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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Radon and mine exploration.
rikj

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 29/07/2011 08:56:57
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This is from a post on the Subbrit mailing list. Link posted for interest.

http://www.northampton.ac.uk/news/article/184/



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Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 29/07/2011 09:59:02
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I get a page not found error.

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Hé ! Ki kapcsolva le a villanyt ?
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rikj

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 29/07/2011 10:47:12
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Don't know why but AN is not including the final / in the URL. Add that in the new window and it works.


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Roger L

Joined: 01/06/2010
Location: Huddersfield

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 29/07/2011 10:49:42
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Hi Rick
That is heavy going. The building regs brought in treatment to new housing stock I think in the 1990s where certain areas had to have membrains and underfloor ventilation.
I West Yorkshire the areas concerned where usualy over a granit plug in the ground.

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RL
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carnkie

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Joined: 07/09/2007
Location: camborne, cornwall

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 29/07/2011 10:53:00
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[web link]

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Roy Morton

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Joined: 09/10/2007
Location: Redruth Cornwall

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 30/07/2011 01:41:40
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Does anyone know who the 'sunburnt' archaeologists/mine explorers are? Shocked
The article mentions that 2000 people per year die of Radon related cancers. My question is - Is the incidence of such cancers higher in the underground community than in the general public?
I wonder if they based their figure of 4000 underground explorers on member numbers from BCA? if so then their estimates are wildly inaccurate.
4 hours per month recommended!.....sounds like SWMBO has had a hand in all this Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Imageo

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 30/07/2011 08:15:11
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This sounds like a bit of a beat-up. I can imagine radon levels being 'absolutely huge' (whatever that means) somewhere like Kingswood where there's a pitchblende vein but anywhere that there's any through ventilation is hardly going to be a problem. MInd you, I've been red-faced a few times climbing out of some old workings but I thought it was because I was just out of condition.

I seem to recall a tale about some South Crofty miners ending up with cancer (caused by radon) among the crews that broke into the Roskear workings. Any truth in that tale or is there any published research on that 'event'.

Cheers

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I'm a Geo 'There's a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness.'
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Ian A

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Location: North Wales

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 30/07/2011 08:19:35
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There is a HUGE difference between someone passing through a mine which contains radon and someone living in a house where radon is present.

I know the Milwr Tunnel has "spots" where the radon is 200 times the "safe" limit .... I don't know what that equates to but I do know that no one "fussed" over it and exploring the mine was not considered to be dangerous.

I would think that short term exposure wouldn't be problematic except, perhaps, if you have really bad karma Innocent

Ian

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christwigg

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 30/07/2011 08:32:32
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I think i'll add this one to the list with the spores from mouldy wood that are going to grow in my lungs and kill me.

While technically there may be a risk, i'm going to concentrate on avoiding the more immediate issues of falling down open shafts and pulling loose areas of roof onto my head.

Although I hope some of those other 4000 people take note so I don't have to keep queuing to get into adits at the weekend.....
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Aditaddict

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 30/07/2011 08:38:22
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I spend a lot of time in lakeland mines and have not yet come across gangs of students wearing "Space suits" nor heard from any locals of their visits sounds to me like typical students ,get as far as the pub and make something up to warrant the funding lol

ps anyone know which mine the adit in the picture in their article belongs to
cheers chaps. andy Big Grin
IP: 81.109.63.234 Edited: 30/07/2011 09:30:12 by Aditaddict
stuey

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 30/07/2011 21:15:22
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I was interested in this a while ago and the interwebz is your friend. There is an article about Terras levels somewhere.

Old Gunnislake has a radioactive X-Course and is quite hot.

The units are confusing.

Bequerels, Grays and Sieverts and Working Levels.

I like this analogy:-

Bequerel = How much it's raining.

Gray = How much of it hits you.

Sievert = How wet you get.

Working Levels = Some HSE bull$hit in the same order as crystal healing, calculated by someone with brown shoes and a 2CV.

We can all run around like headless chickens, wringing our hands and shouting "think of the children" but the bottom line is that your meter records decay events entering the window at the end of the tube. This is Bq and not a very good measure of how much there is going on in a given volume. To get this, you suck a given amount of air though a filter and then measure how radioactive it is, this gives you a Bq/volume reading, which is a good start of how you transfer a reading concerning volume to something like your lungs or exposure.

Radon is a funny one and a Geiger tube doesn't really discriminate against different sorts of the same radiation, for instance, Polonium has a very high energy particle which does a lot of damage to your lungs, yet may only be recorded as 1 event in the tube and something else may barely produce a particle. So, your Bq reading has loads of variables in it anyway, it's at best an indicator. PLUS, you have a whole load of different species present in mine gas and the concentrations of these vary according to variations in the mine atmosphere, rather like trace gases.

To actually transfer this into a Sievert reading (how much it has messed you up) involves a lot of equations, assumptions and the term Cb (which stands for crystal ball). Basically, if your geiger tube goes utterly mental or stops working, it might be a good idea to think about how much is going in your eyes or lungs.

Before you've got that far, it's a good idea to have a think about how the radon daughters (the real nasties) are behaving. Dry and dust is bad, as are smokes (you know who your are) moisture is less bad.

Essentially, radon decays and the remaining particle is charged and adheres to the nearest thing, if that is a certain sized piece of dust, you can breathe it in and it will get stuck long enough to decay and nuke a bit of your lung.

I'd avoid smoking, I'd avoid kicking up a dust and I'd avoid breathing through my mouth too much and spending too much time in radioactive hotspots.

We looked at the 18mSv/hr "temperature" of S Terras and went in there with Breathing Apparatus. We got about 100 yards in where the stoping had been dynamited by a famous mineral collector (who expired from cancer).

Personally, I'd say you are more likely to get gassed, fall through a false floor, have a rope accident, or get buried by a bad roof. Well, perhaps that's just me!

Some of these uni spods will write anything to pass the time.

IP: 87.114.18.112 Edited: 31/07/2011 01:32:15 by stuey
Graigfawr

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 01/08/2011 19:30:42
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John Gunn ('Mr.Radon') has done a lot of work on radon levels and exposure in UK underground contexts - mainly caves but also some mines. I recall him explaining whilst placing a radon detector at Cwmystwyth on a trip that I accompanied him on that poorly ventilated areas (e.g. 'fast ends' in C19 mining parlance) can have significantly higher radon contents than better ventilated areas of the same mine.

There have been some very good articles on radon and the impact or otherwise on leisure users of UK caves and mines in 'Descent' a few years ago. JG authored some of them but there are a number of researchers active in this area.
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agricola

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Joined: 28/10/2007
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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 01/08/2011 19:38:36
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Imageo wrote:


I seem to recall a tale about some South Crofty miners ending up with cancer (caused by radon) among the crews that broke into the Roskear workings. Any truth in that tale or is there any published research on that 'event'.

Cheers


I'm not sure about the Roskear workings, but most of the miners that were involved in the breakthrough into East Pool in the 1970's were exposed to who knows what. Most were dead within 12months. Some of the miners who I know who were working at South Crofty at the time, have told me on a number of occassions.

What ever the truth about Radon, the law in the UK is very clear when it comes to working mines, and much money is spent ensuring that the ventilation is adequate to keep the radon levels low. I spend time each month monitoring the levels of radon within the modern workings at South Crofty. This morning I finished computing the doses for July, something I do each month.

Even in areas which supposedly have good ventilation it is still possible especially in the North Tincroft section to have high levels during the summer months.

I saw a picture of the IWLM which showed 100WL which is not good, sometimes its best not to know what the levels are, but it is best to be aware that the gas is present.



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If it can't be grown it has to be mined.
IP: 86.133.210.33 Edited: 01/08/2011 19:43:16 by agricola
Imageo

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 02/08/2011 22:43:23
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Thanks for clearing that up Agricola. I'd say that'd be the story I've heard but probably a bit muddled in the telling by the sound of it.

Cheers

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I'm a Geo 'There's a very fine line between a hobby and mental illness.'
IP: 165.228.183.200
agricola

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 03/08/2011 08:05:32
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stuey wrote:


Personally, I'd say you are more likely to get gassed, fall through a false floor, have a rope accident, or get buried by a bad roof. Well, perhaps that's just me!

Some of these uni spods will write anything to pass the time.



Just a little note to add, the both Roy M and myself know of two people who both worked and explored underground in various mines in Cornwall and both died of Cancer attributed to exposure to high levels of Radon ....

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If it can't be grown it has to be mined.
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pedrgogh

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 03/08/2011 09:50:26
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Whilst there is some risk with Radon I am sure it depends on who it is breathing it in.
As an analogy, I served my time in a Power Station where we used to ply snow balls with Asbestos, I was for a time at sea in an engine room with pipes laged with Asbestos, I volunteered of the FR and in the 50's where we were knocking Asbestos of the old boilers with out a care in the world, and coming up for 78 I am still around.
There other poor soles who die just because of some Asbestos dust from a ceiling or some thing.
I am sure the some the same thing applies to all sorts of other deadly contaminants.
It very much depends on the person being contaminated, if your numbers up, hard luck.
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Peter Burgess

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Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 03/08/2011 09:58:18
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Its a statistical thing. Like smoking, you can live to 100 if you smoke 20 a day, but the chance that you will is much lower than for someone who doesn't smoke.

Everyone hopes they will win the lottery. Everyone hopes they won't get cancer. The more tickets you buy, the greater the chance. The more hours you spend in radon mines the greater the chance. Each cigarette is like a lottery ticket, except a bit cheaper, and there is only one win per person, with no rollover available.

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Hé ! Ki kapcsolva le a villanyt ?
IP: 94.193.19.239 Edited: 03/08/2011 10:00:36 by Peter Burgess
lozz

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Location: Cornwall

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 03/08/2012 13:32:21
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Hi I am a new member, the stuff coming out of East Pool when Crofty broke through was pretty bad, I know I was on one of the breakthrough crews when one of the East Pool workings was broke into from the 310 fm level from Robo's shaft, if any one wants to hear the course of events then let me know via this forum, I remember it like yesterday.

Lozz
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stuey

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 03/08/2012 14:08:21
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Do elaborate, it sounds fascinating.

K:- I am concerned about acute high levels, like you find in Terras. IIIRC, the actual absorbed dose (Grays?) considers the organ and the concentration of the radiation, rather than just a Bq number. I reckon keeping this down is quite a good idea.

I don't personally (and we'll see if I die of lung cancer, or eye cancer) think that the occasional nuking is a problem, as long as it's not ridiculously concentrated radon.

We all overlook the type of atmosphere this is in. Clearly, particles in the air, whether a smoke or dust harbour radon daughters and breathing these in is really bad news. I'm not sure how it would work in the droplet rich disused mines.

I suppose the East Pool lot combined the worst of all worlds. Probably compounding things by fag breaks.

Anyway, I bought a gas meter, but have little interest in a geiger reading.
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PeteJ

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Radon and mine exploration.
Posted: 03/08/2012 15:08:05
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Some more recent reports have been published in Descent magazine in the last 12 months.

CATMHS was involved in research work in Cumbria (Lakes and Alston Moor) which showed high radon readings in blind drifts at Hudgill Burn Mine which caused them to stop their digging work at that mine.
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