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Antignani S.,Istituto Superiore Of Sanita Iss Italian National Institute Of Health | Carelli V.,Telecom Italia | Cordedda C.,Telecom Italia | Zonno F.,Istituto Superiore Of Sanita Iss Italian National Institute Of Health | And 4 more authors.
Radiation Measurements | Year: 2013

Representative national surveys in dwellings are important to unbiasedly evaluate the exposure of the general population to radon. In Italy, a representative national survey was conducted from 1989 to 1996, which involved about 5600 dwellings in 232 towns. Later on, some Regions carried out more detailed surveys, but a new national survey in dwellings is necessary in order to obtain a more thorough estimate of radon concentration distribution over the Italian territory. The need to make this survey in an affordable way led to implement a new approach based on the collaboration between the Istituto Superiore di Sanità and a national company with workplaces and employees' homes throughout the country. The intent is to carry out a proxy of a population representative survey by measuring radon concentration in the homes of a random sample of the company employees. The realisation of this survey was affordable, thanks to the availability of corporate e-mail for each employee, intranet service, and company internal mail service. A dedicated web procedure and e-questionnaires allowed to automatically manage the contact with employees and to collect their data, which were both cost- and time-saving. Using this e-mail contact approach, 53% of contacted employees consented to participate in the survey. Radon concentration passive measuring devices were distributed to about 7000 dwellings, using about 14000 CR-39 detectors (two measured rooms per dwelling). In order to reduce costs, the devices were exposed for 12 months instead of two consecutive 6-month periods (as with the former national survey). A first checking of the actual representativeness of the sample was done by comparing characteristics of dwellings and occupants in the sample with corresponding data from the latest National Census. This was accomplished thanks to the fact that the questions in the survey questionnaire were tailored to the categories adopted for the Census questionnaire. A preliminary comparison showed that, at national level, the Italian dwellings are quite well represented by the sample. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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