John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Determinants of indoor radon concentrations in French dwellings. Analysis of measurements in more than 6,000 houses Volume 18, issue 1, January-February 2019



1 Université Paris-Est / Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment (CSTB)
84, avenue Jean Jaurès
77447 Champs-sur-Marne Cedex 02
2 Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment (CSTB)
24, rue Joseph Fourier
38400 Saint-Martin-d’Hères
3 Ministère des solidarités et de la santé
14, avenue Duquesne
75350 Paris
* Tirés à part

Radon is a radioactive natural gas that is a human carcinogen, causing around 2,000 deaths yearly in France. To raise people's awareness of this risk, three surveys monitored indoor radon concentrations in 6,010 houses in Brittany and Limousin, France, between 2011 and 2016. A kit was distributed to each household, including a passive dosimeter, a user manual, and a questionnaire about certain characteristics of the dwelling. The dosimeter was exposed for two months in winter, at the lowest level of the house occupied at least one hour per day. The median radon concentration in the 6,010 houses was 167 Bq.m-3 the 5th percentile was 36 Bq.m-3 and the 95th percentile 1,161 Bq.m-3. A hierarchical linear regression was used to study the determinants of indoor radon concentrations. The results show that they are influenced by eight variables: soil radon potential, type of foundation, main construction material, construction period, number of occupied levels, dosimeter location, window replacement, and type of ventilation. The soil radon potential is the variable with the strongest influence. This study confirms already well-known radon determinants but also reveals other less studied variables (i.e. the type of ventilation) and previously unknown variables that may influence the indoor radon concentration (i.e. window replacement).

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