Airborne Radon in Homes in Summit County, Ohio: A Geographic Analysis

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The purpose of this study was to: 1) create a GIS data base with 546 radon readings from mainly single-family homes in Summit County, OH; and 2) to describe the geographic pattern of indoor radon in the county. The average radon level was 4.01 pCi/L, just at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recommended action level. Thirty-two percent of the homes in the county exceeded that level. Geologic factors that influence indoor radon concentrations are areas where the Ohio shale and soils combined with high uranium content underlie the surface. Soils with high permeabilities also yield high radon levels. Positive correlations exist, albeit not all are statistically significant, between radon activity and air temperature, soil permeability, surface uranium concentration, and proximity to underground mines. A negative correlation was found to exist between radon reading and barometric pressure. Houses with basements also have higher radon readings than those built on slabs. No significant difference was found in seasonal indoor-radon concentrations.


Author Institution: Department of Geography/Planning and Department of Biology, The University of Akron



The Ohio Journal of Science. v97, n1 (March, 1997), 17-23