Indoor radon (222Rn) in a public workplace of Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico and level of worker exposure


The inhalation of radon gas (222Rn) induces lung cancer in humans. The objective of this research was to quantify the 222Rn levels in a public office. The study was carried out in two stages; in the first stage (FS), the 222Rn was determined at three high levels (0.74 m, 1.33 m and 2.06 m) away from the main door, while in the second stage (SS) it was determined at the center of the office. The concentration was obtained with a portable AlphaGuard device, Professional Radon Monitor. An ANOVA analysis was performed for each step (α = 0.05), considering a factorial arrangement design 3×2. For both FS and SS were detected statistical differences for the height factor (p < 0.05) and time factor (p < 0.05), but not for the interaction (p > 0.05). The 222Rn concentration was greatest at the height of 0.74 m (161.31 Bq m-3 in FS and 168.21 Bq m-3 in SS) which is higher than that of the international standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) of 100 Bq m-3 and higher than the standards of the United States of America (USA) of 148 Bq m-3.
PDF (Español (España))


Armienta MA, Rodríguez R, Segovia N, Monteil M. (2010). Medical geology in Mexico, Central America and the caribbean. In, Medical Geology, a Regional Synthesis. Olle Selenius, Robert B. Finkelman, Jose A. Centeno editors. Springler, Wahington DC, USA.

Barquero J, Fernandez E, Monnin M, Seidel JL, Segocia N. (2005). Water chemistry and radon survey at the Poas Volcano (Costa Rica). Ann. Geophys. 48:33–42.

Cartagena R , Olmos R, Lopez DI, Soriano T, Barahona F, Hernandez PA, Perez NM. (2004) Diffuse soil degassing of carbon dioxide, radon and mercury at San Miguel Volcano, El Salvador. Nat. Hazard Salvador Geol. Soc. Am. 375.

Collignan, B.; Powaga, E. Impact of ventilation systems and energy savings in a building on the mechanisms governing the indoor radon activity concentration. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 2017.

Colmenero SL, Montero CME, Villalba L, Renteria VM, Torres ME, Garcia LM, Garcia TR, Mireles GF, Herrera PF, Sanchez AD. (2004). Uranium-238 and thorium-232 series concentrations in soil, radon-222 indoor and drinking water concentrations and dose assessment in the city of Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico. J. Environ. Radioactivity 77, 205–219.

Connor Ch, Hill B, La Femina P, Navarro M, Conway M. (1996). Soil 222Rn pulse during the initial phase of the June-August 1995 eruption of Cerro Negro, Nicaragua. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 73(1-2):119-127.

Dahlkamp F.J. (2010). Uranium deposits of the world USA and Latin America. Springer Science & Business Media. 499 p.

Darby S, Hill D, Auvinen A, Barros DJM, Baysson H, Bochicchio F, Deo H, Falk R, Forastiere F, Hakama M. (2005). Radon in homes and risk of lung cancer: Collaborative analysis of individual data from 13 European case-control studies. Br. Med. J. 330, 223–227. Elster, J., Geitel, H. (1901). Physik Z. 2: 590-593.

EURATOM, 1990. EUR-Lex. 90/143/EURATOM: Recomendación de la Comisión EURATOM, de 21 de Febrero de 1990, Relativa a la Protección de la Población Contra Los Peligros de una Exposición al Radón en el Interior de Edificios; European Union (EU): Brussels, Belgium, 1990.

Gray, A.; Read, S.; McGale, P.; Darby, S. Lung cancer deaths from indoor radon and the cost effectiveness and potential of policies to reduce them. BMJ 2009, 338, a3110.

Krewski D, Lubin JH, Zielinski JM, Alavanja M, Catalan VS, William Field R, Klotz JB, Létourneau EG, Lynch, C.F., Lyon JL, Sandler DP. (2006). A combined analysis of North American case-control studies of residential radon and lung cancer. Journal of Toxicol Environ Health A. 69:533-597.

Kulali F, Akkurt I, Ozgun N. (2017). The effect of meteorological parameters on radon concentration in soil gas. Acta Physica Polonica A. Vol. 132-No. 3-II: 999-1001. DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.132.999

Lerma-Treviño C, Rubio-Arias H, Colmenero-Sujo L, Villalba M de L, Ochoa-Rivero JM. (2018). Indoor radon gas (222Rn) levels in homes of Aldama, Chihuahua Mexico and the risk of lung cancer. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(7):1337. Doi:103390/ijerph15071337.

Lubin JH, Wang ZY, Wang LD, Boice JD, Cui HX, Zhang SR, Conrath S, Xia Y, Shang B, Cao JS, Kleinerman RA. (2005). Adjusting lung cáncer risks for temporal and spatial variations in radon concentration in dwellings in Gansu Province, China. Radiat Research 163 (5):571-579.

Manchado A, Cervantes P, Lantigus L. (2005). Evidencias sobre la hormesis por 222Rn en el balneario Elguea, Cuba. Proceedings of the First Convention on Earth Sciences, La habana.

NRC. (1999). National Research Council. Health Effects of Radon: BEIR VI; National Academy Press: Washington, DC, USA.

OMS (2015). Organización Mundial de la Salud. El Radón y sus efectos en la salud. Nota descriptiva. Consultado en;

Ramsay W, Gray RW. (1910). Density of the emanation of radium, Comptes Rendus 151:126-128.

Rizo M.C., Echarri, I.V. (2018). The radon gas in underground buildings in clay soils. The plaza Balmis Shelter as a paradigm. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 10; 1004; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051004

Rubio A.H.O., Jiménez, C.J. (2012). Estadística aplicada con análisis en minitab. 1ª. Edición. Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua. 169 p.

UNSCEAR (2000). Exposures from Natural Radiation Sources (Annex B); Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation to the General Assembly; UNSCEAR: New York, NY, USA, 2000; pp. 123–124

UNSCEAR (2008). United Nations. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation; Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation: Fifty-sixth Session (10–18 July 2008) (No. 46); United Nations Publications: New York, NY, USA, 2008.

Villalba M L, Colmenero-Sujo L, Rubio-Arias H, Pinales-Munguía A, Valdés E, del Socorro M, De la Garza R, Silva-Hidalgo H, Viramontes-Olivas O. (2015). Cuantificación de radón (222Rn) en aire y dosis de radiación en baños termales del norte de México. Nova scientia, 7(15):153-167.

Villalba M L, Colmenero-Sujo L., Pinales-Munguia A, Estrada-Gutiérrez G., Rubio-Arias H, Mireles-García F, Dávila-Rangel I. (2013). Analysis of health risk due to the presence of radioactive and chemical elements in groundwater, Aldama municipality, Chihuahua, México. Journal of Environmental Protection 4:1265-1271.