Abstract (II ERA workshop, Prague 2014)
Radon regulations in Europe
Radon has been a subject of regulatory control in the European Union and in other European countries following the ICRP 50 recommendations published in 1987 relating lung cancer risk to the exposure of radon in dwellings and workplaces. The ideas have been implemented in the publication ICRP 60 and in the EC Recommendation on the protection of the public against indoor exposure to radon (90/143/Euratom) published in 1990. In short, they recommended to define a reference level for indoor exposure in existing buildings of 20 mSv/y (at that time corresponding to 400 Bq/m³) and a design level of 200 Bq/m³ for future constructions, implying a protection of new buildings against radon. Public information and identification of risk indicators was also introduced. Later on, ICRP 65 developed the details for workplaces with fixing the 10 mSv/y above which intervention is almost always justified, defining radon prone areas, and limiting the radon from building materials. Concepts concerning workplaces were included in the Council Directive 96/29/Euratom. The basic principles of protection against radon have recently been updated and consolidated in the BSS Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom based on ICRP 103. The impact of the new BSS will be important for many EU member states, since it implies for the first time an obligation to develop a regulatory frame to actively work on reducing the radon exposure not only of workers, but also of the general public and lowering the reference level for the annual average activity concentration in air to a maximum value of 300 Bq/m3. Also other European counties are implementing the latest ICRP and EU publications in their approach to lower radon exposure. In the course of recent history since 1990, the approach of developing national strategies has not been the same in the different European countries, leading to a broad range of different practices and regulations. Identifying the strong points among those different existing approaches can be useful when developing national radon action plans as required by the new BSS. The presentation attempts to give a non-exhaustive overview of best-practices of radon regulations in Europe and their implementation that have been identified by the ERA working group on regulations. It is conceived not as a static final document, but rather a starting point of a benchmark exercise defining good practices in radon regulations. As a first step we present examples of best practice from some countries that have made outstanding approaches in a number of key areas relevant to radon regulation.
ICRP 50 Lung cancer risks from indoor exposures to radon daughters. Annals of the ICRP Vol. 17, No 1, 1987, Publication 50, Pergamon Press.
ICRP 60 1990 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. Annals of the ICRP Vol. 21, No 1-3, 1991, Publication 60, Pergamon Press.
ICRP 65. Protection Against Radon-222 at Home and at Work. Annals of the ICRP Vol. 23, No 2, 1993, Publication 65, Pergamon Press.
ICRP 103. The 2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. Annals of the ICRP Vol. 37, No 2-4, 2007, Publication 103, Pergamon Press.
90/143/EURATOM. Protection of the public against indoor exposure to radon. Official Journal of the European Communities 1990; L80/26.
96/29/EURATOM. Council Directive of 13 May 1996 laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation. Official Journal of the European Communities 1996; L314.
2013/59/EURATOM Council Directive of 5 December 2013 laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation, and repealing Directives 89/618/Euratom, 90/641/Euratom, 96/29/Euratom, 97/43/Euratom and 2003/122/Euratom. Official Journal of the European Union 2014; L13.