Indoor Radon Levels in the Subway Cabins of the Seoul Metropolitan Area

수도권 지하철 전동차에서의 라돈 농도 분포 조사

  • Received : 2012.03.02
  • Accepted : 2012.07.19
  • Published : 2012.08.31


In this study, we have observed the airborne radon levels in the subway cabins before and after platform screen doors (PSD) installation. The measurements have been conducted at Seoul metropolitan subway lines in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The mean concentration of the radon inside subway cabins were increased by approximately 53% from $20.1Bq/m^3$ to $30.8Bq/m^3$ by installing PSD. After PSD installation, measured values for the different lines were rather different, and varied between 8.2 and $76.5Bq/m^3$. And mean radon concentrations were in the decreasing order for subway lines 5, 6, 7, 8, 3, 4, 2, 9 and 1. It was also found that the indoor radon concentrations in the subway cabins were highly dependent on the management approach of a ventilation system at the subway stations. By assuming an average of $720\;h\;year^{-1}$ and $2,880\;h\;year^{-1}$ spent in subway cabin, effective doses to passengers and employee were estimated. The expected annual effective dose, in case of an equilibrium factor of 0.4, were $0.07mSv\;y^{-1}$ and $0.26mSv\;y^{-1}$, respectively.


Radon;Seoul metropolitan subway;PSD (Platform screen doors);Effective dose


  1. 전재식, 조준호, 박영만, 서광석 (2009) 서울지하철 실내소음 및 스크린도어에 의한 역사소음, 한국환경영향평가학회 춘계학술발표대회 초록집.
  2. 한국지질자원연구원(2002) 수치지질도, 국가지질자원정보센타.
  3. Chen, J. (2005) A review of radon doses, Radiation Protection Management, 22(4), 27-31.
  4. Espinosa, G. and R.B. Gammage (1995) Radon levels survey in the underground transport metro system in Mexico city, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 59(2), 145-148.
  5. Font, L., C. Baixeras, and V. Moreno (2008) Indoor radon levels in underground workplaces Catalonia, Spain, Radiation Measurements, 43, S467-S470.
  6. Ha, K.T. (2000) Characteristics of airborne radon contamination level in Seoul subway station, Master dissertation, The University of Seoul (in Korea).
  7. Hafez, A.F. and A.S. Hussein (2001) Radon activity concentrations and effective doses in ancient Egyptian tombs of the Kings, Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 55, 355-362.
  8. Ishikawa, T., Y. Yamada, K. Fukutsu, and S. Tokonami (2003) Deposition and clearance for radon progeny in the human respiratory tract, Radiation Protection Dosimetry 105, 143-148.
  9. Jeon, J.S. and D.C. Kim (2006) Distribution of $^{222}Rn$ concentration in Seoul subway stations, Journal of Korean Society of Environment Engineers, 28(6), 588-595.
  10. Jeon, J.S., G.M. Han, I.C. Ryu, J.H. Kim, and M.Y. Kim (2010) Changes of indoor radon concentrations in subway trains by installing PSDs, Proceeding of the 51st Meeting of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment, p 328.
  11. Jeon, J.S., J.C. Yoon, H.C. Lee, S.W. Eom, and Y.Z. Chae (2012) A noticeable change in indoor radon levels after platform screen doors installation in Seoul subway station, Journal of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment, 28(1), 59-67.
  12. Jeon, J.S., J.Y. Lee, and D.C. Kim (2007) Temporal variation and source of 222Rn in subway stations, Journal of Korean Society of Environment Engineers, 29(11), 1231-1242.
  13. Jeon, J.S., J.Y. Lee, S.W. Eom, and Y.Z. Chae (2011) The variation characteristics of indoor radon concentration from buildings with different environment, Seoul, Journal of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment, 27(6), 692-702.
  14. Jun, J.S., H.S. Chai, B.Y. Lee, H.C. Kim, D.J. Lee, D.S. Kim, and D.H. Um (1990) Study on the assessment of total dose (effective dose equivalent) from natural environmental radiation, New Physics, 30(5), 483-495.
  15. Kim, K.H., D.X. Ho, J.S. Jeon, and J.C. Kim (2012) A noticeable shift in particulate matter levels after platform screen door installation in Korea subway station, Atmospheric Environment, 1, 1-5.
  16. Korhonen, P., H. Kokotti, and P. Kalliokoski (2000) Survey and mitigation of occupational exposure of radon in workplaces, Building and Environment, 35, 555-562.
  17. Lee, T.J., J.S. Jeon, S.D. Kim, and D.S. Kim (2010) A comparative study on $PM_{10}$ source contribution in Seoul metropolitan subway station before/after installing platform screen doors, Journal of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment, 26(5), 543-553.
  18. Liendo, J., L. Sajo-Bohus, J. Pafalvi, E.D. Greaves, and N. Gomez (1997) Radon monitoring health studies in the Caracas subway using SSNTDs, Radiation Measurements, 28(1), 729-732.
  19. Monchaux, G. and J.P. Morlier (2002) Influence of dose-rate on lung cancer induction in rats exposed to radon and its progeny, International Congress, 1225, 212- 221.
  20. Nemeth, C., S. Tokonami, J. Somlai, T. Kovacs, N. Kavasi, Z. Gorzanacz, A. Varhegyi, and J. Hakl (2005) Inaccuracies in assessing doses from radon workplaces, International Congress 1276, 369-370.
  21. Park, D.U. and K.C. Ha (2008) Characteristics of $PM_{10}$, $PM_{2.5}$, $CO_{2}$ and CO monitored in interiors and platforms of subway train in Seoul, Korea, Environ. Int., 34, 629-634.
  22. Park, E.Y., D.K. Park, Y.M. Cho, and S.B. Kwon (2011) Air quality in the subway cabins of the Seoul metropolitan area and analysis of its influencing factors using multivariate statistics, Journal of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment, 27(2), 142-151.
  23. Ryu, I.C., C.M. Kim, G.M. Han, J.S. Jeon, and M.Y. Kim (2010) Estimation of IAQ by before and after establishing PSD in subway, Proceeding of the 51st Meeting of Korean Society for Atmospheric Environment.
  24. Schmitz, J. and R. Fritsche (1992) Radon impact at underground workplaces in western Germany, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 45 (Suppl. 5), 193-195.
  25. Som, D., C. Dutta, A. Chatterjee, D. Mallick, T.K. Jana, and S. Sen (2007) Studies on commuters' exposure to BTEX in passenger cars in Kolkata, India, Sci. Total Environ., 372, 426-432.
  26. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) (1993), United Nations.
  27. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) (2000), United Nations.
  28. Veiga, L.H.S., V. Melo, and S. Koifma (2004) High radon exposure in a Blazilian underground coal mine, Journal of Radiological Protection, 24, 295-305.
  29. Xiaoyan, L., B. Zheng, Y. Wang, and X. Wang (2006) A study of daily and seasonal variations of radon concentration in underground buildings, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 87, 101-106.
  30. Yoon, S.W., B.U. Chang, Y.J. Kim, J.I. Byun, and J.Y. Yun (2010) Indoor radon distribution of subway station in a Korea major city, Journal of Environment Radioactivity, 101, 304-308.
  31. Yu, K.N., E.C.M. Young, T.F. Chaj, T. Lo, and R.V. Balendran (1996) The variation of radon exhalation rates from concrete surface of different ages, Building and Environment, 31(3), 255-257.

Cited by

  1. A computational analysis of the airflow in a twin-track subway tunnel with a sliding-curtain to improve ventilation performance vol.27, pp.8, 2013,
  2. Numerical optimization study to install air curtain in a subway tunnel by using design of experiment vol.28, pp.1, 2014,
  3. Effect of guide vanes on recovering uniform flow in a ventilation duct in an existing twin-track subway tunnel vol.29, pp.1, 2015,