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Ionising radiation

Environmental Radioactivity - Medicine - Occupational Radiation Protection - Nuclear Hazards Defence

Ionisierende Strahlung

Radon measurements

The Radon Calibration Laboratory of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) regularly carries out comparative tests for passive radon measuring devices with solid-state track detectors or electrets.

Inside the Radon Chamber

Radon Calibrating Laboratory

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) operates an accredited calibration service laboratory for quality assurance of radon and radon progeny measurements. The laboratory offers calibration, type tests and comparison tests for measurement devices. Besides, it carries out scientific investigations on the metrological background, evaluation and improvement of measuring methods. The Radon Calibration Laboratory is accredited by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS). It maintains a quality management system and is assessed regularly.

Diffusion chamber

Measurement methods

Measurements of radiation exposures from Radon-222 can be performed using either passive measurement devices or direct-reading devices. Passive measurement devices include radon diffusion chambers equipped with nuclear track detectors, providing readings proportional to the radiation imparted by radon during the period of measurement. These measurement devices are particularly suitable for long-term studies covering several months. Direct-reading devices should be used to measure the current radon concentration and to study its variation with time.

Interlaboratory comparison and proficiency testing of passive radon measuring devices

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection's (BfS) Radon Calibration Laboratory performs interlaboratory comparisons for passive radon measuring devices. These comparisons serve the purpose of quality assurance for institutions performing and evaluating radon measurements either for the monitoring of occupationally exposed persons or for households. National as well as international measuring institutions can participate. For the first time in 2019, an additional proficiency testing of the interlaboratory comparison results will be performed upon request.

The current interlaboratory comparison of passive radon measurement devices will take place in the 1st quarter of 2019.

Quality assurance

Depending on the type of measuring device, the calibration of measuring devices or the regular participation in comparative tests carried out by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) are a fundamental requirement for the quality assurance of radon measurements. Furthermore, radon measuring services handing out passive measuring devices have to demonstrate their organisational and professional competence through accreditation or approval.

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