Radon (radioactive gas)

New Zealand specific surveys on Radon in houses and selected workplaces

At this point in time there is no evidence of radon hot spots occurring in New Zealand. Radon surveys in 1988 and 2016 measured natural radiation (including radon levels) in houses across the country.

The national 2016 survey focussing on Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin found that the national median radon concentration is 23 Bq/m3. This is broadly consistent with that reported in the 1988 national survey which was reported as approximately 18 Bq/m3. Note, radon levels were similar in both surveys and found to be comparable to those found in most places overseas.

The 2001 Radon studies in selected workplaces found that radon progeny levels in coal mines measured in the return air circuit are indicative of levels to which a worker at the face would be exposed. They are well below international guidelines for intervention as are the slightly higher levels in the power stations, and confirm that radon levels in this country are low. Even in the extreme situation represented by the Sullivan mini with no ventilation the levels do not warrant concern. Read the 2000 Radon studies in selected workplaces report for more information.

How much am I exposed to?

New Zealand soils only contain traces of uranium and radium (the sources of radon).

People in New Zealand generally get about half their dose of natural radiation from radon. The rest comes from cosmic radiation, and traces of other natural radioactivity in the soil, building materials, and in our bodies.

Go to Natural radiation for more information.

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