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American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, Inc.

By Joshua J Jones, David W, Joshua J. Kerber, David B. W. Jones and Karla Peterson


Occupational exposure to radon-222 (222Rn) can be a significant source of ionizing radiation, Water treatment plant (WTP) operators may be at increased risk of ^ ~ n exposure resulting from water treatment processes. To evaluate this risk, we placed alpha track radon detectors (ATDs) and continuous radon monitors in three Minnesota water treatment plants. Results from a twenty-eight day screening study revealed integrated ^ ~ n concentrations above EPA's action level of 4.0 pCi/L and some over OSHA's standard of 30 pCi/L for a 40-hour workweek. Elevated hourly ^ ~ n concentrations were correlated to filter media backwash cycles when water was aerated inside the plant. Working level months were calculated for times operators were present and these results were compared to the integrated samples from the ATDs. Since occupational exposure to ^ ~ n can exceed federal standards, it is practical to monitor WTPs where treatment processes can increase ^ ~ n exposure to WTP operators and provide recornmendations to lower operator's exposures

Year: 2003
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