An investigation of cleaner's exposure to radon

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

An investigation of cleaner's exposure to radon


Author: Kwan, Wai-ming
Title: An investigation of cleaner's exposure to radon
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2001
Subject: Cleaning personnel -- Health and hygiene
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: x, 50, [47] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the Cleaners' Exposure to Radon. Based on the time budgets survey results among random samples of the cleaners, radon concentrations were measured in various representative locations where the cleaners frequently stayed. The results showed that the cleaners spent most of their time (around 90 percent) indoors. Cleaners spent about 9.94 hours and 11.02 hours inside their home for both weekdays and weekend respectively. They would also be on duty at weekend in collecting / packing the domestic wastes form residential buildings. It was found that the radon concentration at various respective workplaces, home, public place and outdoor of cleaners ranging from a value from 24.5 to 187.2 Bq/m3, 32 to 127.6 Bq/m3, 78.7 to 99.4 Bq/m3 and 9.3 to 26.7 Bq/m3 respectively. All these measured radon level satisfied the 200Bq/m3 set by Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department. The indoor radon level was close to outdoor radon level when high air exchange rate is expected. Effect of atmospheric temperature inversion effect was significant in some sites where the indoor radon level follows the outdoor trend with peak at dawn and the lowest level in the afternoon. Ventilation plays an important role in controlling indoor radon concentration. Increasing the fresh air supply or air exchange rate can dramatically reduce the radon level to an acceptable level. It is highly recommended to provide adequate ventilation for the indoor areas, especially staircase in order to maintain the radon concentration at a safe level. The total (24 hours) and occupational exposure of cleaners to radon for weekdays was found to be 112.5 Bq/m3 and 102.5 Bq/m3 respectively. For the weekend condition, the total (24 hours) and occupational exposure of cleaners to radon was found to be 116.0 Bq/m3 and 109.4 Bq/m3 respectively. They were all below the guidelines set by World Health Organization, Hong Kong Environment Protection Department of HKSAR, United State Environmental Protection Agency, etc. and therefore is considered to be safe.

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