Use of natural basement ventilation to control radon in single family dwellings

A. Cavallo, K. Gadsby, T. A. Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Natural basement ventilation has always been recommended as a means of reducing radon levels in houses. However, its efficacy has never been documented. In these experiments, natural ventilation has for the first time been studied systematically in two research houses during both the summer cooling season and the winter heating season. Ventilation rates, environmental and house operating parameters, as well as radon levels, have been monitored. It can be definitively concluded from radon entry rate calculations that natural ventilation can reduce radon levels two ways. The first is by simple dilution. The second is by reducing basement depressurization and thus the amount of radon-contaminated soil gas drawn into the structure. Therefore, basement ventilation can be an effective mitigation strategy under some circumstances. It might be especially useful in houses with low radon concentrations (of the order of 370 Bq m -1) or those with low levels and which cannot be mitigated cost-effectively with conventional technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2251-2256
Number of pages6
JournalAtmospheric Environment Part A, General Topics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Air exchange
  • infiltration
  • pollution
  • radon
  • residential buildings
  • soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution


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