Radon measurements and radon-safe construction

Radon measurements and radon-safe construction

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is present in the ground. Leakage into the building envelope can cause radon to infiltrate buildings and accumulate inside of them. Long-term exposure to radon is today considered the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

The revised Radiation Protection Ordinance which came into force at the beginning of 2018 aims to better protect the population and in particular children from radon. As a result, the limit value for radon concentration of 1,000 Becquerel per cubic metre in common rooms was reduced to 300 Bq/m3.

Specific radon protection measures for children

The cantons must ensure that radon measurements are carried out in schools, nurseries and sometimes also in other childcare facilities.

Ecosens AG is a radon measuring station recognised by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) and was able to carry out radon measurements in numerous school facilities or entire school communities.

Building permit processes and radon decontamination

As part of the building permit process, the respective authority must alert the building owner of the requirements of the Radiation Protection Ordinance regarding radon protection. For new buildings and alterations, preventive measures must be taken in order to achieve a radon gas concentration that is below the reference value. The radon concentration may increase after energetic decontamination as a result of the low air exchange. With careful planning, advanced radon measurements can provide an indication of radon potential in the soil. If an existing radon risk is already detected in the planning phase, this can often be reduced with relatively inexpensive preventive measures.

Ecosens AG advises building owners and planners on radon-safe construction and plans and guides radon decontamination.

Worker protection

In addition to the reference value of 300 Bq/m3, a threshold value of 1000 Bq/m3 applies to radon-exposed workplaces. Radon-exposed workplaces include workplaces in underground structures, mines or water supply facilities where the threshold is safely or probably exceeded. Ecosens AG has received the corresponding acceptance from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) to carry out radon measurements in companies with radon-exposed workplaces.

The team from the Ecosens AG Indoor Air Quality Division is available to answer all questions and concerns concerning radon.

Your contact person:

Pia Buser
Radon specialist

Pascal Diefenbacher
Divisional manager for indoor air quality