RADON AND PROGENY SOURCED DOSE ASSESSMENT OF SPA EMPLOYEES IN BALNEOLOGICAL SITES

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Abstract

This study was conducted in the scope of IAEA project with the name ‘Establishing a Systematic Radioactivity Survey and Total Effective Dose Assessment in Natural Balneological Sites’ (TUR/9/018), at the Health Physics department of Sarayköy Nuclear Research and Training Center (SANAEM). The aim of this study is estimation of radon and progeny sourced effective dose for the people who are working at the spa facilities by measuring radon activity concentration (RAC) at the ambient air of indoor spa pools and dressing rooms. As it is known, the source of the radon gas is the radium content of the earth crust. Therefore, thermal waters coming from ground may contain dissolved radon and the radon can diffuse water to air. So the ambient air of spa pools can contain serious RAC that depends on a lot of parameters. In this regard, RAC measurements were executed at the 70 spa facilities in Turkey. The measurements were done with both active and passive methods at ambient air of spa pools and dressing rooms. Thus, active measurements were carried out by using the Alphaguard® with diffusion mode during half an hour, and passive measurements were carried out by using the humidity resistive CR-39 radon detectors during 2 months. Results show that RAC values at ambient air of spa pools varies between 13 Bq m−3 and 10 kBq m−3. Because long-term measurements are more reliable, if it is available, for dose calculations passive radon measurements (with CR-39 detectors) at ambient air of spa pools and dressing rooms were used, otherwise active measurement results were used. With the measurement by the conversion coefficients of ICRP 65 and occupational data of the employees has got from questionary forms, effective dose values were calculated. According to the calculations, spa employees are exposed to annual average dose between 0.05 and 29 mSv because of radon and progeny.

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