Using geographic information systems for radon exposure assessment in dwellings in the Oslo region, Norway
Radon exposures were assigned to each residential address in the Oslo region using a geographic information system (GIS) that included indoor radon measurements. The results will be used in an epidemiologic study regarding leukemia and brain cancer. The model is based on 6% of measured residential buildings. High density of indoor radon measurements allowed us to develop a buffer model where indoor radon measurements found around each dwelling were used to assign a radon value for homes lacking radon measurement.
Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to study the agreement between radon values from the buffer method, from indoor radon values of measured houses, and from a regression model constructed with radiometric data ( eTh, eU) and bedrock geology. We obtained good agreement for both comparisons with ICC values between 0.54 and 0.68.
GIS offers a useful variety of tools to study the indoor-radon exposure assessment. By using the buffer method it is more likely that geological conditions are similar within the buffer and this may take more into account the variation of radon over short distances. It is also probable that short-distance-scale correlation patterns express similarities in building styles and living habits. Although the method has certain limitations, we regard it as acceptable for use in epidemiological studies.