New findings on radon research: Face masks reduce radiation exposure
Schematic drawing of the sampling head used to measure radon and radon progeny (EQF 3220, Sarad GmbH, Dresden, Germany) with measurement fractions assigned to their element the place they connect. Air passes by means of the system, and unattached progeny are retained within the grid, whereas clustered progeny primarily stay caught on the tube and connected progeny on the filter, respectively. Credit score: Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being (2022). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph191811337

The radioactive noble gasoline radon has anti-inflammatory therapeutic results but additionally comprises dangers. Radon and particularly its short-lived progeny are thought-about to be accountable for about half of the annual radiation publicity from pure sources and are labeled as carcinogenic.

Researchers from the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung now have confirmed in a paper revealed within the Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being that —each FFP2 and surgical masks—strongly scale back lung publicity and thus the dose of radiation.

This may present a easy and cost-effective technique of safety for people who find themselves uncovered to greater ranges of radon and its progeny, corresponding to in workplaces, for instance in radon galleries or radon baths.

The analysis challenge, with the participation of GSI scientists Annika Hinrichs, Claudia Fournier, Gerhard Kraft and Andreas Maier, was carried out as a part of the “GREWIS-alpha” consortium. GREWIS, a German acronym, stands for “the genetic dangers and anti inflammatory impact of ionizing radiation.” The phrase “alpha” stands for the densely ionizing alpha particles which might be emitted when radon and its daughter nuclei decay.

Radiation biologist Professor Claudia Fournier from the Biophysics Division of GSI is the general coordinator of this joint challenge, by which GSI is cooperating with TU Darmstadt, Goethe College Frankfurt, and the Friedrich-Alexander College of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

“GREWIS-alpha” is meant to increasingly refine questions regarding radon and supply new insights into very totally different features, for instance relating to the bodily and , but additionally relating to the injury after radon publicity and attainable methods to raised management and reduce radiation dangers. Right here, the present publication gives essential insights.

The short-lived progeny of the naturally occurring radioactive noble gasoline radon connect to different particles or droplets forming bigger aerosol particles, adhere to the lungs when inhaled, and deposit their decay power there, damaging delicate lung tissue. Radon itself is immediately inhaled. These progeny are thought-about accountable for greater than 95% of the entire efficient dose and are, along with radon, labeled as carcinogenic for lung most cancers.

Consequently, filtration of the progeny might considerably scale back the dose to the lungs. Within the current research, the researchers investigated the filtering properties of FFP2 masks and of surgical masks (II R) for radon and its decay merchandise.

For the research, the masks had been connected to a measurement system, which enabled dedication of the totally different measurement fractions of radon progeny, starting from very small decay merchandise (so-called unattached progeny) to medium-sized decay merchandise (so-called clustered progeny). In parallel, it measured the radon exercise focus throughout experiments. By evaluating background measurements with out masks and experiments with masks, the proportion of retained small decay merchandise was decided for FFP2 (98.8 %) and II R masks (98.4 %). For medium-sized decay merchandise, the retained fraction was 85.2 % for FFP2 and 79.5 % for II R masks. Radon was not filtered.

The outcomes present strong steerage that facemasks are efficient in filtering radon progeny and can considerably scale back the focus of radon progeny within the respiratory system, whereas radon shouldn’t be filtered. However, filtering can result in decrease doses to the lungs throughout radon publicity and thus to a for lung most cancers.

Apart from normal, pure occurring publicity of the general public, that is additionally essential for occupational publicity, for instance in radon galleries or radon baths. The radioactive aspect radon is used within the type of baths or inhalations in these therapeutic caves and baths to deal with many sufferers, and it has met with success.

The pain-relieving results of low-dose radon therapies for sufferers affected by painful persistent inflammatory diseases have been recognized for hundreds of years. These therapies are used for ailments of the locomotor system corresponding to rheumatism and arthrosis, in addition to ailments of the respiratory system and the pores and skin, together with neurodermatitis and psoriasis.

In these therapy services, enhanced ranges of and may be measured. This makes environment friendly air flow crucial, however as the present findings present, the carrying of facial masks may be a straightforward and cost-efficient technique for dose discount within the workers. Moreover, it may possibly additionally scale back the publicity to airborne particles basically.

Extra data:
Annika Hinrichs et al, Radon Progeny Adsorption on Facial Masks, Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being (2022). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph191811337

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GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung

Face masks discovered to scale back radiation publicity (2022, December 15)
retrieved 15 December 2022

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