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August 11, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Home radiation checks invalid, government says

BECAUSE China has no standard on indoor radiation, officials from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau yesterday questioned the accuracy of a recent check by an individual association claiming that less than 10 percent of local homes have low levels of radiation.

Officials said the measurement used by the Shanghai Environmental Protection Industry Association in the check can't be used as criteria judging household radiation levels.

The association said on Monday that about 24 percent of the 294 participating homes checked in the past two months were found to have radiation levels higher than the maximum amount that a person can receive within a year. Only 9.5 percent of the homes had healthy levels in the check.

It said the major sources of radiation come from granite, ceramic tiles and sanitary facilities.

But Chen Jiliang, deputy director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau's radiation monitoring department, said the benchmarks used by the association set the households up for failure.

He said the hourly radiation maximum used by the association is actually the city's natural radiation level from the air and soil. And it said the yearly maximum benchmark it quoted is the figure that should not include natural sources, including radiation from granite and marble.

Chen said the nation has radiation standards on granite and ceramic tiles, while there are no standards on marble and sanitary facilities.

Li Wei of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Industry Association said its check gave residents a chance to get information on their radiation levels and raise public awareness.

"No standard doesn't mean that our indoor radiation is safe," he said. "The government should issue these standards instead of blaming our efforts."


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