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Effect of Residential Radon Decay Product Dose Factor Variability on Reporting of Dose

Harley, Naomi, H.*

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000828

Guidelines for occupational exposure to radiation are based on annual absorbed or effective dose. Guidelines for 222Rn exposure are currently based on air concentrations of 222Rn or decay products. Models of bronchial dose from decay product exposure are based on calculations that have five major parameters with parameter variabilities ranging from 20 to 50%. Many countries currently use the ICRP dose conversion convention, which is a ratio of lifetime 222Rn lung cancer risk to lifetime atomic bomb dose risk. The results of ongoing epidemiology changed both lifetime risk values, and the dose conversion convention has increased by a factor of 2. Therefore, the current dose conversion convention risk ratio is to be replaced by biokinetic dosimetric models. The main effect of variability in the value of 222Rn dose factors on industry is that the workplace atmosphere must be characterized accurately, and at present, this is not possible. A history of the dose factor models is central to factor development. The values of the dose model parameters are described illustrating the difficulty in calculation of a dose factor with universal applicability. The objective is to show the range of each parameter and the effect of the dose factor used when reporting occupational or residential bronchial dose.

*New York University School of Medicine, Hoboken, NJ 07030.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Naomi H. Harley, New York University School of Medicine, 1 Marine View Plaza, Apt 24E, Hoboken, NJ 07030, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 27 November 2017)

© 2018 by the Health Physics Society