INADEQUACY OF THORON DOSE CALCULATIONS FROM THORON PROGENY MEASUREMENT ALONE

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Abstract

To determine the dose received by thoron (220Rn) domestically, conventional methods measure the activity concentration of thoron progeny only (namely the 212Pb atoms) and calculate the dose by using a set of conversion factors. This may be due to the measurement of progeny being simpler since it is longer lived and will be evenly spread throughout the room, whereas the thoron gas, with its short half-life, will exist only near the source and hence will not be of major concern for the majority of the room. However, concrete walls are a source of thoron, and spending prolonged amounts of time near them may lead to greatly increased radiation exposure, the degree of which is not revealed through progeny activity alone. The present paper compares the energy received from the ionising radiation of both thoron gas and thoron progeny near its source. Converting the energy dose to radiation dose is not within the scope of this paper. The results suggest a difference of an order of magnitude higher when taking into account the dose received by thoron gas.

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