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The Radon Gas in Underground Buildings in Clay Soils. The Plaza Balmis Shelter as a Paradigm

Department of Building Construction, University of Alicante, Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig, s/n, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051004
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
In healthy buildings, it is considered essential to quantify air quality. One of the most fashionable indicators is radon gas. To determine the presence of this element, which is harmful to health, in the environment, the composition of the soil is studied. The presence of radon gas within a building depends both on the terrain in which it is located and on the composition of the materials of which it is composed, and not as was previously believed, only by the composition of the soil (whether granitic or not). Many countries are currently studying this phenomenon, including Spain where the building regulations regarding the accumulation of radon gas, do not list in their technical codes, the maximum dose that can a building can hold so that it is not harmful to people and the measures to correct excessive accumulation. Therefore, once the possible existence of radon in any underground building has been verified, regardless of the characteristics of the soil, the importance of defining and unifying the regulations on different levels of radon in all architectural constructions is evident. Medical and health science agencies, including the World Health Organization, consider that radon gas is a very harmful element for people. This element, in its gaseous state, is radioactive and it is present in almost soils in which buildings are implanted. Granitic type soils present higher levels of radon gas. Non-granitic soils have traditionally been considered to have very low radon levels. However, this paper demonstrates the relevant presence of radon in non-granitic soils, specifically in clayey soils, by providing the results of research carried out in the underground air raid shelter at Balmis Square in Alicante (Spain). The results of the measurements of radon accumulation in the Plaza Balmis shelter are five times higher than those obtained in a similar ungrounded building. This research addresses the constructive typology of an under-ground building and the radon presence in its interior obtained using rigorous measurement techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: radon; underground building; construction materials; healthy architecture; environment; heritage construcion radon; underground building; construction materials; healthy architecture; environment; heritage construcion
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Rizo Maestre, C.; Echarri Iribarren, V. The Radon Gas in Underground Buildings in Clay Soils. The Plaza Balmis Shelter as a Paradigm. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1004.

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