Evaluación de las Concentraciones de Radón y su Variabilidad Estacional en Cuevas Turísticas de Mallorca

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Conference Proceeding

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health hazard, Mallorca, radiological exposure, radon, show caves


Here we present a first survey of radon-level distribution in three show caves from Mallorca (Coves de Campanet, Coves d’Artà and Coves del Drac) in order to identify possible areas presenting health risks. This manuscript summarizes two previous published papers by the same authors. The radon measurements were performed during three different campaigns between March 2013 and March 2014, using solid state nuclear track detectors. Radon concentrations differ markedly from one cave to another, as well as within each cave, ranging from below detection limit up to 1972 Bq·m-3. At most measurement sites a clear seasonal variability, with higher values during the warm season and lower during winter is evident. Regardless the season, higher than reference limit values were recorded in Coves de Campanet, varying between 515 and 1972 Bq·m-3. These results were confirmed by continuous radon monitoring in two selected locations within the cave, where we measured average concentrations of 1745 Bq·m-3 and 1096 Bq·m-3, respectively. The effective dose tour guides are exposed to, ranges from 0.72 to 1.89 mSv·y-1 with an annual dose of 1.23 mSv·y-1. Thus, a set of recommendations was provided to the Campanet cave manager. Since all the results in Coves d’Artà show values well below the recommended reference level (between 13 and 118 Bq·m-3) throughout the year, no protection against radiological hazards is required to be implemented. With respect to Coves del Drac, radon measurements were carried out along the historical tour route that presently is in the non-touristic part of the cave. Based on the results obtained in Coves del Drac (up to 715 Bq·m-3), our recommendation is that any scientific work carried out in the sectors known as Cova Blanca and Cova Negra should be time-limited during summer (less than 20 hours/month), as it could pose a health risk.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Evaluación de las Concentraciones de Radón y su Variabilidad Estacional en Cuevas Turísticas de Mallorca, in B. Andreo & J. J. Duran (Eds.), El Karst y el Hombre: Las Cuevas como Patrimonio Mundial, Asociación de Cuevas Turísticas Españolas (ACTE), p. 157-168