ICRP recommendations on radon

J. D. Harrison, J. W. Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) publishes guidance on protection from radon in homes and workplaces, and dose coefficients for use in assessments of exposure for protection purposes. ICRP Publication 126 recommends an upper reference level for exposures in homes and workplaces of 300 Bq m−3. In general, protection can be optimised using measurements of air concentrations directly, without considering radiation doses. However, dose estimates are required for workers when radon is considered as an occupational exposure (e.g. in mines), and for higher exposures in other workplaces (e.g. offices) when the reference level is exceeded persistently. ICRP Publication 137 recommends a dose coefficient of 3 mSv per mJ h m−3 (approximately 10 mSv per working level month) for most circumstances of exposure in workplaces, equivalent to 6.7 nSv per Bq h m−3 using an equilibrium factor of 0.4. Using this dose coefficient, annual exposure of workers to 300 Bq m−3 corresponds to 4 mSv. For comparison, using the same coefficient for exposures in homes, 300 Bq m−3 corresponds to 14 mSv. If circumstances of occupational exposure warrant more detailed consideration and reliable alternative data are available, site-specific doses can be assessed using methodology provided in ICRP Publication 137.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the ICRP
Issue number1_suppl
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, International Commission of Radiological Protection.


  • Dose conversion convention
  • Effective dose coefficients
  • Radon
  • Reference levels
  • Thoron


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