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Daniel Roak

Busy Times in the Radonova Lab – Nearly 30,000 Detectors Analyzed in One Week

By | Radonova News | No Comments

May always equates to a seasonal peak for Radonova. This year, the world’s leading radon laboratory beat previous records for the number of detectors analyzed in one week. Oscar Wännerud who is responsible for Radonova’s laboratory, comments on the season high:

– In May, we enter our most intensive period when it comes to incoming deliveries of radon detectors. In many countries, the radon measurement season ends at the end of April, resulting in a peak of incoming detectors. This year we peaked in the third week of May when we analyzed a total of 29,626 detectors. It is a historical record for Radonova and another acknowledgment that we are the world leader in radon measurement and analysis.

Maintaining quality standards and rapid analysis in the face of increased digitization

– One of the biggest challenges during this part of the season is to keep the analysis time down. This was achieved even though there were huge volume pressures on the laboratory. It’s worth stating that customers should register their information via My pages. By doing so, they are guaranteed to get the shortest possible analysis time.
– At our laboratory we have a committed and competent workforce with extensive experience in the radon industry, increased digitization and automation means that we are scaling-up our operations but never at the expense of quality.
– As a service we are constantly evolving and questioning established routines. We believe it is always possible to improve processes to ensure smoother operations.

The significance of new legislation

Since the EU’s new Radiation Protection Directive (2013/59/Euratom) began to be applied in 2018, Europe’s employers have become responsible for controlling the radon content in workplaces.

– We have seen a clear increase in the number of companies measuring radon in the work environment. Given the health risks that elevated radon levels causes, it feels good to be part of a team that is ensuring that fewer people are exposed to high radon levels. Remember it is easy to measure radon, both for private individuals and employers. Our customer service team is always keen to speak to anyone who has questions or is uncertain about how to go about conducting a test.

Read more about radon and its risks here» 

For more information on radon and radon measurement visit www.radonova.com.
For more information, please contact Bill Rounds, President of Radonova
Phone: +1.331.814.2201, E-mail: bill.rounds@radonova.com

Creating Radon Awareness – Healthcare Professionals

By | Radon News | No Comments

The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc. (CRCPD) has recently created an all new guide to assist healthcare professionals create awareness and educate patients on the dangers of radon gas. The new guide, Reducing the Risk From Radon: Information and Interventions seeks to furnish providers with important information that patients may have questions about.

Information in the guide details:

  • Radon Statistics and public health impact
  • The science behind the risk assessment
  • Radon testing and reduction
  • Guidance for use in a health care setting

As a trusted source for many health related topics, health care professionals can play a vital role in creating radon awareness. Even if patients are not inquiring about radon, literature can be provided or displayed in office waiting rooms to help create the dialogue.

Currently the Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers many pieces on radon that are available to use. These fact sheets and infographics are eye-catching, easy to read and understand, and available for download on the CDC site. Health care professionals please consider downloading these publications today and displaying them in your office or waiting room. The number one step in reducing cases of radon induced lung cancer is to make people aware of the risks associated with radon, and encourage them to test.

Health care professionals looking to partner with Radonova to easily distribute discounted radon test kits to patients can contact us at sales@radonova.com or 331.814.2212.

British Columbia Lung Association to Provide Radonova’s Test Kits for Home, Workplace and School Radon Monitoring

By | Radon News, Radonova News | No Comments

Through its partnership with Radon Environmental, the British Columbia Lung Association (BCLA) is providing Radonova’s radon detectors to consumers to offer a fast, efficient, and accurate way to find out if your home, school or workplace has potentially hazardous indoor radon levels. The detectors supplied by the BCLA gives the public the option of choosing either a short or long-term test kit. All test kits provided are recognized by Health Canada and C-NRPP certified. This news follows on from The Lung Association – Ontario also announcing that it would be offering Radonova’s state-of-the-art radon monitors to the general public.

“The air you breathe, regardless of where you live or work, is important to your health. The BC Lung Association is committed to protecting your breathing and that’s why we are excited about being able to offer a variety of radon test kits for the public,” said Christopher Lam, President & CEO of the BC Lung Association.

The two alpha track radon detection devices the BCLA will be making available to the public are Rapidos and Radtrak². Rapidos is a short-term radon measurement test kit that captures a measurement of radon levels over a 10-30 day period. Measurement reports are available from Radonova’s laboratory within 1-2 weeks after the laboratory has received the detectors.

Both accurate and flexible, Rapidos is one of the most effective and flexible ways to measure radon in residential buildings, workplaces and schools.

Radtrak² is Radonova’s flagship long-term radon test kit and tests home’s and workplaces  for radon over a sustained period, as encouraged by Health Canada. With ultra-high accuracy over a prolonged period of time, it provides a full and clear perspective on the risk of radon exposure in the tested location.

Radon is an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas that can accumulate to unnaturally high and dangerous levels in homes and workplaces. Young people and children are more vulnerable to radiation as they have higher respiratory rates than adults. However, consumer knowledge on how to detect Radon and meaningfully reduce exposure is still relatively low.

Bill Rounds, President at Radonova, said: “Our work with the various Lung Associations in Canada highlights that the general public and businesses are gradually becoming more aware of the dangers of radon. Radon is a global health problem that is estimated to cause 230,000 cases of lung cancer each year¹. A recent report by the World Health Organization states that radon should be regarded as a carcinogen on a par with tobacco smoke². The technologies we offer ensure customers are receiving a reliable, high quality measurement that will aide in helping individuals make decisions about their home’s indoor air quality.  Living with high radon is truly an unnecessary health risk. Elevated radon levels in the home can easily be reduced, but you have to test to know.”

Radon Environmental President & CEO, Alan Whitehead commented: “We’re delighted to have expanded our Radon Testing Device and Service Agreement with the British Columbia Lung Association, to provide our extended range of Radonova short term (Rapidos) and long term (Radtrak²) alpha track radon detection devices. We supply many local health authorities and public testing initiatives across Canada and our partnership with the BCLA will lead to increased public awareness and radon testing in British Columbia. Radtrak² has the largest range of detection of any alpha track device and the Radonova laboratory is the only ISO17025 certified alpha track testing facility of its kind, so our clients can be confident in the lab analysis and its QA process. One of the features that our clients like the most is RadOnline, Radonova’s online customer portal. Through MyPages, customers can easily input measurement data, retrieve reports, and have an overview on every project, in real-time.”

To learn more about radon testing and to purchase a test kit, BC residents can visit here. Short and long-term radon tests include delivery of confidential lab test results.

Radonova is the laboratory of choice for numerous government radon surveys, as well as other public and private sector large scale measurement contracts around the world.  A truly global laboratory, Radonova is active in over 50 countries and has performed millions of measurements.

For more information on radon and radon measurement visit www.radonova.com.
For more information, please contact Bill Rounds, President of Radonova
Phone: +1.331.814.2201, E-mail: bill.rounds@radonova.com

¹ Environmental Health Perspectives, 31 May 2018, https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP2503.

² World Health Organisation, ‘Guidelines on Housing and Health’, 27 November 2018, https://www.who.int/sustainable-development/publications/housing-health-guidelines/en/.

Rutgers to Offer New Online Radon Measurement Training

By | Radon Education | No Comments

For over 30 years, Rutgers has provided classroom based radon courses to help individuals become certified radon professionals. While you could go to the physical campus for measurement and mitigation courses, attendance was limited to classroom settings.

Rutgers is now offering a 16 hour online measurement course that is approved by both the National Radon Safety Board and the National Radon Proficiency Program. These national certifications validate the competence of measurement specialists, as well as radon laboratories, testing devices, and mitigation contractors. The NRSB and NRPP directories are extremely helpful in finding certified radon professionals, especially in states lacking a state run radon certification program.

For more information on the radon training courses, visit the Rutgers site. 

For information on becoming certified by the NRSB or NRPP you can visit there respective sites below.

NRSB

NRPP

Radonova Intercomparison Receives High Marks from PHE

By | Radonova News | No Comments

Radonova Laboratories has achieved outstanding results in a preliminary comparative reference test performed by the state-owned PHE (Public Health England). The intercomparison tests were performed at five different radon levels – Radonova participated with two different types of detectors for each exposure. In all ten cases, Radonova’s results differed by less than 4% from the respective reference value.

During the reference test, radon detectors were exposed to different levels of radon. The results are then compared to the official reference values ​​as dictated by PHE. Radonova’s detector Duotrak had a particularly small deviation where three out of five tests deviated by less than one per cent from the reference value.

Demanding test
“For several years, Radonova has regularly been involved in this type of comparative reference test. We are consistently given high marks but are still very pleased by the fact that this is probably our best result so far. It feels particularly good when we are constantly working on developing and refining our radon detectors as well as instruments and measuring methods,” said Radonova Laboratories CEO, Karl Nilsson.

“PHE’s comparative reference test is among the most demanding in the industry. It tests both low and high exposures which places particularly high demands on reliability. We are always looking to offer our customers the highest quality technology and take this as an acknowledgment that we continue to be at the forefront of the market for radon measurements,” comments Bill Rounds, President of Radonova.

The radon detectors were subjected to exposure between 137 – 2180 kBqh/m3. PHE is expected to publish the report towards the end of 2019.

For more information on radon and radon measurements visit www.radonova.com.
For more information, please contact Bill Rounds, President of Radonova
Phone: +1.331.814.2201, E-mail: bill.rounds@radonova.com

Radonova’s Newest Product – Robin

By | Radonova News | No Comments

Earlier in the year, Radonova took the strategic decision to broaden its range of radon measurement technologies by adding several advanced instruments and products to its portfolio via the acquisition of the radon measurement instrument division of Gammadata Instruments.

Here we take a more in-depth look at ROBIN, one of the state-of-the-art radon monitors developed and manufactured by Gammadata, which is compact, light and suitable for all types of ventilation control facilities where there is a need to monitor radon levels.

Industrial ROBIN

Renowned for its stability and rugged aluminium design, ROBIN is an industrial radon sensor for ventilation applications such as air handling units, roof fans and radon evacuation fans. For industrial radon detection, there are two versions of ROBIN offering different measurement ranges: 0-400Bq/m3 and 0-4000Bq/m3. Each unit is factory calibrated with traceable industry standards.

ROBIN measures radon air levels and converts the concentration to an accurate output signal. The sensor can be connected to a fan controller, PLC or any other analog input signal device.

The sensor has high immunity to EMC and can withstand interference from thyristor controllers. The radon sensor can be deployed as a fixed installation and is placed in ventilation ducts, air handling units or just in a room. Due to its design, ROBIN functions independently of air flow conditions and can measure accurately in both laminar and turbulent airflow.

Technical Specifications for ROBIN 0-400 Bq/m³ and ROBIN 0-4000 Bq/m³:

Measurement principle: Filtered diffusion to high voltage measurement chamber
Detection principle: Alpha spectrometry
Output signal: 1-10 V
Measurement range: 0-4000 Bq/m³
Maximum measurement range: 0 – 100000 Bq/m³
Accuracy: Typically within 25% @ 200 Bq/m³
Time resolution: From 1 h
Connection: 4-pole connector block
Weight: 240 g
Dimension:  Length 60 x Width 76 x Height 45 [mm]
Power supply: 12 V DC or 10 – 30V AC/DSDC(two models).
Power consumption: < 50 mW
Temperature Storage: 0 – 70
⁰C
Temperature Operation: 0 – 60
⁰C

ROBIN in Mining

For the mining industry, a reinforced version of ROBIN is available for fixed installations in underground environments. The mining version of ROBIN measures the radon in air and converts the concentration to a proportional output signal.

The default measurement range is 0-4000 Bq/m³, but this can be easily customized on request. As with other versions of ROBIN, the radon sensor has a high immunity to EMC. Protection against humidity is achieved by additional painting on the PCB and the provision of a thermal load in close proximity to the detector which duly prevents condensation.

Technical Specifications:

Measurement principle: Filtered diffusion to high voltage measurement chamber
Detection principle: Alpha spectrometry
Output signal: 1-10 V
Measurement range: 0-4000 Bq/m³. Range is customizable.
Maximum measurement range: 0 – 100000 Bq/m³
Uncertainty: Typically within 25% @ 200 Bq/m³
Time resolution: From 1 h
Cable gland: M20
Connector: Shielded Cable with 4 leads. Internally to 4-pole connection block.
Weight: 240g
Dimension: Length 80 x Width 76 x Height 45 [mm]
Power supply: 10 – 30 V AC or DC
Power consumption: 60 mA at 24V
Temperature Storage: 0 – 70
⁰C
Temperature Operation: 0 – 60
⁰C
Humidity: Improved protection against humidity

For more information on radon and radon measurement visit www.radonova.com.
For more information, please contact Bill Rounds, President of Radonova
Phone: +1.331.814.2201, E-mail: bill.rounds@radonova.com

Pennsylvania Bill to Require Radon Testing In Schools

By | Radon News | No Comments

Radon levels in the state of Pennsylvania are notoriously high. An estimated 40% of homes in the state have elevated levels above the EPA guideline of 4.0 pCi/l. If elevated homes are that prevalent, what about schools, where kids spend 40+ hours a week?

Thanks to a new bill being introduced by Tim Briggs, Pennsylvania may soon find out. This new bill would require every school district to not only test for radon but inform parents of the reported levels.

The EPA estimates high radon gas levels are present in over 70,000 classrooms across the country. In Pennsylvania, a nonprofit called Healthy Schools PA recently released a report stating, of the districts that responded to Right-to-Know requests, only 31% have tested and of those 28% reported dangerous levels above the 4.0 pCi/l.

Read the entire article here: PA to Require School Testing

Looking to test schools in your area? Radonova can help determine how many test kits you need, help coordinate placement and retrieval efforts, and offers a state of the art online customer portal, RadOnline, to oversee the entire project.

Contact us today at info@radonova.com or (800) 528-8327.

classroom

Radon Maps Do Not Show Radon Levels in a Specific Building

By | Radon Education | No Comments

‘Radon maps’ is a term that frequently crops up when talking about the risk of radon. A radon map provides a general picture of the areas where there is a risk of high radon levels. These maps are available at both national and regional levels. However, the problem with a radon map is the false sense of security it can give regarding a specific building.

Despite this, Radonova is seeing a growing number of cases where private individuals and workplaces are using radon maps to try to determine the radon level in their specific indoor environment.

“Radon maps are designed to be used when you want a more general geographic breakdown of low-risk and high-risk zones. It is, however, very difficult to draw any reliable conclusions from these about radon levels inside a particular building,” comments Bill Rounds, President at Radonova.

“The relevant authorities and experts often have good knowledge of the applications for which radon maps can be used. Problems tend to arise when the general public draw conclusions from the maps about radon levels in their own home.”

This is why radon maps do not show radon levels in a specific building.

Below are some of the reasons why radon maps are not a reliable tool for determining radon levels in a specific building.

Radon maps do not show local variations

When producing a radon map, very few measurements are performed in a specific area. Radon levels can vary significantly in such a large area and even between buildings on the same street. Indoor radon levels largely depend on the building’s construction and the air permeability of the soil, which can vary locally.

There is no standard for the production of radon maps

To produce a radon map, measurement data is either obtained by measuring ground radon levels or using data from indoor measurements in the area. With ground radon measurements, there are no clear links between the level of radon in the ground and indoor radon levels. There is certainly an increased risk with high ground radon levels, but other factors, such as construction technology, can have a greater impact.

However, if the radon map is based on indoor measurements, then the results are heavily dependent on the type of building structure where the measurement was recorded. This in turn need not be relevant in any way for another building close by.

Radon can be emitted by building materials

Radon maps use an accumulative average to represent an area’s general risk and cannot account for individual factors.  For example, building materials like blue lightweight concrete used in foundations and aesthetic upgrades that incorporate natural stone emit radon and has the potential to impact results.  Because this can cause outliers in “low” radon areas, it’s important to measure each building regardless of its location on a radon map.

The maps can be generated from old data

Measured radon levels are to some extent ‘perishable’. A measurement taken from a few years ago, for example, is no longer reliable. A lot may have happened over the years in and around the building in question to change radon levels. Modernizations, changes to ventilation, and groundwork are just a few examples of factors that can have a major impact on indoor radon levels.

“With this in mind, you shouldn’t rely on radon maps if you want to know what the radon levels are in a specific building. Even if you live in an area that is defined on the radon map as a low-risk zone, there may still be very high radon levels indoors. Given that radon, after smoking, is the most common cause of lung cancer, there is every reason not to rely on this type of map when trying to determine radon levels in the home and at workplaces,” concludes Bill Rounds.

Measure in the building

The only way to get a reliable picture of radon levels in indoor air is to measure them. This can be done in an affordable manner using radon detectors. Radon maps still have a role to play, however, as they can provide the authorities with an overview that makes it easier to prioritize inspection efforts.

For more information on radon and radon measurement visit www.radonova.com.
For more information, please contact Bill Rounds, President of Radonova
Phone: +1.331.814.2201, E-mail: bill.rounds@radonova.com

Radon as a Health Risk – WHO report

By | Radon News | No Comments

The WHO’s latest report ‘Guidelines on Housing and Health’ describes how people’s housing and health are affected by a variety of factors. The report describes radon, among other factors, as a health risk. The report draws attention to the fact that radon should be regarded as a carcinogen on a par with tobacco smoke.

The harmful effects of radon are emphasised by, among other things, the WHO wanting to reduce the reference level for radon in home environments to 100 Bq/m³. That is one-third of the reference level established in Directive 2013/59/EURATOM, which is 300 Bq/m³.

 Radon Causes Lung Cancer

Radon as a health risk is a global problem that each year is estimated to cause around 230,000 cases of lung cancer, which has a high mortality rate. Radonova’s measurement expert José-Luis Gutiérrez Villanueva comments on the latest WHO report:

“It is important that radon is not singled out but regarded as one pollutant among many. In this respect, the WHO’s report is clear and important. The report describes the harmful effects of radon, as well as how preventive measures can be used to reduce harmful radon levels. Bearing in mind the fact that radon causes a very high number of lung cancer cases, it is vital to speak plainly about this issue.

“While radon is a global problem, the WHO’s report makes it clear that radon needs to be tackled at national level. In order to be effective, each country needs a well-developed programme that can be adapted to the circumstances in each case.”

José-Luis Gutiérrez Villanueva has worked on radon issues for the last 15 years. He wrote his PhD on ‘Radon concentrations in soil, air and water in a granitic area: instrumental development and measurements’ (University of Valladolid, 2008), and is an expert in areas including data analysis and different ways of measuring radon. As secretary of the European Radon Association, José-Luis also has extensive experience of international work with radon.

More information and the report ‘Guidelines on Housing and Health’ are available here»

FAQs about radon and radon measurement: https://radonova.com/information/about-radon/faq/

The Lung Association – Ontario to Provide Radonova’s Rapidos and Radtrak2 for Home, Workplace and School Radon Testing

By | Radonova News | One Comment

Through its partnership with Radon Environmental The Lung Association – Ontario is providing Radonova’s radon detectors to consumers to offer a fast, efficient, and accurate way to find out if your home, school or workplace has potentially hazardous indoor radon levels. The detectors supplied by The Lung Association – Ontario gives the public the option of choosing either a short or long-term test kit. All test kits provided are recognized by Health Canada and C-NRPP certified.

“The air you breathe, regardless of where you live, work, or socialize, is important to your health. The Lung Association is committed to protecting your breathing and that’s why we’re excited about this new partnership and being able to offer a variety of radon test kits for the public. Testing for radon is simple, convenient and inexpensive. With these do-it-yourself kits, it’s easy to follow the instructions included and test your home,” says George Habib, CEO of The Lung Association – Ontario.

Rapidos is a short-term radon measurement test kit that captures a measurement of radon levels over a period of 10 days. Online analysis and measurement reports are available from Radonova’s laboratory within 1-2 weeks after the laboratory has received the detectors. Both accurate and flexible, Rapidos is one of the most effective ways to measure radon in residential buildings, workplaces and schools.

Radtrak2 is Radonova’s flagship long-term Radon test kit and tests home’s and office’s for radon over a sustained period. With ultra-high accuracy over a prolonged period of time, it provides a full and clear perspective on the risk of radon exposure in the tested location.

Radon is an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas that can accumulate to unnaturally high and dangerous levels in homes and workplaces. Radon is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking and the leading cause in non-smokers. Young people and children are more vulnerable to radiation as they have higher respiratory rates than adults. However, consumer knowledge on how to detect Radon and meaningfully reduce exposure is low.

Bill Rounds, President at Radonova, said: “We work with strategic partners, like Radon Environmental, to enable our products to be accessed by a wide variety of organizations. Remember, radon gas cannot be detected without the proper equipment. This means, while it is easily remedied when detected, cases of non-detection pose a great risk to humans in an unmonitored house, building or school. We offer state-of-the-art technology which mitigates this risk.”

Radon Environmental President & CEO, Alan Whitehead commented: “We are delighted to have teamed up with the Ontario Lung Association to provide Radonova’s short and long-term alpha track radon detection devices. We supply many local health authorities and public testing initiatives across Canada with these devices and our partnership with the OLA will lead to increased public awareness and radon testing in Ontario. Radonova is the world leader in alpha track technology, their laboratory is the only ISO17025 certified alpha track testing facility of its kind, so our clients can be confident in the lab analysis and its QA process. One of the features that our clients like the most is RadOnline, Radonova’s on-line customer portal. Through MyPages, customers can easily input measurement data, retrieve reports, and have an overview on every project, in real-time.”

To learn more about radon testing and to purchase a test kit, homeowners can visit here. Short and long-term radon tests include delivery of confidential lab test results.

Radonova is the laboratory of choice for numerous government radon surveys, as well as other public and private sector large scale measurement contracts around the world.  A truly global laboratory, Radonova is active in over 50 countries and has performed millions of measurements.

For more information on radon and radon measurement visit www.radonova.com.
For more information, please contact Bill Rounds, President of Radonova
Phone: +1.331.814.2201, E-mail: bill.rounds@radonova.com