Thoron Mitigation from Building Materials with Surface Barriers

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Abstract

Thoron (220Rn) exhalation from building materials has become increasingly recognized as a potential source for radiation exposure in dwellings. However, few studies have focused on mitigation strategies to reduce exposure from thoron and its progeny. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to (1) determine the reduction in thoron exhalation from building materials applied with regularly available surface barriers and (2) investigate the effects from surface roughness of the base material, barrier thickness, and surface cover on the thoron-retaining action of the surface barrier. The findings from this study demonstrate that regular surface barriers provide a potentially significant reduction in thoron exhalation, which can reach more than 90%. Despite this reduction, there are also materials that provide no reduction at all. Based on this work, no commonly available product property could be identified that provides good guidance on the barriers’ performance to reduce thoron exhalation.

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