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Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research

Project 571: Radon, Health and Natural Hazards


Executive Summary
ResearchersProf G K Gillmore (Project Leader), Kingston University, UK
R G M Crockett (University of Northampton, UK)
F Perrier (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France)
T A Przylibski (Politechnika Wroclawska, Poland)
B S Bajwa (Guru Nanak Dev University, India)
V Walia (National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering, Taiwan)
Funding Body/SourceIGCP
Duration2009 - 2014
Project SummaryThe project focuses on a variety of impacts and hazard-associated manifestations of radon gas. This divides into two overlapping areas of interest: radon as a health hazard (recent research shows there is no 'safe' lower limit for radon exposure) and radon as an indicator of crustal processes and geohazards (use as a possible earthquake / landslide / volcanic hazard monitor and precursor)

The project focuses on a variety of impacts and hazard-associated manifestations of radon gas. This divides into two overlapping areas of interest:

  • radon as a health hazard
  • recent European research has demonstrated that there is no 'safe' lower limit for radon exposure
  • radon as an indicator of crustal processes and geohazards
  • understanding the behaviour and drivers of radon gas is very important and helpful for hazard planners, both concerning radon itself and using it as a possible earthquake / landslide / volcanic hazard monitor and precursor

By considering these, the project has a high headline potential for bringing together the dispersed research on radon hazard within interdisciplinary context and facilitating potential scientific advancement, involving:

  • geological and environmental sciences
  • medical sciences
  • engineering and architecture

The project aims are to organise international and local/regional meetings and to generate and disseminate material for training courses. The project will also significantly promote international co-operation over and above formal meetings and benefit to society will be worldwide.

The project will include universities, governmental and non-governmental bodies, commercial companies and local councils - on a global scale. There are currently five universities/institutions from five countries involved, from which the co-ordinating group is drawn, with a people from universities/institutions in a further nine countries having expressed their intention to become involved. Intended activities and outputs are:

  • NHESS special issue drawn from the 2009 EGU General Assembly launch session (in progress)
  • websites at host universities/institutions
  • oral and poster presentations and short-course at 2010 EGU General Assembly
  • workshops and working groups at 2010 EGU General Assembly
  • establishment of local / regional working groups
  • student training program and instrument training
  • meetings and published proceedings
  • self-running PowerPoint slides
  • and guidance notes in PDF form will be available on the website
  • project book

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