Effective Doses Estimated According to Characteristics of Airborne Radon and Thoron Levels Generated from Some Household Products

일부 생활용품에서 발생한 공기 중 라돈과 토론의 발생 특성 및 연간 유효선량 추정

  • Park, Dong-Uk (Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University) ;
  • Yi, Seongjin (Asian Citizen's Center for Environment and Health) ;
  • Kim, So-Yeon (Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University) ;
  • Kwak, Hyunseok (Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service) ;
  • Lee, Seunghee (Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University) ;
  • Park, Jihoon (Institute of Health and Environment, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University)
  • 박동욱 (한국방송통신대학교 환경보건학과) ;
  • 이성진 (환경보건시민센터) ;
  • 김소연 (한국방송통신대학교 환경보건학과) ;
  • 곽현석 (근로복지공단 직업환경연구원) ;
  • 이승희 (한국방송통신대학교 환경보건학과) ;
  • 박지훈 (서울대학교 보건환경연구소)
  • Received : 2019.03.28
  • Accepted : 2019.04.20
  • Published : 2019.04.30


Objective: This study aims to analyze the characteristics of airborne radon and thoron level ($Bq/m^3$) generated from household products containing monazites, and estimate the effective doses (mSv/yr). Method: Radon & Thoron detector EQF3220 was used to monitor real-time airborne radon and thoron level ($Bq/m^3$), and their daughters ($Bq/m^3$) were recorded every two hours. Effective doses (mSv/yr) for radon and thoron were estimated according to models developed by International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). Results: The average levels of radon and thoron were $87.8Bq/m^3$ (range; $20.8-156.3Bq/m^3$) and $1,347.5Bq/m^3$ (range; $4-5,839.7Bq/m^3$), respectively. The average equilibrium factors (F) were 0.23 and 0.007, respectively. The levels of radon progeny were far higher than that thoron. Latex mattress showed the highest F (0.38). The average effective doses were estimated to be ICRP (1.9 mSv/yr) and UNSCER (1.3 mSv/yr) for radon and UNSCEAR (1.6 mSv/yr) for thoron. Conclusions: Our results have far exceeded the allowable effective dose for general population (1 mSv/yr). The government's actions such as the ban of use of consumer products containing monazite and the establishment of surveillance system to evaluate health effects for the people affected should be taken as early as possible.


  1. World Health Organization. Radon and health. Available: [accessed 16 March 2019]
  2. Idowu OE, Idowu MA. Environmental causes of childhood brain tumours. Afr Health Sci. 2008; 8(1): 1-4.
  3. Tong J, Qin L, Cao Y, Li J, Zhang J, Nie J, et al. Environmental radon exposure and childhood leukemia. J Toxicol Env Heal B. 2012; 15(5): 332-347.
  4. Kaatsch P, Mergenthaler A. Incidence, time trends and regional variation of childhood leukaemia in Germany and Europe. Radiat Prot Dosim. 2008; 132(2): 107-113.
  5. Charles M. Radon exposure of the skin: I. Biological effects. J Radiol Prot. 2007; 27(3): 231.
  6. Tokonami S. Why is 220Rn (thoron) measurement important? Radiat Prot Dosim. 2010; 141(4): 335-339.
  7. National Safety and Security Commission (NSSC). Press Releases: The NSSC announced the interim results of its inspection on radon-generating Bed. 2019: Available: [accessed on 16 March 2019]
  8. SARAD GmbH. Manual for RTM2200-RPM2200 - EQF3200-EQF3220-A2M4000. 2012; 1-24.
  9. SARAD GmbH. EQF3220-Radon/Thoron Gas & Decay Product-Monitor for attached and unattached decay products. 2013: 1-3.
  10. Robertson A, Allen J, Laney R, Curnow A. The cellular and molecular carcinogenic effects of radon exposure: a review. Int J Mol Sci. 2013; 14(7): 14024-14063.
  11. Kendall G, Smith T. Doses to organs and tissues from radon and its decay products. J Radiol Prot. 2002; 22(4): 389-406.
  12. Tirmarche M, Harrison J, Laurier D, Paquet F, Blanchardon E, Marsh J. Lung cancer risk from radon and progeny and statement on radon. Ann ICRP (ICRP Publication 115). 2010; 40(1): 1-64.
  13. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Sources, effects and risks of ionizing radiation. UNSCEAR Publications. 1993. Available:
  14. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Sources and effects of ionizing radiation: sources. UNSCEAR Publications. 2000. Vol. 1. Available:
  15. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. UNSCEAR Publications. 2008. Vol. 1. Available:
  16. Al-Khateeb H, Al-Qudah A, Alzoubi F, Alqadi M, Aljarrah K. Radon concentration and radon effective dose rate in dwellings of some villages in the district of Ajloun, Jordan. Appl Radiat Isotopes. 2012; 70(8): 1579-1582.
  17. Amer M. Study on radon and radon progeny in some living rooms. Radiat Prot Dosim. 2005; 117(4): 402-407.
  18. Shang B, Chen B, Gao Y, Wang Y, Cui H, Li Z. Thoron levels in traditional Chinese residential dwellings. Radiat Environ Bioph. 2005; 44(3): 193-199.
  19. Ramola R, Gusain G, Rautela B, Sagar DV, Prasad G, Shahoo S, et al. Levels of thoron and progeny in high background radiation area of southeastern coast of Odisha, India. Radiat Prot Dosim. 2012; 152(1-3): 62-65.
  20. Saidou TS, Janik M, Samuel B, Abdourahimi JEN. Radon-thoron discriminative measurements in the high natural radiation areas of southwestern Cameroon. J Environ Radioactiv. 2015; 150: 242-246.
  21. Chen J, Harley NH. A review of indoor and outdoor radon equilibrium factors-Part I: 222Rn. Health Phys. 2018; 115(4): 490-499.
  22. Chen J, Moir D. The concept of equivalent radon concentration for practical consideration of indoor exposure to thoron. Int J Env Res Pub Health. 2012; 9(1): 286-293.
  23. Chambers D. Thoron and decay products, beyond UNSCEAR 2006 Annex E. Radiat Prot Dosim. 2010; 141(4): 351-356.
  24. Chen J, Harley NH. A Review of Indoor and Outdoor Radon Equilibrium Factors-Part II: 220Rn. Health Phys. 2018; 115(4): 500-506.
  25. Song J, Du Z. Selective examination results of gamma irradiation processing facilities. China J Radiol Health. 1993; 2(2): 49.
  26. National Safety and Security Commission (NSSC). Press Releases: The NSSC Found More Daejin Bed Mattresses Exceeding the Safety Standard. 2018; Available at [accessed on 16 March 2019]
  27. Strahlenschutzkommission (SSK), Radon dose coefficients Recommendation by the German Commission on Radiological Protection, Available at[accessed on 16 March 2019]
  28. International Commission on Radiological protection( ICRP), Summary of ICRP Recommendations on Radon, ICRP ref 4836-9756-8598, January 26, 2018