Radon Survey and Exposure Assessment in Karaca and Cal Caves, Turkey

ÇEVİK U. , Kara A., CELIK N., KARABIDAK M., Celik A.

WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION, vol.214, pp.461-469, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 214
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11270-010-0437-6
  • Page Numbers: pp.461-469
  • Keywords: Radon, Exposure, Cave, Turkey, USERS


Radon concentration and gamma activity concentration of naturally occurring radionuclides were determined and presented for two tourist caves (Karaca and Cal caves) in this study. These caves are reported to receive about 77,000 visitors during the summer season in 2007. It was seen that mean radon activity concentrations for the winter and summer seasons for the Karaca cave is 1,023 and 823 Bq/m(3) and for the Cal cave is 264 and 473 Bq/m(3). Mean (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K activity concentrations are found to be 43, 19, and 262 Bq/kg for the Karaca cave and 31, 27, and 460 Bq/kg for the Cal cave. Doses received by the cave guides due to radon were estimated to be 2.9 mSv/year for the winter season and 2.3 mSv/year for the summer season for the Karaca cave. Same values were estimated for the Cal cave, and the results were found to be 0.6 mSv/year for the winter season and 1.1 mSv/year for the summer season. Annual effective doses received by the visitors in both caves were estimated to be in the order of mu Sv/year because of the short exposure time comparing the cave guides. Although the reported values are below the recommended values, both groups are exposed to possible radiological risk during their stay inside the cave, since prolonged exposure to high radon concentration has been linked to lung cancer.