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Seasonal Peak for the Radonova Instrument Workshop

By Measurement No Comments

The season for measuring ground radon is nearly upon us. This coincides with there being a sharp increase in the global demand for reliable radon instruments. For Fredrik Lindén and his colleagues at Radonova’s radon instrument production department, this equates to long days to fulfil customer requests.

”When assembling radon instruments we use state-of-the-art technology, but there is still a requirement for experience and craftsmanship. Our quality standards are very high, and every instrument that is manufactured here is tested for reliability to ensure it is field ready”, comments Fredrik Lindén.

Focus on timely, fast delivery

“To meet market demand, we are currently focusing on producing high volumes of MARKUS 10 – a portable, battery-powered instrument. We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver quickly, therefore we have to stay one step ahead of orders to ensure our stock is always able to accommodate future sales. Every instrument consists of numerous components, which means we have a very close relationship with our suppliers to ensure that all deadlines are met. Parts used to create our instruments are as important as each other, therefore high standards are expected throughout the supply chain”, continues Fredrik Lindén.

Robustness and ease of use

“For a product to be successful it needs to be robust, user-friendly and thoroughly tested – these are critical manufacturing factors for us. MARKUS 10 is a very good example. As you would expect, customers demand a reliable instrument and we always strive to exceed those expectations. Prior to each final assembly, we test all components based on our own high internal standards”, concludes Fredrik Lindén.

MARKUS 10 – an overview

Ground radon is the most common cause of elevated radon levels. MARKUS 10 is a precision instrument that measures high radon concentrations. It is portable and battery-powered. Attach the MARKUS 10 and hollow measurement probe to the ground and simply press a button to start measuring. Air is pumped through the probe tube into a chamber that detects radon daughters (fine solid particles which result from the radioactive decay of radon gas). Following the pumping phase, the measurement phase commences. The result is presented in the display after 12 minutes.

Seasonal Peak for the Radonova Instrument Workshop

Is radon only in basements

By Home, Measurement No Comments

Radon is completely odorless as well as being invisible. Because it is often found unexpectedly in basements, some people mistakenly believe that it only occurs in basements. This is a dangerous assumption that may damage your ability to protect your home if you are not careful.

Most commonly homes with basements are suspect for having higher radon levels. The fact that porous foundation walls allow radon gas to enter a home is no secret and with most basements containing a sump well, there are many access points from which radon can enter a home.

However, homes above a crawl space suffer the same fate. Whether your crawl space is a dirt crawl (unfinished), poured concrete (finished), or even lined with a protective barrier, radon can still enter your home. Additionally, with its closer proximity to the ground, the living areas of the home may be more susceptible to radon as it does not have the same amount of time to decay in a full basement prior to entering living areas.

Not to be forgotten, homes built on a slab are also at risk for high radon levels. As a matter of fact, homes built on a slab to not have the ‘buffer’ of a basement or crawl space to absorb and dissipate radon gas before it enters the living area of a home.

There is truly no single style of home that is not prone to radon gas and potentially highly dangerous levels.

What about new homes built with radon-resistant construction techniques?

As early as 1990 some homes have been built using radon-resistant materials and with pre-piped radon mitigation systems installed. Clean gravel “airflow layers”, vapor barriers, additional polyurethane caulking, and vent pipes are all widely used. However, as the name states, these techniques are radon ‘“resistant” and cannot fully remove the risk of a high radon level. Testing should still be performed to determine a homes radon level and in instances when a high radon level is present, some of the installed vent pipes used for passive radon reduction can easily be converted to an active system by a professional radon mitigation specialist.

Other sources of radon

If you have certain building materials in your home, then you need to worry about radon sources other than just below your home. In general, naturally occurring stone, rock and brick building materials always contain some Uranium that decays into Radon… These types of stone typically used for countertops and/or fireplace mantels may be a potential source of radon in your home. In most cases, the amount of radon immediate here is not a huge problem, but you need to know for sure.

In general, detection is your number one weapon against radon exposure. Make sure that you test your home regularly. This is the only ways that you will be able to protect yourself against the detrimental effects of radon in your home.

More informations about radon here.

Is radon only in basements

Radonova launches ROBIN2 – a professional radon sensor with high sensitivity

By Measurement, News No Comments

Radonova Laboratories has launched ROBIN2, broadening its range of radon measurement technologies. The latest version of ROBIN is twice as sensitive as its predecessor and includes an improved response function for optimum compliance with rapid changes in radon levels.

ROBIN2 is a state-of-the-art radon sensor that can be deployed as a fixed installation in smart homes for monitoring and reducing radon levels. It can be mounted in all types of ventilation control units where there is a requirement to monitor radon levels. It can be easily connected to a controller, central unit, data logger, fan control system or PLC and is available in various formats.

The new response function improves measurement accuracy as radon levels fluctuate. This is due to its improved sensitivity, which reduces error at lower levels, otherwise it is limited by deteriorating statistics due to the pulse rate being too low. ROBIN2 has a new motherboard that is more insulated and weather resistant. ROBIN2 is available as a standard or industrial version which can be used for mining. The mining version has enhanced protection against dust and moisture and is optimized for underground measurements.

– I’m delighted that Radonova has enhanced the capabilities of ROBIN, which was the first radon sensor of its kind when it was first launched in 2016. ROBIN2 is without doubt a market-leading detector, due to its new response function and overall stability, said Dag Sedin, a senior advisor at Radonova, who was integral to ROBIN’s initial launch.

ROBIN2 is available now.

About ROBIN2

ROBIN2 measures the radon content of air in Bq/m³ and gives an analog output signal of 1-10V, proportional to the concentration of radon in the air. Compared to its predecessor, ROBIN2 has improved sensitivity and a larger and more efficient measuring chamber. The output signal is also more stable and more consistent with the real radon content variation. If required, the measurement range can be defined by the customer. The radon sensor is protected against electromagnetic interference and can be connected to a thyristor controller. The transducer is mountable without directional dependence and can be permanently installed in a room, ventilation shaft or air handling unit. The mining version has enhanced moisture protection and is built for an underground environment.

Additional features:
• Can measure accurately in both laminar and turbulent airflow
• High sensitivity to provide good time resolution
• Great flexibility and can be customized for OEM

For more information on ROBIN2 visit our dedicated website
For more information about radon and radon measurement visit our website

ROBIN2

Radtrak2® – the world’s leading detector for long-term radon measurement

By Measurement No Comments

With over four million units sold globally, Radtrak2® is the most widely used radon detector for obtaining a reliable and accurate annual mean of radon levels in the home or workplace. Here is a short summary of its features:

Simple, foolproof assembly

The Radtrak2 unit is simple to construct. Included is a plastic top and bottom as well as a transparent plastic film made of CR-39 which is placed at the centre of the radon detector. During measurement, air leaks in through a very small gap between the top and the bottom. When the radon gas in the air decays to radon daughters, radioactive alpha particles are created. When these hit the transparent plastic film, tracks are formed in the film. After the measurement period, the number of tracks is used to calculate the radon level.

Environmentally friendly and robust technology

Since the detector is made of plastic and there are no moving parts, the radon detector rarely malfunctions. Radtrak2 can be used in very demanding environments and is not damaged if dropped on the floor. It is very difficult not to get an accurate measurement when using Radtrak2®. As long as you specify the start and stop times and use an accredited laboratory, you are guaranteed a reliable result. Radonova’s laboratory is always reusing the top and bottom parts of the detector, saving both cost and the environment. The only thing that is not reused is the transparent plastic film which is used for analysis.

Clean plastic film and fine-tuned, accredited analysis

When analysing the transparent plastic film (CR-39), there are certain requirements and stipulations which must be met. Firstly, a clean film must be used, placing demands on the manufacturing process of the detectors. Without an original pure film, it is not possible to analyse the number of tracks accurately after the measurement period. You must also take into account how much radon gas the plastic film has been exposed to before it is placed and sealed in the detector. Similarly, you must make allowances for the film being exposed to radon when it is sent back to the laboratory. Through a carefully controlled process, the laboratory calibrates various plastic films against a known radon source. Well-established routines are necessary to mitigate against error. Therefore, always purchase a radon detector from an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory such as Radonova. At Radonova, quality checks are continuous, ensuring that the radon measurement is correct.

Why measure for radon?

Every year around 230,000 people die of lung cancer caused by radon exposure. Radon gas is part of the element of the uranium decay chain and since uranium is found in many places in the earth’s crust, radon is found almost everywhere. High levels of radon can be found in regions which have a large concentration of rock or have a cool climate. The latter is due to the fact that radon gas levels are usually high in insulated houses that are heated. To be fully aware of radon levels, homeowners should always measure.

Most countries in the world require measurements that provide an annual mean, which usually entails a measurement period of over three months.

Radtrak2

The world’s most accurate radon detector for short-term measurement turns 20

By Home, Measurement No Comments

Radonova has been supplying Rapidos radon detectors for 20 years. In that time, over 250,000 units have been manufactured which have mainly been used for short-term measurements (between seven to ten days). This type of measurement gives a good indication of radon levels that may exist in the home or workplace. Normally, Rapidos detectors are used when you do not have enough time to take a long-term measurement and obtain an annual average – which requires a measurement period of at least three months in most countries.

High accuracy when compared to market alternatives

There are many types of radon detectors for short-term measurement. However, none are as reliable as Rapidos.

“Rapidos continues to be unique, not least because of its large chamber volume for detection and the clean, transparent plastic film that is placed inside the detector. After 20 years of use by customers from all over the world, we know that Rapidos remains the leading and most popular detector for short-term radon measurement”, says Karl Nilsson, CEO of Radonova Laboratories.

Rapidos consists of a plastic lid and bottom with a gap that lets in the air which is measured. Radioactive alpha particles arising from the decomposition of radon gas leave traces in the transparent plastic film made by C39. In order to obtain a precise measurement, it is crucial that you obtain sufficient traces of the film which can then be analysed, especially in view of the short measurement time. The large measurement chamber enhances the detection speed to provide an improved statistic for short-term measurement.

“Many suppliers use the same type of detector for both long and short-term measurement, which in all honesty does not provide sufficient accuracy. Detectors like Rapidos have too small a measurement volume for long-term measurement requirements”, continues Karl Nilsson.

Ideal to use when selling or buying a house

Rapidos is mainly used in relation to the sale or purchase of a property. In this scenario, you often don´t have time to wait for a long-term radon measurement. However, by using Rapidos you still get a very good indication of radon levels. The analyse provided is usually adequate enough to decide whether a radon-lowering measure is required. In contrast to long-term measurement (which is conducted to obtain an annual average value), short-term measurements can be done all year round. In many countries, long-term measurements are only conducted when the heating is on at home or in the workplace, which is normally between October and April.

Why measure radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that leaks from the ground and in some cases comes from building materials. Depending on the ground beneath the house and the type of building construction, harmful high concentrations of radon can occur. Second to smoking, it is the cause of most lung cancer cases in the world.

Globally, an estimated 230 000 people are affected each year by lung cancer as a result of long-term exposure to radon. Lung cancer is one of the cancers that has the highest mortality, with only 20 percent of those affected surviving five years after the initial diagnosis. Therefore, it is essential to monitor for radon to ensure that it does not exceed the applicable national limit values. Note, limit values vary from country to country. However, if you order a radon measurement from Radonova it is straightforward to check which limit value applies to your country.

Short-term measurement

Canon Business Center Conducts Reliable and Effective Radon Measurement in the Workplace

By Measurement, Workplace No Comments

In order to comply with the EU’s new Radiation Protection Directive, a new Radiation Protection Act came into force in 2018. This means that for the first time, the issue of exposure and measurement of radon in both workplaces and homes is included in different European countries Radiation Protection Acts.

We met Canon’s sales manager Mats Sonesson at their Uppsala office in Sweden. Here, Mats tells us what they did to comply with the new law to ensure employees were working in a radon-safe environment.

How did you approach the issue of carrying out radon measurement in your office?
We wanted to know that the office we rent is okay and that our employees are not exposed to radon levels which are above national guidelines. As an employer, we are legally responsible to ensure our employees are not exposed to any health risks in the workplace. Understanding and controlling radon levels is a key element of that.

What was your experience of conducting an accredited radon measurement?
It was surprisingly easy. The first few days our employees wondered what the radon detectors were for, but after that they just blended into the office to the extent that we almost forgot to send them back for analysis! Registering information on Radonova’s website was straightforward and we received clear instructions on where the detectors should be placed. We fixed the detectors with zip-ties to make sure they weren’t damaged when our office was cleaned.

Have you been able to use the radon measurement you conducted in terms of your wider environmental responsibilities?
Yes, we are sending the report from the radon survey to our central office as it is something that illustrates how we are reducing our environmental impact and meeting environmental legal requirements in line with ISO 14001.

Why did you choose Radonova as your supplier?
As we are accredited according to ISO 14001, it was sensible to order the radon measurement from Radonova as the company is accredited according to ISO 17025, 14001 and 9001. Radonova’s website assures quality at a cost-effective price and in general the site is easy to navigate and order from.

Finally, do you have any advice to employers who have not yet measured radon in their workplace?
Considering how easy it is, and the fact that the law now requires measurement, the question is really why shouldn’t you do it? The measurement process is so straightforward. If the measurement would have indicated that a workplace has radon levels which are above legal levels, a significant health risk would have been identified. In that respect, it is comforting to be aware that any radon issue is being addressed and managed. In our case, the measured radon content was below the reference level.

Introducing MARKUS 10 – Measuring Radon Content in Soil

By Measurement, News No Comments

As part of a wider strategic growth initiative, Radonova acquired the radon measurement instrument division of Gammadata Instruments earlier this year. The acquisition broadened Radonova’s portfolio of radon measurement technologies by adding several advanced instruments and products to its offering.

Here we take a more in-depth look at MARKUS 10, one of the state-of-the-art radon monitors developed and manufactured by Gammadata, a portable, battery-powered precision instrument for determining radon content in soil – designed with simplicity at its core.

MARKUS 10 Overview

Attach the MARKUS 10 and hollow measurement probe to the ground and simply press a button to start measuring. The soil air is pumped through the probe into a measurement chamber which detects radon daughters (charged isotopes produced from the decay of radon gas which are attached to particles and aerosols). A water lock prevents the chamber from being flooded. The result is presented in the display after 12 minutes.

MARKUS 10 in Action

During the initial measuring phase, air from the soil is pumped up through a sounding tube into a measuring cell. The pumping time (about 30 seconds) ensures that soil gas overfills the chamber.

A pressure sensor stops the pump if the pressure in the tube drops below a given value. When the pressure rises, the pump starts again. The pump’s running time is always the same, which guarantees a certain minimum volume of air that can be measured.

Following the pumping phase, the measurement phase commences. The detector is activated and the voltage to the measuring chamber is switched on. The charged radon daughters are driven towards the detector by an electric field in the chamber. The detector registers the alpha radiation originating from the radon daughters.

The detector pulses are amplified and filtered in a single channel analyser that only accepts pulses from the short-lived radon daughter polonium 218. This eliminates the slow variations in the background from polonium 214. The pulses are counted and the result is shown in text on the instrument’s display (kBq/m3 radon-gas activity).

The display flashes during the measuring phase and becomes steady when the measurement is completed. As the instrument only counts pulses from the short-lived nuclide polonium 218, a new measurement can be started after just 18 minutes. In that time, activity from the previous measurement will have decayed sufficiently.

MARKUS 10 accessories include an aluminium case, charger, water seal, handle, impact rod, spanner to sounding tube and replaceable tip.

Technical Specifications:

Pump capacity: 1.8 lit/min
Effective pumping time: 30 sec
Lower pressure limit: 0.95 Atm
Type of detector: Passivated Implanted Planar Silicon (PIPS™) Detectors
Active area of detector: 100 mm²
Window thickness: 200 µm
Energy resolution of detector: < 16 keV (in vacuum)
Battery capacity: About 70 measurements
Battery type: Lead
Recharging time: 8 hours
Accuracy of measurement: 10 % at 50 kBq/m³ (1350 pCi/l)
Measurement time: Typically 12 minutes
Measurement range: 1– 199kBq/m³
Dimensions: 220 x 122 x 80 mm (L x H x D)
Weight 3 kg

More information about MARKUS is available here»
More information on radon and radon measurement can be found here»

Introducing MARKUS 10 – Measuring Radon Content in Soil

Accreditation guarantees accurate radon measurement

By Measurement, News No Comments

Accreditation guarantees the quality of a radon measurement, in part because the laboratory’s measurement processes are regularly checked by independent organizations. However, most of the world’s radon laboratories are not accredited, which to many might seem a little strange. Why is this? Firstly, accreditation entails a large additional cost and secondly customers do not demand it, but this is expected to change.
The definition of an accredited radon measurement is a measurement obtained using radon detectors from a laboratory which is accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 and follows the instructions that accompany the detectors.

Why is accreditation important?

When a customer orders a radon measurement, the expectation is that the measurement is conducted professionally and accurately – a non-accredited laboratory cannot guarantee this.
– An incorrect procedure can, for example, lead to measuring too low values, although the user is actually measuring an indoor environment with high radon levels. For those who live or work in such an environment, the risk of suffering from lung cancer increases and unfortunately the individual will not be aware of this. Conversely, carrying out a measurement that incorrectly shows too high values also has undesirable consequences. This means time and money is invested to reduce radon levels even though it is not necessary, comments Karl Nilsson, CEO of Radonova Laboratories.
The conclusion is therefore obvious: always use radon measurement technology from an accredited laboratory. In Sweden, the authorities also require accreditation.

What differentiates an accredited radon laboratory?
An accreditation according to the laboratory standard ISO/IEC 17025 sets a quality level for the business. This includes mandatory requirements for quality systems and competence.

Factors that differentiate Radonova from other providers:

  • Our measurement processes are continuously revised by an independent government agency. They check that we meet different measurement standards and ISO/IEC 17025. In Radonova’s case, it is SWEDAC, the national accreditation body for Sweden, that continuously tests that the company is competent to carry out the accredited tests.
  • We are monitored for impartiality – there should be no self-interest for Radonova to provide a certain measurement result. For example, if you conduct radon consulting, it could be tempting to show too high values because it would generate more jobs. We do not do that.
  • We continuously calibrate our measuring equipment and radon detectors against a known radon source, e.g. Radon chamber of the Radiation Safety Authority.
  • We participate in demanding national and international comparison tests.

Note, accreditation may relate to different measurement methods. Therefore, it is important to check what types of measurements a laboratory is accredited for. Radonova is accredited for both indoor air and water measurements. Here you will find more information about Radonova and our accredited measurement methods.

Customers can trust a measurement from Radonova

Since October 1995, Radonova has been an accredited test laboratory for radon. This means that we can guarantee high quality and accurate radon measurements. With accreditation and the market’s fastest delivery and analysis times, we have become the first choice for individuals and businesses who want to carry out a correct radon measurement as efficiently as possible.

Measuring radon in water – Radonova gets top marks in EU test

By Measurement, News No Comments

Radonova Laboratories has achieved excellent results in the comparative EU test “REM 2018”. The test measures the incidence of radon in water and compares participating laboratories’ analytical results with a reference value. Radonova’s analysis had an average deviation of 3.1 per cent in relation to the reference value. Deviations up to 15 per cent are judged to be an acceptable result.  

“This is a large-scale international test that demonstrates that Radonova’s method of measuring radon in drinking water is reliable and very precise. Radon in water does not necessarily present a major problem. However, radon that evaporates into indoor air when, for example, we take a shower, wash up or do laundry, can be a health hazard. For this reason it is important for studies and tests of this kind to be conducted,” comments Tryggve Rönnqvist, technical manager at Radonova Laboratories.

The comparative test covers a total of 101 participating laboratories, some of which have been involved in more than one analysis. The full name of the test is “REM 2018 radon-in-water proficiency test”.

About radon gas in water     

Radon in water easily evaporates into the air. This in turn can contribute to raised radon levels in the indoor air, and leads to an increased risk of lung cancer. Radon levels of 1,000 Bq/l can add roughly another 100 Bq/m³ to the indoor air. It is primarily radon gas in drinking water from drilled wells that must be measured, in order to ensure that the water does not contain dangerous levels of radon.

For further information about radon in water, visit https://radonovalaboratories.com/questions-and-answers-about-radon-in-water/

ATMOS: New version of the world’s lightest and most sensitive radon sniffer

By Measurement, News No Comments

Radonova Laboratories is launching a completely new version of the radon sniffer ATMOS. The new version weighs 4.5 kg , has a new design, several new features and enhanced software functionality. The new ATMOS is designed to enable even faster and more efficient radon measurements in the field. The latest version of ATMOS is now commercially available.
The instrument has been developed to meet the needs of an international market that is growing and demanding modern, user-friendly instruments for radon measurement.

Increased demand for radon measurement

The need for reliable and flexible field instruments has increased as more and more homes and workplaces show increased levels of radon.
In the case of a radon inspection, the user normally searches for the leakage of radon and therefore needs an instrument that can quickly display the correct radon content. Therefore, there is sometimes a need to measure the variation of radon every minute and in various contexts to clarify daytime variations. In this circumstance, ATMOS makes the radon consultant’s everyday life easier and more efficient.

Fast and reliable measurement reports

ATMOS is unique because it is the most sensitive and lightest instrument that can be used both in the field and in a laboratory.
– Thanks to its light compact format and general portability, ATMOS can easily be taken out for radon inspection of properties. The updated software makes it very easy to extract data and quickly create reliable measurement reports. The latest version of ATMOS enables radon consultants to conduct considerably more measurements compared to other instruments on the market in a 24 hour period, says Patrik Starck, technical physicist and Radonova’s development manager.
– Compared to previous versions, the instrument has essentially been completely redesigned. The only part that remains is the measuring chamber. That particular part is based on a proven technique and it is doubtful whether you can improve the design, continues Patrik Starck.

Growing international market

Previous versions of ATMOS have mainly been delivered and used in Sweden. With increased international demand, Radonova has scaled production at the company’s plant in Uppsala.
– It is of course gratifying when we now see clear demand outside Sweden. The new ATMOS has been launched after several years of research and development. The positive response from the market is an acknowledgment that more and more people and businesses are seeing the benefits of the instrument, comments Karl Nilsson, CEO, Radonova Laboratories.

New ATMOS specifications:

  • Light and compact, simplifying field work
  • Weight: 4.5 kg Size: 290 x 190 x 200 mm (W x H x D)
  • New software enables fast and secure measurement reports
  • The pulsation chamber has high sensitivity and a fast response time
  • Chirp function – listens to how high the content is in confined spaces
  • Communication to PC via USB
  • > 10 year history for measurement data

The basic version of ATMOS costs SEK 89,450 excluding VAT.

Risks with radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when the substance Uran238 decomposes. Thereafter, the radon gas, in turn, decomposes into radond daughters. Radon daughters are radioactive metal atoms that get stuck in our airways during inhalation. When this disintegration occurs, radiation is emitted from the radon daughters that can damage the cells in our airways and lungs. In the worst case, they can cause cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3-14 percent of all lung cancer cases are caused by radon depending on where you live. Therefore, WHO recommends a radon level limit of 100 Bq/m3.

ATMOS product description

ATMOS has a built-in dehumidification to ensure that the moisture content of the air does not interfere with the measurement. The dehumidifier works in saturated moisture at temperatures up to 40ºC. 40 degrees C. ATMOS also shows a table of the 10 latest measured levels per selected integration time. To each calculated radon measurement the user is presented with the associated uncertainty in measurement. The dehumidification of the air in ATMOS takes place automatically and is fully integrated in the instrument. The atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity of the air are shown in the display and stored together with each measurement. Due to the fact that the measurement value is displayed directly at a new measurement, the user does not have to wait for the end of the measuring cycle.
ATMOS includes software for analyzing measurement data. The display is a 3.5 ? touch screen that shows the radon content in Bq/m³, the uncertainty since the start time of the measurement, integration time, measurement time, time and date. In addition, a field storage bag with detachable lid, 24VDC mains adapter and 3 meter hose with instrument adapter are included. The readout and reporting software works in Windows and is included with the instrument. The software is used to read out stored measurement data to evaluate time variations and energy spectrum. In addition, the software is compatible with older versions of Windows.
The instrument measures the alpha decay of radon and its daughters and is completely insensitive to gamma radiation. The alpha energies of the different isotopes are detected and the radon concentration is displayed in a touch display on the instrument. The user selects the desired integration time, the longer the time the more accurate the measurement. The measurement energy spectrum is stored every 10 minutes during the measurement and always gives the user the opportunity to quality-assure the measurement data. A measurement value is displayed directly at a new measurement and the user does not have to wait.

More information about new ATMOS is available here»
More information on radon and radon measurement can be found here»