Territory Stories

Air and water concentrations of radon in Alice Springs and Santa Teresa houses, 1984



Air and water concentrations of radon in Alice Springs and Santa Teresa houses, 1984


Alcock, J. F.; Johnston, G.; Northern Territory. Department of Mines and Energy. Water Resources Division


E-Publications; PublicationNT; E-Books; Technical Report ; No. 11/1985




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).


This report details results of integrated radon measurements taken in and around five houses at Alice Springs. Radon concentrations were measured in reticulated water supplies, household rooms and outdoor air. The reticulated water supply and bathroom air of two houses in Santa Teresa were also measured. The possible significance of the water supply as a source of indoor atmospheric radon is discussed. Recommendations for further reticulated water supplies discussed. sampling and implications for in the Northern Territory are discussed.


prepared by J. Alcock & G. Johnston

Table of contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Sampling programme -- 3. Analysis and results -- 4. Health -- 5. Conclusions and recommendations -- 6. Acknowledgements -- 7. References.




Water quality -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs Region; Air quality -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs Region; Radon measures

Publisher name

Department of Mines and Energy. Water Resources Division.

Place of publication

Alice Springs (N.T.)


Technical Report ; No. 11/1985


38 pages : illustrations and maps ; 30 cm.

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Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

Related links

http://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/hpa-services/techreport?report_id=WRA85011; Also available online in pdf format from NRETA maps http://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/hpa-services/techreport?report_id=WRA85011; http://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/hpa-services/techreport?report_id=WRA85011 [Also available online in pdf format from NRETA maps]

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Technical Report WRA85011 Viewed at 03:02:19 on 18/02/2010 Page 7 of 38. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Purpose of the Report A 1923 survey of the occurrence of radiurn-226 supplies in Central Australia found appreciable isotope {Reference 1)~ in qroundwater levels of that ,, This study follows the recommendations of the previous report, specifically to investigate 1.2 radon concentrations in reticulated water supplies in the Alice Springs area. radon concentrations in air within selected houses, and the role of the water supply as a source of radon. health effects of observed radon concentrations. to identify future sampling programmes and highlight possible strategies to reduce radon levels. Properties of Radon Radon is the heaviest of the inert gases with atomic number 86. The element is radioactive and decays rapidly by alpha disintergration, and has two important naturally occurring isotopes radon-222 and radon-220 formed by alpha disintegration of radium isotopes from the uranium-238 and thorium-232 decay chains, figures 1.2 (a), (b). Radon-222 has a half life of 3.82 days and radon-220 has a half life of 51.5 seconds. Radon is soluble in water 1 approximately 0.01 EBa/L at standard temperature and pressure (Reference 2). Hence groundwater in contact with uranium and thorium bearinq soils and rock can dissolve larqe activities of radon. Radon can also diffuse throuqh pore spaces in rocks and ore bodies and emanate into the atmosphere and is the main source of natural background radioactivity in the lower atmosphere (Reference 3). Levels in the atmosphere depend earth's surface, meteoroloqical Thus radon is highly mobile naturally occurring radioactive upon the emanation rates from the conditions and surface topography. in comparison with the other elements. 4

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