The WHO handbook on indoor radon is a key product of the WHO International Radon Project, which as launched in 2005. The handbook book focuses on residential radon exposure from a public health point of view and provides detailed recommendations on reducing health risks from radon and sound policy options for preventing and mitigating radon exposure.
The material in the handbook reflects the epidemiological evidence that indoor radon exposure is responsible for a substantial number of lung cancers in the general population.
The material is organized into six chapters, each introduced by key messages. Usually, technical terms are defined the first time they are used, and a glossary is also included. Information is provided on the selection of devices to measure radon levels and on procedures for the reliable measurement of these levels. Discussed also are control options for radon in new dwellings, radon reduction in existing dwellings as well as assessment of the costs and benefits of different radon prevention and remedial actions. Also covered are radon risk communication strategies and organization of national radon programmes.
This publication is intended for countries planning to develop their national radon programmes or extend such activities, as well as for stakeholders involved in radon control such as the construction industry and building professionals.
The overall goal of this handbook is to provide an up-to-date overview of the major aspects of radon and health. It does not aim to replace existing radiation protection standards, rather it emphasizes issues relevant to the comprehensive planning, implementation and evaluation of national radon programmes.
1. HEALTH EFFECTS OF RADON
1.1 Lung cancer risks in radon-exposed miners
1.2 Lung cancer risks in the general population from indoor radon
1.3 Radon and diseases other than lung cancer
1.4 Burden of lung cancer caused by indoor radon
2. RADON MEASUREMENTS
2.1 Measurement devices
2.2 Measurement protocols
2.3 Quality assurance for radon measurements
3. RADON PREVENTION AND MITIGATION
3.1 Organization of radon prevention and mitigation actions
3.2 Radon prevention strategies in new constructions
3.3 Radon mitigation strategies in existing buildings
4. COST EFFECTIVENESS OF RADON CONTROL
4.1 The framework of cost-effectiveness analysis
4.2 Previous economic evaluations of radon prevention and mitigation
4.3 Example of a cost-effectiveness analysis
5. RADON RISK COMMUNICATION
5.1 Fundamentals, strategies and channels
5.2 Framing radon risk issues for risk communication
5.3 Core messages for radon risk communication
5.4 Communication campaigns
6. NATIONAL RADON PROGRAMMES
6.1 Organization of a national radon programme
6.2 National radon surveys
6.3 National reference levels
6.4 Building regulations and building codes
6.5 Identification and remediation of homes with high radon concentrations