Underground air returns as active transportation pathways for radon gas entry into homes

K. J. Kearfott, R. L. Metzger, Keith Holbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Levels of elevated 222Rn in homes can fail to correlate with measured radium concentrations in soils and surrounding rocks for reasons which can include water sources, building materials, and unusual variations in climate or building construction. Several homes were identified in the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area with soil radium concentrations of e0.074 Bq g-' (2.0 pCi g-') which had elevated radon concentrations unexplained by geological sources alone. Continuous monitoring of eight houses under different conditions of cooling system usage revealed a definite role of the underground air returns as active transport pathways contributing to the enhancement of the indoor concentration of 222Rn in six of the houses. The ratio of indoor 222Rn concentrations on days when the cooling system was operated continuously compared to days the system was off ranged from essentially one up to a factor exceeding 10.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-673
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • 222Rn
  • Indoor
  • Monitors
  • Radioactivity
  • Radon
  • Radon
  • Removal of

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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