Posts

Real-Time Global Radon Map

Airthings, a company specializing in digital radon detectors, recently launched RadonMap.com, a live global Radon map.  The map pulls constantly-updating Radon level data from Airthings’ devices all over North America, Europe ,and beyond to provide current localized analysis and advice – ideal for anyone looking to for the risks associated with radon exposure.

Facts about Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces, like homes and offices, it can sometimes accumulate to high levels, which can be a risk to the health of the occupants of the building.

Radon gas breaks down or decays to form radioactive elements that can be inhaled into the lungs. In the lungs, decay continues, creating radioactive particles that release small bursts of energy. This energy is absorbed by nearby lung tissue, damaging the lung cells. When cells are damaged, they have the potential to result in cancer when they reproduce.

Exposure to high levels of radon in indoor air results in an increased risk of developing lung cancer. The risk of cancer depends on the level of radon and how long a person is exposed to those levels.

Exposure to radon and tobacco use together can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer. For example, if you are a lifelong smoker your risk of getting lung cancer is 1 in 10. If you add long term exposure to a high level of radon, your risk becomes 1 in 3. On the other hand, if you are a non-smoker, your lifetime lung cancer risk at the same high radon level is 1 in 20.

Radon Map

RadonMap.com aggregates radon level data from Airthings’ devices dispersed all over the world to provide accurate, local radon readings for users seeking current and reliable insight into the dangerous indoor gas and how much exposure they are subjected to daily.

Previously, gaining an understanding of localized Radon readings was only possible through professionally-administered tests or government data, offering a one-time snapshot rather than a constantly-evolving picture. With the introduction of the Airthings RadonMap.com, radon levels and fluctuations can be tracked accurately through a community of user-generated data. RadonMap.com instantly becomes a very reliable and up-to-date information source available for alerting the public about the presence of Radon in their environments and enabling them to take corrective action, if necessary, before a situation becomes critical.

About Airthings

Airthings is a Norwegian tech company that develops and manufactures both professional and consumer facing technology. These products include monitors for radon and other dangerous indoor air pollutants. The company was founded in 2008.

Advanced Explosives Detection System at Indianapolis Airport

Smiths Detection, headquartered in Maryland, recently announced that it had won a competitive bid process from the United States Transportation Security Administration (U.S. TSA) to supply their CTX 9800 explosives detection system to Indianapolis International Airport. The new CTX 9800 systems are the latest generation of CT scanners, helping to advance Indianapolis International’s security screening capabilities.

The CTX 9800 is a computed tomography (CT) explosives detection system. It has customized networking solutions; an intuitive user interface; efficient power consumption; and high-resolution 3D imaging capabilities. Certified by several regulatory authorities including the TSA, the CTX 9800 is also approved by the European Civil Aviation Conference as meeting Standard 3 requirements.

CTX9800 CT Explosives Detection System

Shan Hood, President of Smiths Detection Inc., said, “Smiths Detection is committed to providing the latest in detection technology, helping airports, like Indianapolis, to take advantage of cutting-edge solutions which enhance the passenger experience. The TSA’s selection of the CTX 9800 system for Indianapolis International Airport is a testament to Smiths Detection’s position as a global leader in the use of computed tomography and our long history of partnering with airports and authorities to help keep the traveling public moving safely and efficiently.”

The company also announced that it recently received an order of more than $10 million to supply its RadSeeker, handheld radioisotope detectors and identifiers for screening at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ports of entry.  The order is part of a five year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), which was announced in January of 2016.

RadSeeker Hand-held radioisotope identifier (RIID)

 

Validation of handheld X-Ray Fluorescence for In-Situ Measurement of Mercury in Soils

Researchers recently reported the results of an evaluation of a handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) device as a field screening tool for soil mercury as part of on-going remedial investigations along the South River in Waynesboro, Virginia.  As reported by the research team, the method achieved a detection limit of 7.4 mg/kg Hg with a 60-s analysis time, which improves upon earlier attempts and is sufficient for detecting mercury at generic risk assessment soil screening levels (23 mg/kg Hg).  The study also demonstrated levels of accuracy and precision for the method that rivaled traditional laboratory methods.  In a split-sample comparison with laboratory Method 7471A, field XRF results agreed with an R2 of 0.93 and a median coefficient of variation of 15%.  Precision estimates from duplicate and triplicate samples were not statistically different between the two methods and were constrained by sample heterogeneity rather than by method capabilities.

The study demonstrated that handheld XRF can be successfully used at contaminated sites to achieve high quality Hg results that are accurate, precise, and at a level of sensitivity commensurate with generic risk assessment screening levels.

Schematic of an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) device