The potential risk from [sup]222 radon posed to archaeologists and earth scientists: reconnaisance study of radon concentrations, excavations and archaeological shelters in the great cave of Niah, Sarawak, Malaysia

Gillmore, Gavin, Gilbertson, David, Grattan, John, Hunt, Chris, McLaren, Sue, Pyatt, Brian, Banda, Richard mani, Barker, Graeme, Denman, Antony, Phillips, Paul and Reynolds, Tim (2005) The potential risk from [sup]222 radon posed to archaeologists and earth scientists: reconnaisance study of radon concentrations, excavations and archaeological shelters in the great cave of Niah, Sarawak, Malaysia. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 60(2), pp. 213-227. ISSN (print) 0147-6513

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Abstract

This reconnaissance study of radon concentrations in the Great Cave of Niah in Sarawak shows that in relatively deep pits and trenches in surficial deposits largely covered by protective shelters with poor ventilation, excavators are working in a micro-environment in which radon concentrations at the ground surface can exceed those of the surrounding area by a factor of >×2. Although radon concentrations in this famous cave are low by world standards (alpha track-etch results ranging from 100 to 3075 Bq m−3), they still may pose a health risk to both excavators (personal dosemeter readings varied from 0.368 to 0.857 mSv for 60 days of work) and cave occupants (1 yr exposure at 15 h per day with an average radon level of 608 Bq m−3 giving a dose of 26.42 mSv). The data here presented also demonstrate that there is considerable local variation in radon levels in such environments as these.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Board, the British Academy and the University of Adelaide.
Uncontrolled Keywords: radon, health risk archaeologists, earth scientists, caves, Sarawak
Research Area: Geography and environmental studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science (until 2011) > School of Geography, Geology and Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Gavin Gillmore
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2011 14:50
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/1367

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