Public Lab Research note


A Test For Household Radiation

by Dave-O | February 14, 2017 21:47 | 63 views | 2 comments | #13928 | 63 views | 2 comments | #13928 14 Feb 21:47

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So there are several types and sources of radiation occurring in our world both naturally occurring and due to industries. Natural Occurring Radiation Materials (NORM) is all around us both in large and small quantities. Some of the natural occurring radiation materials include terrestrial NORM and Cosmogenic Norm. Industries that produce NORM are the coal energy industry, coal mining,oil and gas production as well as metal, smelting, mineral sands, tin production, tantulum and niobium, Rare Earth Elements (RRE), uranium production, phosphates and fertilizer production and the list goes on and on.

Some of the more common household items emit trace elements of radiation as well. For instance this is a small list of building materials that contain NORM: concrete, Aerated concrete, clay bricks, sand-lime bricks and sandstone, natural building stones, natural gypsum, cement, tiles, and phosphogypsum,

In fact, two common household items that emit radiation are ceramic coffee mugs and granite countertops.

NORM_radiation_detection.PNG

veterinary_x-ray_badge.png MY HYPOTHESIS I believe that granite counter tops will record more radiation emission than a ceramic mug but less radiation from the sun.

The Test I will be using dosimeter monitors to measure radiation exposure within the ceramic mug (not the same mug as the above picture) and to test the exposure from my granite counter tops in the kitchen. I will also use one dosimeter to measure the UV radiation from the sun for the purpose to compare the exposure rates from all three sources.

sun.png

The Results The dosimetry reports will show the radiation exposure depending on the source, if known. Here is a sample report of how the exposure is measured and reported. All reports are show in MR (millirem).

Dosimetry_Report_for_radiation_protection.PNG Picture Credit: dosimeterbadge.com Sources: Australian Nuclear Forum Inc., Information Paper No. 1, August 2002,Trace Elements in Australian Coals, Argonne National Laboratory, Web page on the Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) program on the website for Environmental Science Division (www.evs.anl.gov), last accessed July 2011 Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency's (Arpansa's) Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council web page on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material, last accessed July 2011. Brookhaven National Laboratory, National Nuclear Data Centre website http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/ , accessed July 2011. Cooper, M. B. 2005 Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) in Australian Industries - Review of Current Inventories and Future Generation, ERS-006, A Report prepared for the Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) website (www.csiro.au), Trace elements in Australian export thermal coals. Figures for average concentrations of uranium and thorium in Australian coal are in Fact Sheets on Uranium in Australian export thermal coals and Thorium in Australian export thermal coals . Dale, L.; 2006, Trace Elements in Coal, Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) Report No. 2 [Back] Dosimeter Badge Services web page on dosimetry reporting on the Dosimeter Badge Services website (http://www.DOSIMETERbadge.com) Eisenbud, M.; and Gesell, T. F. 1997, Environmental Radioactivity from Natural, Industrial & Military Sources, Fourth Edition: From Natural, Industrial and Military Sources, Academic Press (ISBN: 9780122351549) European Commission (Directorate-General Environment, Radiation Protection) 2003, Radiation protection 132: MARINA II, Update of the MARINA Project on the radiological exposure of the European Community from radioactivity in North European marine waters European Commission (Directorate-General for Energy and Transport), 2003 Radiation Protection 135: Effluent and dose control from European Union NORM industries: Assessment of current situation and proposal for a harmonised Community approach, Volume 1: Main Report. European Union Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2014:013:0001:0073:EN:PDF Gabbard, A. 1993, Coal Combustion: Nuclear Resource or Danger?, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Review, Vol. 26, Nos. 3&4 Gooding, T.D.; Smith, K. R.; Sear, L.K. 2006, A radiological study of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) from UK coal-fired power stations, joint paper by the Health Protection Agency and the United Kingdom Quality Ash Association (UKQAA) presented at the UKQAA's Ash Technology Conference 2006 (AshTech 2006) held in Birmingham, UK on 15-17 May 2006 Gonzalez, A, J., 2011, Radiation Protection, presentation given at the World Nuclear University Event – ‘Key Issues in the World Nuclear Industry Today’, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. International Atomic Energy Agency, 2014, Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards, STI/PUB/1578 (July 2014) International Atomic Energy Agency, 2015, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM VII), Proceedings of seventh international symposium, Beijing, China, April 2013, STI/PUB/1664. (ISBN: 978–92–0–104014–5) International Atomic Energy Agency, 2015, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM VII), Proceedings of seventh international symposium, Beijing, China, April 2013, STI/PUB/1664. (ISBN: 978–92–0–104014–5) International Atomic Energy Agency, 2003,Extent of Environmental Contamination by Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) and Technological Options for Mitigation, Technical Reports Series No. 419, STI/DOC/010/419 (ISBN: 9201125038) International Atomic Energy Agency, 2003, Radiation Protection and the Management of Radioactive Waste in the Oil and Gas Industry, Safety Report Series No. 419, STI/PUB/1171 (ISBN: 9201140037) McBride et al., 1977, Radiological Impact of Airborne Effluents of Coal-Fired and Nuclear Power Plants, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL-5315 Mishra, U. C. 2004, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 72, Issues 1-2, Pages 35-40, Environmental impact of coal industry and thermal power plants in India. Sparton Resources web page on uranium secondary recovery on the Sparton Resources website (www.spartonres.ca) Swaine, D. J. Trace Elements in Coal, Butterworth-Heinemann, July 1990 (ISBN: 9780408033091) United Kingdom Quality Ash Association (UKQAA) website www.ukqaa.org.uk. See also UKQAA Technical Datasheet 8.5, Radiation and Fly Ash United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, 2008, Exposures of the Public and Workers from Various Sources of Radiation, Annex B to Volume I Report to the General Assembly, Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation, available on the UNSCEAR 2008 Report Vol. I webpage United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, 2006, Sources-to-effects assessment for radon in homes and workplaces, Annex E to Volume II of the Report to the General Assembly, Effects of Ionizing Radiation, available on the UNSCEAR 2006 Report Vol. II webpage United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, 2000 Exposures from natural radiation sources, Annex B to Volume I of the Report to the General Assembly, Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation, available on the UNSCEAR 2000 Report Vol. I webpage (www.unscear.org/unscear/en/publications/2000_1.html) U.S. Energy Information Administration (April 2010) U.S. Coal Supply and Demand 2009 Review. U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet FS-163-97, 1997 Radioactive Elements in Coal and Fly Ash: Abundance, Forms, and Environmental Significance.


2 Comments

Hi, I remember a radiation test of some kind in my basement when I was a kid; I wonder if it was the same type? Do you have to send this into a lab to get the results back?

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@warren there are several types of radiation test kits available depending on what type of radiation source you are dealing with. The type of dosimeter you see in the picture above is a passive dosimeter mainly distributed in hospitals and nuclear labs where radiation exposure is present in a working environment (mostly from X-rays, radiology and nuclear medicines). This particular type is a TLD which is exposed for a particular period of time and then analyzed at an NVLAP accredited laboratory. I ordered the passive dosimeter at www.dosimeterbadge.com There are several companies out there who do this sort of thing. I'm just interested in the type of readings that will return from exposing them to these household items.

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