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Abstract  

It is suggested to spend some time in a cave for curing respiratory diseases. Some ascribe the healing effect partly to radon. In Hungary in the Hospital Cave of Tapolca the mean radon concentration shows 17 times difference in the winter and in the summer period. The change of the forced exhaled volume in 1 s (FEV1) values was examined measured by 1824 patients in this cave. By 70% of the patients the FEV1 value improved, by 30% it became worse but these were independent from the radon concentration of the cave. Therefore, radon concentration has no positive effect during the treatments performed in Tapolca.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: J. Somlai, G. Szeiler, P. Szabó, A. Várhegyi, S. Tokonami, T. Ishikawa, A. Sorimachi, S. Yoshinaga, and T. Kovács

Abstract  

In the last few decades attention has been given to improve workplace conditions, primarily to reduce the different health risks. In the air that accumulates in underground workplaces radon may constitute one of the health risks. The radon concentration in the show cave in Tapolca is especially high in summer months, with the annual average in the year 2005 being 7227 Bq/m3, in 2006 8591 Bq/m3. The radon concentration was found to be independent on the location of the measurement. Its value was rather similar for working hours and for the total period. The hours spent in the cave by the workers depend on the number of visitors. The radiation dose, estimated on the basis of personal dosimeters, is significant for those working there especially, employed during the whole year. Taking into consideration the actual working hours and the equilibrium factor, F = 0.4, given in the literature, it approaches and even exceeds the dose limit of 20 mSv/year. With a well organized work schedule, as well as the employment of outside workers during the summer period, the dose limit of 20 mSv/year can probably be maintained. However, on the basis of recent measurements, the actual equilibrium factor was determined to be F = 0.5, which in turn means a further 25% increase in the dose effect.

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