Simulation of the Steady-State Transport of Radon from Oil intoHouses with Basements under Constant Negative Pressure Page: 4 of 297
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SIMULATION OF THE STEADY-STATE TRANSPORT OF RADON FROM SOIL
INTO HOUSES WITH BASEMENTS UNDER CONSTANT NEGATIVE PRESSURE
Celso de Oliveira Loureiro
CoChairs: James E. Martin, Linda M. Abriola
Normal conditions in a house can produce negative pressures as high as 20 Pa relative
to the outside. This underpressure, which is a maximum at the base of the house (the
basement, for instance), can induce a flow of soil gas into the house, through cracks or any
other openings in the understructure of the building. Radon (Rn-222), which is produced
in the soil and mixed in the soil gas, can then be transported into the house through a
complex combination of molecular diffusion and forced convection. In many of the cases
where high levels of indoor radon concentrations have been observed in houses, the soil gas
has been concluded to be the main source.
A theoretical model was developed to simulate this phenomenon, under some specific as-
sumptions. The model simulates: 1) the generation and decay of radon within the soil; 2)
its transport throughout the soil due to diffusion and convection induced by the pressure
disturbance applied at a crack in the basement; 3) its entrance into the house through the
crack; and 4) the resultant indoor radon concentration. The most important assumptions
adopted in the model were: 1) a steady-state condition; 2) a house with a basement; 3) a
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de Oliveira Loureiro, Celso. Simulation of the Steady-State Transport of Radon from Oil intoHouses with Basements under Constant Negative Pressure, thesis or dissertation, May 1, 1987; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc882214/m1/4/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.