Radon, water and abandoned metalliferous mines in the UK: environmental and human health implications

Gillmore, G, Grattan, J, Pyatt, B, Phillips, P.S and Pearce, G (2002) 'Radon, water and abandoned metalliferous mines in the UK: environmental and human health implications.' In: Merkel, B.J, Planer-Friedrich, B and Wolkersdorfer, C, eds. Uranium in the aquatic environment: proceedings of the international conference 'Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology III and the International Mine Water Association Symposium' Freiberg, Germany, 15-21 September 2002. Springer, Berlin, pp. 65-76. ISBN 9783642628771

Official URL: https://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783642628771

Abstract

A study has been undertaken of radon gas levels in the atmosphere in abandoned metalliferous mines that were exploited primarily for tin in South-West England, UK, and compared to levels in an old lead mine in northern England, UK. Measurements have been taken since 1992 in the South-West of radon in the air using a variety of measuring techniques. Extremely high radon gas levels have been noted in a number of these mines, one of the highest levels recorded in Europe was recorded at 3,932,920 Bq m-3 in a shallow adit of an ex-uranium mine. The health implications for casual users / explorers of such mines are shown to be considerable. Even outside such mines, in adit entranceways, very high atmospheric radon levels were recorded of, for example, 200,000 Bq m-3. The heavy metal content of stream-water that flows from such mine adits together with dissolved radon content has also been measured and assessed in terms of potential health effects. A combination of heavy metal pollution and radiation can have a considerable impact on health and this research recommends that further research should be undertaken in such environments.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Divisions: School of Sciences
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 21:25
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:56
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