Indoor radon levels in selected hot spring hotels in Guangdong, China

Gang Song, Boyou Zhang, Xinming Wang, Jingping Gong, Daniel Chan, John Bernett, Shuncheng Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Guangdong is one of the provinces that have most hot springs in China, and many hotels have been set up near hot springs, with spring water introduced into the bath inside each hotel room for hot spring bathing to attract tourists. In the present study, we measured radon in indoor and outdoor air, as well as in hot spring waters, in four hot spring hotels in Guangdong by using NR-667A (III) continuous radon detector. Radon concentrations ranged 53.4-292.5 Bq L-1in the hot spring water and 17.2-190.9 Bq m-3in outdoor air. Soil gas intrusion, indoor hot spring water use and inefficient ventilation all contributed to the elevated indoor radon levels in the hotel rooms. From the variation of radon levels in closed unoccupied hotel rooms, soil gas intrusion was found to be a very important source of indoor radon in hotel rooms with floors in contact with soils. When there was spring water bathing in the bathes, average radon levels were 10.9-813% higher in the hotel rooms and 13.8-489% higher in bathes compared to their corresponding average levels when there was no spring water use. Spring water use in the hotel rooms had radon transfer coefficients from 1.6×10-4to 5.0×10-3. Radon in some hotel rooms maintained in concentrations much higher than guideline levels might thus have potential health risks to the hotel workers, and technical and management measures should be taken to lower their exposure of radon through inhalation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


  • Environmental radioactivity
  • Hot spring
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Indoor environment
  • Radon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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