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A geostatistical approach to assess the spatial association between indoor radon concentration, geological features and building characteristics: the case of Lombardy, Northern Italy.

Borgoni R, Tritto V, Bigliotto C, de Bartolo D - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2011)

Bottom Line: Firstly, we mapped indoor radon concentration in a large and inhomogeneous region using a geostatistical approach which borrows strength from the geologic nature of the soil.Secondly, knowing that geologic and anthropogenic factors, such as building characteristics, can foster the gas to flow into a building or protect against this, we evaluated these effects through a multiple regression model which takes into account the spatial correlation of the data.This allows us to rank different building typologies, identified by architectonic and geological characteristics, according to their proneness to radon.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Statistics, University of Milan-Bicocca, Via Bicocca degli Arcimboldi 8, 20126 Milan, Italy. riccardo.borgoni@unimib.it

ABSTRACT
Radon is a natural gas known to be the main contributor to natural background radiation exposure and second to smoking, a major leading cause of lung cancer. The main source of radon is the soil, but the gas can enter buildings in many different ways and reach high indoor concentrations. Monitoring surveys have been promoted in many countries in order to assess the exposure of people to radon. In this paper, two complementary aspects are investigated. Firstly, we mapped indoor radon concentration in a large and inhomogeneous region using a geostatistical approach which borrows strength from the geologic nature of the soil. Secondly, knowing that geologic and anthropogenic factors, such as building characteristics, can foster the gas to flow into a building or protect against this, we evaluated these effects through a multiple regression model which takes into account the spatial correlation of the data. This allows us to rank different building typologies, identified by architectonic and geological characteristics, according to their proneness to radon. Our results suggest the opportunity to differentiate construction requirements in a large and inhomogeneous area, as the one considered in this paper, according to different places and provide a method to identify those dwellings which should be monitored more carefully.

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Geological types of Lombardy.
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f4-ijerph-08-01420: Geological types of Lombardy.

Mentions: The obtained geological map, consisting of eleven geological types or classes, is reported in Figure 4. Subsequently, each sampling point was assigned to one of the eleven types by linking the sample locations to the geological map [40]. Table 2 shows some summary statistics of IRC by geological classes. Geological classes with the highest IRC are Debris, Dolomite and Acid rocks. The geologic typologies, as coded above, are secondary information mostly aiming at grasping large scale spatial variation; however these typologies are a poor measure of local behaviour. As mentioned above, geology can also act at a lower scale mostly through the tectonic framework as it can be expected that high IRC levels are found close to tectonic lineaments since cracks and holes can foster the gas to flow upwards from deeper origins. In order to account for this local geological component, we considered the distance of each sample location to the closest tectonic lineaments.


A geostatistical approach to assess the spatial association between indoor radon concentration, geological features and building characteristics: the case of Lombardy, Northern Italy.

Borgoni R, Tritto V, Bigliotto C, de Bartolo D - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2011)

Geological types of Lombardy.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3108118&req=5

f4-ijerph-08-01420: Geological types of Lombardy.
Mentions: The obtained geological map, consisting of eleven geological types or classes, is reported in Figure 4. Subsequently, each sampling point was assigned to one of the eleven types by linking the sample locations to the geological map [40]. Table 2 shows some summary statistics of IRC by geological classes. Geological classes with the highest IRC are Debris, Dolomite and Acid rocks. The geologic typologies, as coded above, are secondary information mostly aiming at grasping large scale spatial variation; however these typologies are a poor measure of local behaviour. As mentioned above, geology can also act at a lower scale mostly through the tectonic framework as it can be expected that high IRC levels are found close to tectonic lineaments since cracks and holes can foster the gas to flow upwards from deeper origins. In order to account for this local geological component, we considered the distance of each sample location to the closest tectonic lineaments.

Bottom Line: Firstly, we mapped indoor radon concentration in a large and inhomogeneous region using a geostatistical approach which borrows strength from the geologic nature of the soil.Secondly, knowing that geologic and anthropogenic factors, such as building characteristics, can foster the gas to flow into a building or protect against this, we evaluated these effects through a multiple regression model which takes into account the spatial correlation of the data.This allows us to rank different building typologies, identified by architectonic and geological characteristics, according to their proneness to radon.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Statistics, University of Milan-Bicocca, Via Bicocca degli Arcimboldi 8, 20126 Milan, Italy. riccardo.borgoni@unimib.it

ABSTRACT
Radon is a natural gas known to be the main contributor to natural background radiation exposure and second to smoking, a major leading cause of lung cancer. The main source of radon is the soil, but the gas can enter buildings in many different ways and reach high indoor concentrations. Monitoring surveys have been promoted in many countries in order to assess the exposure of people to radon. In this paper, two complementary aspects are investigated. Firstly, we mapped indoor radon concentration in a large and inhomogeneous region using a geostatistical approach which borrows strength from the geologic nature of the soil. Secondly, knowing that geologic and anthropogenic factors, such as building characteristics, can foster the gas to flow into a building or protect against this, we evaluated these effects through a multiple regression model which takes into account the spatial correlation of the data. This allows us to rank different building typologies, identified by architectonic and geological characteristics, according to their proneness to radon. Our results suggest the opportunity to differentiate construction requirements in a large and inhomogeneous area, as the one considered in this paper, according to different places and provide a method to identify those dwellings which should be monitored more carefully.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus