On May 12, 2017, the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection adopted a comprehensive new regulation in the radiation protection law. These are first and foremost the protection against harmful radiation in medicine, the better prevention of emergencies, and the protection against radon in homes.
Radon is a natural radioactive noble gas that escapes from the ground and can accumulate in buildings. Inhaling radon is one of the biggest risks of lung cancer after smoking.
In Germany, there are areas that are exposed to different levels of radon. An overview map, for example from the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection, shows where increased radon concentrations in buildings can be expected. In these areas, special measures for radon-safe construction must be observed.
For the first time, clear measures to reduce radon are being introduced with the new Radiation Protection Act. Among other things, a reference value for assessing the radon concentration in lounges is established. This reference value should not be exceeded above and below the minimization principle of radiation protection, if possible. This reference value for apartments is 100 Becquerel per cubic meter of room air. If the values are above this limit, appropriate protective measures must be taken to prevent or at least mitigate the spread of radon indoors.
The new Radiation Protection Act will in future also cover protection against radon in workplaces. Previous protection regulations only applied to certain workplaces, such as mines or caves, but now all workplaces near the ground floor are also subject to the regulations on protection against radon at workplaces in areas with high radon concentrations.
Since the noble gas radon can enter the building in several ways, (ie via the wall-sole joint, cracks and gaps in the outer wall, openings below the terrain, over pump sumps and drainage, drainage pipes, ventilation systems, cable ducts, conduits etc.), the building must be radon-proofed by means of subsequent interior sealing or sealed from the outside during new construction.
KÖSTER BAUCHEMIE AG has been providing solutions for the protection against radon in buildings for years. Due to the new regulations of the Radiation Protection Act and the inclusion of a reference value for apartments, we have responded to the increased requirements and commissioned a new inspection of our KÖSTER KSK SY 15 self-adhesive rubber/bitumen waterproofing membrane.
The KÖSTER KSK SY 15 has again met the requirements for tightness against radon gases. In addition, we have been the first manufacturer to have a 10 cm seam overlap tested in addition to the membrane itself. This test was also completed positively. This test shows that not only the membrane alone but also overlaps provide lasting protection against the radioactive noble gas radon.
KÖSTER KSK SY 15 also has other advantages - it is cold-adhesive and can, therefore, be processed without the use of hot air or propane gas flames. Because of its great suppleness, it can easily be used for building waterproofing and against moisture and as protection against radon even on difficult details. KÖSTER KSK SY 15 is highly flexible, immediately waterproof, impact-proof, and crack-bridging.
Currently, about 16,000 m² of the “Neubau - Schulstandort Pieschen” property is being – sealed against radon by the Kalka Bautenschutz company from Großenhain on behalf of the ZÜBLIN AG using the waterproofing membrane KÖSTER KSK SY 15. This will give the building a safe and long-lasting protection not only against moisture but also against radon.