations. Adverse
effects can be realized if temperature difference between the
soil gas and the testing cell is large enough to create a
pressure difference that can alter the flow of the soil gas
from the soil into the cell (that is used to collect the soil
gas) .
There is an indirect relationship between the temperature
of the soil-gas in the pore space of the soil and the testing
call. This relationship is expected to have an indirect
effect on the soil-radon gas concentration when measured,
using the testing configuration described in this research,


98
Figure 3-12: A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-dependent
differential pressure response across the testing chamber for
the saturated soil sample collected from site 2 at a 4-foot
depth


Soil Water Content (% weight)
111
Soil Sample 1.0.
Figure 3-16: Distribution of soil water content of the
original soil samples collected at the three construction
sites for depths of 2, 3, and 4 feet, respectively


129
dryness conditions show little alteration to radon measurement
performed during original water moisture contents and
saturation conditions.
Testing of radon concentration associated with samples
designed to simulate in-situ soil under the possible range of
soil water content (from dryness to saturation) indicated only
a minimal effect of the latter regarding the gaseous radon
availability in the pore space of soil. For the purpose of
soil-gas radon testing as a procedure to be used for a
construction-management approach toward incorporating a radon-
control system prior to construction, the soil water content
condition does not show sufficient evidence of the ability to
alter soil-gas testing results. Therefore, the soil water
moisture condition does not invalidate the representation of
soil-gas radon testing within the soil conditions examined in
this research.
The Construction-Management Approach
To justify incorporating the developed soil-gas radon
testing procedures into a framework that the construction
manager can implement, the advantages of such implementation
should be briefly discussed. Testing of soil-gas radon
concentration can provide a tool through which a quantitative
measure of radon concentrations in the construction site may
be assessed.


70
Table 3-2 Continued
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
12
446
148
93.9
320
110
68.7
288
81
50.7
13
447
159
100.9
321
91
56.8
289
100
62.6
14
448
159
100.9
322
95
59.3
290
109
68.2
15
449
138
87.6
323
102
63.7
291
87
54.5
16
450
151
95.8
324
109
68.1
292
81
50.7
17
451
145
92.0
325
106
66.2
293
87
54.5
18
452
141
89.5
326
84
52.5
294
82
51.3
19
453
161
102.2
327
102
63.7
295
109
68.3
20
454
159
101.0
328
104
65.0
296
102
63.9
21
455
165
104.8
329
102
63.7
297
113
70.8
22
456
131
83.2
330
102
63.7
298
87
54.5
23
457
152
96.6
331
98
60.3
299
103
64.6
24
458
177
112.5
332
97
60.6
300
104
65.2
25
459
152
96.6
333
80
50.0
301
102
63.9
26
460
148
94.0
334
88
55.0
302
114
71.5
27
461
162
103.0
335
84
52.5
303
91
57.1
28
462
149
94.7
336
67
41.9
304
104
65.2
29
463
149
94.7
337
92
57.5
305
110
69.0
30
464
156
99.2
338
112
70.1
306
107
67.1
Avg.
98.03
60.45
62.08
Std.
Dev.
6.66
7.23
7.89
Counting procedures follow the practice established by
the NRE during the counting by taking 30 readings, correcting
for the time difference in radon decay, and using calibration
factors to convert Pylon AB-5 count-per-minute (CPM) readings


Average Radon Concentration (pCi/l)
127
Soil Sample I.D.
Original sample + Dryed Sample Saturated Sample
Figure 3-25: The time-integrated response radon concentrations
for original, dried, and saturated soil samples measured in
the testing chamber


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
EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF SOIL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS FOR SOIL-GAS RADON TESTING
PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION
By
E. Salimi Tari
May 1999
Chairman: Dr. Fazil T. Najafi
Major Department: Civil Engineering
Exposure to elevated indoor concentrations of radon is
among the greatest environmental hazards threatening the
public health. The predominant source of indoor radon
concentration is the soil beneath structures. The indoor
radon problem, by definition, only exists once the structure
is built. Although soil radon potential maps and other
statistical approaches have been used to predict indoor radon
problems, soil-gas radon testing provides the most direct and
accurate method for assessing potential indoor radon problems.
Testing soil-gas radon concentration prior to
construction is an emerging construction practice. Neither
testing standards nor management practices have been developed
Xlll


44
P.M.
t*
PUMP
PYLON AB-5
Soil Probe
Cell
Moisture & Dirt Filter
Tube Tube
Grade Level
Figure 2-1: An illustration of the soil-gas radon testing
system using photomultiplier-based instrumentation


Temperature (DegreeC)
55
Figure 2-5: The linear correlation and the operating range of
the temperature measurements at the test chamber


132
in the substructure area and extended through wall cavities.
Thus when their installation takes place during construction,
costs are minimized through savings in the labor associated
with installation.
More importantly, when the substructure areas are
accessible, during construction, designing indoor radon
prevention and control systems is significantly easier and
more efficient. The result is both lower capital and
operating costs when compared with systems designed to meet
the same need but installed after construction.
The second area of advantage is realized through
minimizing the general liability that all related parties to
the construction operation carry. Builders, designers, owner,
and construction managers will continue to be liable if
elevated indoor radon concentrations are found in the
completed building.
Although regulatory laws related to such liability
specifically addressing indoor radon are under development,
general liability is established through other legal
requirements of providing buildings that are safe and do not
have an inherent item that would affect the resale value of
the property. General liability in this issue can be and have
been established in common law practices.
The third area of advantage is the improvement to the
public health, advantages in the sale and advertisement
operation, and the general image of the construction company,


68
Table 3-1 Cotinued
L
(ft)
5
10
15
Cell
no.
203
781
584
E.T.
271
296
408
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
22
293
267
167.3
318
257
181.9
420
211
133.6
23
294
278
174.2
319
242
171.3
421
217
137.4
24
295
311
194.9
320
282
199.6
422
238
150.7
25
296
273
171.1
321
248
175.5
423
212
134.3
26
297
286
179.3
322
222
157.2
424
215
136.2
27
298
260
163.0
323
257
182.0
425
230
145.7
28
299
290
181.8
324
278
196.9
426
216
136.9
29
300
279
175.0
325
249
176.3
427
223
141.3
30
301
287
180.0
326
262
185.6
428
214
135.6
Avg.
173.7
179.0
138.5
Std.
Dev.
10.99
12.09
11.84
313, 395, 431, and 457 minutes, respectively. The results for
the 50-foot tube length are shown in Table 3-4.
The delay is necessary for allowing time to eliminate
activity contributions from the radon progeny. These might
have been present during the collection time. Despite filters
being used in the tubing line, this is a normal means to
remove most radon progeny present in the gas stream being
tested.
Tables 3-3 and 3-4 show the results of the count rates



PAGE 1

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PAGE 172

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79
carefully considered. Using the above equation, the
theoretical average radon concentration at no tube length is
the same as the coefficient in the equation when the length
variable is set to zero. Therefore, the effect of the length
of the collection tube or line on the measured soil-gas
concentration can be assessed from
Y/Y0 = exp [-0.0464 X]
where Y0 is the theoretical zero-tube-length average radon
concentration. Figure 3-5 shows the relationship between the
reduction in average radon concentration and the tube length.
According to this figure, a collection tube length of more
than 50 feet may result in affecting the reported soil-gas
concentration by more than 90% lower than the concentration
immediately available in the soil.
An explanation for this observation can be derived from
the relationship between the pressure drop across the
collection pump and the collection time. Soil-gas samples are
collected in the scintillation cells in preparation for
measurement at a later time to correct for the decay of radon
progeny. The collection procedure involves circulation of
soil gas throughout the scintillation cell to obtain a
representative sample (Figure 2-6). Most of the pumps used
for this type of measurement are built into the system of
measurement (for example, the Pylon AB-5). This is designed
to provide a maximum air flow rate of 4 liters per minute
(1/m) under zero static pressure. Most similar built-in pumps
are designed to operate within the range of 0.5 to 4 1/m under


89
resulting pressure differences are less than 1 pascal.
Experimental observations of temperature and differential
pressure in the testing assembly indicate differences that are
of minimal concern regarding all soil samples tested. Figure
3-7 illustrates a two-and-a half-day time-dependent response
of the test chamber temperature measured during the testing of
a soil sample collected at depth of 3 feet. The temperature
response followed very closely the temperature of the room
where the assembly is located. The assembly was placed at the
Concert Lab of the Department of Civil Engineering. This area
is mainly open to the outdoors, and temperature in the lab is
not controlled or conditioned.
Figures 3-8 and 3-9 show the corresponding time-dependent
relative humidity in the test chamber and differential
pressure between the test chamber and the surrounding air
simultaneously measured with the temperature measurement in
Figure 3-7. Monitoring of temperature temporal variations
along with relative humidity in the test chamber and the
corresponding pressure differentials across the chamber all
indicated a range of values that are not substantial to cause
invalidation of the soil-gas radon testing practice with
respect to the temperature condition.
Figures 3-10, 3-11, and 3-12 and 3-13, 3-14, and 3-15 are
provided to show samples of the above responses. The first
set of figures (3-10 to 3-12) shows the time-dependent
responses of temperature, relative humidity, and pressure


Average Radon Concentration (pCi/l)
76
Tube Length (ft.)
Figure 3-1: Average radon concentrations as a function of the
soil-gas radon collection tube (or line) and the corresponding
standard deviations


43
radon in the soil pore space. A change in the overall.radon
concentration in the soil pore space, therefore, is
reflected in observed changes in the radon concentration
measured in the assembly's chamber.
Design of the Experimental Procedure
In the testing chamber, radon gas collects due to the
molecular diffusion process from the soil sample in the open
pan into the equilibrium space. The space of the testing
chamber was flushed with air prior to the start of each
experiment. Radon concentrations were then continuously
monitored to observe the buildup of radon gas in the chamber
until reaching equilibrium inside the chamber. Radon
concentration, pressure, temperature, and relative humidity
data were simultaneously measured with a sampling time of 10
minutes, utilizing the data-logging system, and data were
retrieved from the logging system into a personal computer
system. .
Soil samples were collected from three construction
sites (representing typical construction soils in Florida)
from three depths (2, 3, and 4 feet) typically representing
the usual range where in-situ soil-gas radon measurements
are performed. Soil samples were collected in sufficient
quantities and placed into airtight containers (site
containers), sealed, labeled, and transported to the


18
and end their paths in that grain. The direct component
refers to the percentage of the recoiled radon atoms that
terminate their paths in the soil pore spaces.
Once the radon enters the soil pore space, it becomes
migratory. Soil permeability and diffusion length are the two
factors affecting the transition of radon in soil pore state
to the next state of migration in the soil. Soil permeability
is the most important soil characteristic that affects indoor
radon concentrations. This soil parameter measures how
readily the soil gas, or generally a fluid, may flow through
the soil. It is traditionally represented in units of area.
The permeability of soil changes significantly over the.range
of 10'7 m2 for highly permeable soils, such as clean gravel, to
values on the order of 10'16 m2 for very low permeability soils
such as homogenous clays.
Since soil permeability regulates fluid flow in porous
soil media, it relates the flow with the pressure gradient.
Customarily, intrinsic soil-gas velocity is used as an
indicator of the quantity of soil gas with regard to indoor
radon concentration.
The broad range of soil permeabilities makes this
parameter important to the transport of radon-rich soil gas
from the substructure area into the indoors and consequently
to the indoor radon concentration.
Furthermore, because soil permeability is highly
inhomogeneous, this parameter is difficult to model.


69
and the corresponding concentrations of radon found in the
cells used with tube lengths of 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50 feet.
The corresponding elapse time between the filling and counting
were 276, 313, 395, 431, and 457 minutes, respectively.
Table 3-2: Results of the tubing-length (20, 25, and 30 feet)
effect on the measured radon concentration using the testing
setup of Figure 3-6 (L = tube length, E.T. = elapse time, CPM
= counts per minute, Rn-C = radon concentration in pCi/1)
L
(ft)
20
25
30
Cell
No.
596
720
203
E.T.
434
308
276
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
1
435
143
105.7
309
97
70.5
277
116
84.0
2
436
170
107.7
310
80
49.9
278
93
58.1
3
437
173
109.6
311
101
63.0
279
95
59.4
4
438
153
97.0
312
95
59.2
280
104
65.0
5
439
150
95.1
313
119
74.2
281
114
71.3
6
440
140
88.7
314
92
57.4
282
108
67.5
7
441
160
101.4
315
89
55.5
283
85
53.2
8
442
159
100.8
316
108
67.4
284
94
58.8
9
443
141
89.4
317
105
65.5
285
78
48.8
10
444
154
97.7
318
94
58.7
286
89
55.7
11
445
163
103.4
319
81
50.5
287
105
65.7
L
(ft)
20
25
30
Cell
No.
596
720
203
E.T.
434
308
276


152
and Sons.
Nero, A. V. and W. W. Nazaroff. 1984. Characterizing the
source of radon indoors. Radiation Protection Dosimetry 4:23.
Nielson, K. K., and V. C. Rogers. 1991. Modeling indoor radon
entry from soil radon emanation and transport. Proceedings of
the Radon Modeling Workshop of the Florida Radon Research
Program, edited by D. E. Hintenlang. EPA-AEERL, Research
Triangle Park, N.C.
Owczarski, P. C., D. J. Holford, H. D. Freeman, and G. W. Gee.
1990. Effects of changing water content and atmospheric
pressure on radon flux from surfaces of five soil types.
Geophysical Research Letters 17, no. 6:817.
Prichard, H. M. and T. F. Gesell. 1981. An estimate of
population exposure due to radon in public water supplies in
the area of Houston, Texas. Health Physics 41:599.
Reddy, T. A., F. B. Molineaux, K. J. Gadsby, and R. H.
Scocolow. 1990. Statistical analyses of radon levels in
residences using weakly and daily averaged data. PU/CEES
report no. 249.
Rogers, V. C., K. K. Nielson, and D. R. Kalkwarf. 1984. Radon
attenuation handbook for uranium mill tailings cover design.
Report NUREG/CR-3533, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Rogers, V. C., and K. K. Nielson. 1991. Multiphase radon
generation and transport in porous materials. Health Physics
60:807.
Salimitari, E., F. T. Najafi, and K. K. Al-Ahmady. 1996.
Experimental investigation of soil water content effects on
in-situ soil-gas radon testing prior to construction.
Proceedings of the 1996 International Radon Symposium II3.1-
113.7.
Scheidegger, A. E. 1960. The Physics of Flow through Porous
Media, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Schery, S. D. 1985. Measurements of airborne 212Pb and 220Rn
concentrations at varied indoor locations within the united
States. Health Physics 49:1061.
Smith, B. M., W. N. Grue, F. B. Higgins, and J. G. Terrill.
1961. Natural radiology in ground water supplies in Maine and


102
compaction. For the purpose of this research, detailed
relationships between air permeability and soil compaction
were not constructed based on theoretical or experimental
approaches.
From a construction management standpoint, it is' more
suitable to recommend soil-gas testing prior to compaction as
a preliminary part of a package in assessing the site. This
allows avoiding many (or some) complications that could result
from justifying testing results under compaction conditions.
Further, soils are complex systems and their compaction
may be different from one site to another using the same load.
Testing of soil-gas radon concentration is addressed here as
a part of developing a construction-management approach. The
results of testing can be used to initiate a decision about
incorporating a radon-control system prior to construction.
Further, a decision to install a radon-control system
should be made before soil compaction takes place, in most
cases. Installing radon-control systems prior to construction
should be implemented and conducted at an early preparation
stage prior to soil compaction.
Therefore, in addition to avoiding potential
misrepresentation of soil-gas testing results, testing results
are needed before soil compaction if it is going to be used.
Thus, for this application, the soil compaction condition can
be minimized by requiring testing of soil-gas radon before
soil compaction (if selected) as a construction-management


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to express my sincere thanks and
appreciation to the members of the supervisory committee and
to all the people who participated in one way or another
during the course of this research.
In particular, I would like to extend special thanks to
Dr. Fazil Najafi, the chairman of my supervisory committee,
for his guidance, encouragement, and patience. Special thanks
are extended to the committee members: Dr. M. Tia with the
Department of Civil Engineering, Dr. Samim Anghaie with the
Department of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Dr. Roy
Bolduck with the College of Education, and Dr. Kaiss Al-Ahmady
with Conley, Rose & Tayon, for their discussions, advice, and
review of the final manuscript of this dissertation. I am
grateful for the instrumental assistance provided by Dr. Al-
Ahmady. His deep knowledge of the subject of this research and
his continual assistance made this work possible.
Partial support for this research was provided by the
Florida Department of Community Affairs, as part of the
Florida Radon Research Program. This support is respectfully
acknowledged.
11


67
Table 3-1: Results of the tubing length (5, 10, and 15 feet)
effect on the measured radon concentration using the testing
setup of Figure 2-6. (L = tube length, E.T. = elapse time, CPM
= counts per minute, Rn-C = radon concentration in pCi/1)
L
(ft)
5
10
15
Cell
no.
203
781
584
E.T.
271
296
408
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
Min
CPM
Rn-C
1
272
262
189.7
297
251
182.3
409
244
179.8
2
273
250
156.2
298
243
171.5
410
233
147.2
3
274
284
177.5
299
237
167.3
411
234
147.8
4
275
275
171.9
300
251
177.2
412
227
143.4
5
276
251
156.9
301
265
187.1
413
229
144.7
6
277
287
179.5
302
285
201.3
414
214
135.2
7
278
259
162.0
303
231
163.1
415
189
119.4
8
279
269
168.2
304
256
180.8
416
230
145.4
9
280
265
165.8
305
236
166.7
417
215
135.9
10
281
305
190.8
306
244
172.4
418
205
129.6
11
282
308
192.7
307
252
178.1
419
205
129.6
12
283
297
185.8
308
242
171.0
410
181
114.4
13
284
298
186.5
309
238
168.2
411
222
140.4
14
285
254
159.0
310
292
206.4
412
206
130.3
15
286
248
155.2
311
227
160.5
413
232
146.8
16
287
279
174.7
312
269
190.2
414
195
123.4
17
288
268
167.8
313
231
163.3
415
221
139.8
18
289
257
160.9
314
254
179.6
416
216
136.7
19
290
273
171.0
315
265
187.4
417
219
138.6
20
291
284
177.9
316
266
188.2
418
192
121.5
21
292
277
173.5
317
255
180.4
419
240
151.9


93
Time (min.)
Figure 3-8: A two-and-a-half-day temporal response of relative
humidity measured inside the testing chamber during the
testing of the dried configuration sample of site SI collected
at a 3-foot depth


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE SURVEY
Statement of the Problem
Radon and its progeny form the dominant source of the
largest natural radiation dose that a person is naturally
exposed to during his or her lifetime, mainly through
inhalation into the lungs. Concern about indoor radon
exposure in residential and commercial structures is
relatively new and has evolved during the past fifteen years.
While exposure to high concentrations of radon in uranium and
other underground mines and its health effects were known and
documented, it was only during the 1980s that residential
structures with elevated radon concentrations were discovered.
In 1988, Congress passed the Indoor Radon Abatement Act
that called for reduced public exposure to background levels
of radon. Although reduction of radon concentrations in all
residential and large buildings to background levels is not
practically achievable, significant efforts have been devoted
toward this goal.
Most efforts to control exposure to indoor radon have
focused on mitigation in existing structures. Further, many
procedures and systems developed for mitigating indoor radon
1


13
Table 1-5: Possible number of lung cancers and comparison of
the risk of radon exposure for nonsmokers
Radon level
(pCi/1)
Possible number of
lung cancers per 1,000
people (lifetime
exposure)
Radon exposure
risk of cancer
compares to ...
20
8
the risk of being
killed in a
violent crime.
10
4
half the risk of
being killed in a
violent crime.
8
3
10 times the risk
of dying in an
airplane crash.
4
2
the risk of
drowning.
2
1
the risk of dying
in a home fire.
1.3
<1
(average indoor
radon level).
0.4
<1
(average outdoor
radon level).
higher-than-average uranium percentages. These rocks and
their soils contain as much as 100 ppm of uranium (USDOI
1992) .
Radon in soils can be classified into two fundamental
categories relative to its conditions in the soil. These
categories are the availability of radon gas in the soil and
the migration of the gas in the soil system (Al-Ahmady 1995).
Each category consists of two states of radon in terms of its
potential in the indoor environment.
The availability of


page
Figure No.
3-8
3-9
3-10
3-11
3-12
3-13
3-14
A two-and-a-half-day temporal response
of relative humidity measured inside
the testing chamber during the testing
of the dried configuration sample of
site SI collected at a 3-foot depth 93
A two-and-a-half-day temporal response
of the differential pressure between
the testing chamber and the surrounding
air during the testing of the dried
configuration sample of site SI collected
at a 3-foot depth 94
A two-and-a-half-day sample of the
time-dependent temperature response
in the testing chamber for the saturated
soil sample collected from site 2 at
a 4-foot depth 95
A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent relative humidity response in the
testing chamber for the saturated soil sample
collected from site 2 at a 4-foot depth 97
A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent differential pressure response
across the testing chamber for the
saturated soil sample collected from
site 2 at a 4-foot depth 98
A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent temperature response in the
testing chamber during the placement
of the original soil sample collected
at site 2 at a 2-foot depth 99
A two-and-a-half-day sample of the time-
dependent relative humidity response in
the testing chamber during the placement
of the original soil sample collected at
site 2 at a 2-foot depth 100
x


94
Figure 3-9: A two-and-a-half-day temporal response of the
differential pressure between the testing chamber and the
surrounding during the testing of the dried configuration
sample of site SI collected at a 3-foot depth


26
It is customary to treat radon quantities in terms of
activity, since this is ultimately the major concern with
regard to the radon health hazard. Terms in Equation 1-4 need
to be multiplied by Avogadro's number (Aj and the decay
constant of radon (XRn) to convert the molar flux density and
molar concentration density into activity flux density and
activity concentration density, respectively.
Then
A A N = [f N D Vf C] A A (1-5)
v Rn Rn L Rn e Rn J v Rn Vx 3 >
Dividing Equation 1-5 by the molar fraction of Rn in the soil
gas yields
Af(Rn) = AJRn) ^ DeVAm(Rn) (1-6)
where
Af(Rn) is the radon activity flux density (Bq/m:s) and
Am(Rn) is the radon activity concentration density (Bq/m3) .
The value of N/C in the first term of Equation 1-6 has
units of velocity (m/s), and it is equivalent to the net soil
gas velocity, so it can be replace by the symbol V,
Af(Rn) = Am(Rn) V DVAJRn) (i_7)
Equation 1-7 contains two transport terms. The first term
(Am(Rn)V) is the convective flux, and the second term (-De
VA(Rn)) is the diffusive flux.


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure No. page
1-1 Estimate of fatalities per year
attributed to indoor radon exposure
and its relative position with
respect to fatality causes 11
1-2 Illustration of the first two states of
radon in the soil representing radon
availability 19
1-3 Illustration of the third and fourth
states of radon in the soil representing
radon migration 20
2-1 An illustration of the soil-gas radon
testing system using photomultiplier-
based instrumentation 44
2-2 A block diagram illustrating the
experimental assembly used to
test the effects of soil water
content on soil-gas radon
measurements 45
2-3 The linear correlation and operating
range of the pressure measurement
at the test chamber 49
2-4 The linear correlation and operating
range of the relative humidity
measurement at the test chamber 52
2-5 The linear correlation and the operating
range of the temperature measurements
at the test chamber 55
viii


CHAPTER 4
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
It should be acknowledged that the testing apparatus used
in this research, i.e Pylon AB-5 with 300A standard
scintillation cell and 5/16 inner diameter tubing, is widely
used for testing soil-gas radon concentration in the field
(construction site). However, it is important to note that
the findings of this research and therefore the presented
recommendations are applicable within the configurations
limited by the scope of the testing apparatus, procedures, and
conditions used and identified earlier in this research. It
is further acknowledged that several variations to the used
configurations are possible and such variations may render one
or more of the research's findings and the following
recommendations invalid. Accordingly, the following
recommendations must be viewed within the scope of the radon
testing configurations, the testing apparatus, and the
procedures used in this research.
Testing of soil-gas radon concentration can provide a
tool by which a quantitative measure of radon concentrations
in the construction site may be assessed. Managers,
engineers, builders, and architects may utilize assessment
137


53
beta and gamma radiations, and surface contamination.
However, in this application, only airborne radon
measurement was needed. To facilitate measurement of radon
in the test chamber, soil gas was allowed to diffuse
directly to the measurement cell via a 1-foot flexible duct
sealed to the test chamber. Passive Radon Detector cells
(Model PRD-1) were used. Measurements using these cells
were performed by allowing the soil gas to diffuse through
the flexible duct and into the cell volume.
An equilibrium time of approximately one hour is
required for the PRD cell volume to achieve the same radon
concentration as the gas level present in the test chamber.
The cell is lined with ZnS(Ag) scintillator material on the
internal metal surface. Light pulses are generated when the
alpha particles emitted from radon strike the scintillator
surface. The cell is fitted to a photomultiplier window
coupler, where generated pulses are collected and computed.
The cells were flushed with room air and measured for radon
residual upon the conclusion of each test run.
The Pylon counts were accumulated over 10-minute
intervals, stored in the monitor memory at the end of each
interval, and then downloaded to an IBM PC at the end of the
experiment period. Experimental periods of various lengths,
but typically 72 hours, were used to perform the
measurements. This period provided information on the soil-


124
Soil Sample I.D.
Figure 3-24: The maximum range of average radon concentration
variations measured at the testing chamber for all soil
samples collected from the three construction sites in
Gainesville


37
(3) the condition of the testing configuration; and
(4) the condition of soil compaction.
As to the first condition, related to soil moisture,
some theoretical results have established that soil moisture
can significantly alter the emanation of radon. Existence
of moisture in the pore space of the soil affects the range
of the radon atom's transport and thus the final destination
of the recoiled atom. This determines whether the recoiled
atom terminates its path in the pore space and thus becomes
capable of migrating. Only radon in a gaseous phase can
become mixed and carried with soil gas.
The subject of this research is not the details of the
process of emanation or radon transport as related to soil
moisture, but rather the investigation of the effect that
soil moisture would have on soil-gas radon during the
testing based on a system approach. In other words, the
research task on soil moisture is designed to answer the
question of whether soil moisture would invalidate soil-gas
radon moisture prior to construction as a representative
indicator in the management decision. If invalidation is
established, then the management approach must accommodate
this effect and require testing of specific conditions to
avoid the potential for misrepresentation.
It should be noted that the approach does not consider
creating the perfect conditions but rather is to develop the
procedure that best represents the soil conditions. Soil


112
condition, as is expected to be present at the construction
site when soil-gas testing is conducted. Differences in soil
moisture, as seen in Figure 3-17, ranged from 0.1% to 1% by
water weight. The small differences among the samples are
attributed to specific soil characteristics, such as the
ability to hold a very small quantity of water, even after
being subjected to 48 hours of drying.
Figure 3-18 shows the distribution of soil water content
for the processed saturated soil samples from the three
construction sites and the corresponding sampling depths.
Processing of soil samples under the saturation conditions
attempted to simulate saturated soils that might exist due to
rain or other environmental conditions while soil-gas radon
testing is conducted or is to be conducted. Saturation
conditions were introduced by partially flooding the in-situ
(original) soil samples with water and placing them outdoors
for a minimum of 12 hours. Samples were then weighed, dried
in the convectional oven for a minimum of 48 hours, weighed
again, and their moisture contents calculated.
The resulting saturated soil samples that were placed in
the testing chamber of Figure 2-2 had a moisture content range
from slightly more than 15% to slightly lower than 35%.
Samples collected from construction site S3 show the maximum
holding of water in their pore spaces, which is consistent
with the processed samples under dry soil conditions.
Figure 3-19 provides a plot to compare the distribution


23
diffusion and convective flows after generation. Since
distribution of a radon source is considered uniform,
consideration is given to the transport mechanisms once radon
is generated, mainly those related to transporting recoiled
radon atoms from the mineral grain into the pore space. Those
mechanisms also result in transporting gaseous radon in the
soil pore space collectively.
The random molecular motion of a substance due to its
concentration gradient is best represented by Fick's law as a
diffusional flux density. The convective components of radon
transport, which primarily results from pressure
differentials, can be represented by Darcy's law. Convective
flow of radon is more significant to the transport of the gas
from the soil system into the indoor space. The latter is not
a consideration in this research. However, differential
pressure may exist between the measurement system and the
location where soil gas is collected.
The effect of possible changes in the differential
pressure between the collection system and in-situ location is
considered through experimental verification outlined in the
methodology section of this work.
If a coordinate system is chosen at a certain in-situ
location in the soil and remains stationary, the flux density
of a substance (identified as gas 1) in a mixture of two gases
(1 and 2) can be given as


Finally, I would like to express my appreciation and
thanks to my wife, Pouran, and my daughter, Maryam, whose
patience, understanding, and moral support were always
available and were needed to accomplish my research. I also
deeply appreciate my father, Shokrolah, and my mother, Pari,
for all the support they have given in my life.
in