Atlas of Natural Radiation

The human population is continuously exposed to ionizing radiation from several natural sources that can be classified in two categories:

  • Cosmic contribution: high-energy cosmic rays incident on the Earth's atmosphere and releasing secondary radiation
  • Terrestrial contribution: radioactive nuclides generated during the formation of the Earth and still present in the Earth's crust: mostly uranium and thorium radioactive families together with potassium (40K), which is a long-lived radioactive isotope of the elemental potassium. In most circumstances radon, a noble gas produced in the radioactive decay of the Uranium progeny, is the major contributor to the total dose.
The European Atlas of Natural Radiation

The European Atlas of Natural Radiation is a collection of maps displaying the levels of radioactivity caused by different natural sources in Europe.

The Atlas is intended to familiarise the public with the radioactive environment, to give a more balanced view of the annual dose that it may receive from natural radioactivity and to provide reference material and generate harmonised data for the scientific community. The overall goal of the Atlas is to estimate the annual dose that the public may receive from natural radioactivity, combining all the information from the different maps. Indeed, natural ionizing radiation is considered the largest contributor to the collective effective dose received by the world population.

The Atlas is developed and maintained by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

EANR Maps Atlas Maps

    Indoor radon concentration

    Description

    The European Indoor Radon Map reports the arithmetic means (AM) over 10 km x 10 km grid cells of annual indoor radon concentration in ground-floor rooms of dwellings. This grid has been defined by the JRC and uses a GISCO-Lambert azimuthal equal area projection. The input data are provided by national competent authorities (see list below), which aggregate their original data into the grid and calculate a set of statistics per cell: the AM, standard deviation (SD), AM and SD of ln-transformed data, minimum, median and maximum, as well as the number of measurements per cell. Note that this procedure guarantees data protection, since the original data and their exact locations remain at the national level. As new indoor radon data arrive at the JRC from participating countries, the map is updated at irregular intervals.

    Note: The original indoor radon data, as well as the derived grid-cell statistics, remain the property of the respective national data providers and/or their competent authorities. Hence the JRC will not share such data with third parties.

    References

    • M. Hoffmann, Ch. S. Aliyev, A. A. Feyzullayev, R. J. Baghirli, F. F. Veliyeva, L. Pampuri, C. Valsangiacomo, T. Tollefsen, G. Cinelli, 2017. First map of residential indoor radon measurements in Azerbaijan. Radiation Protection Dosimetry. Vol. 175, No. 2, pp. 186-193. doi: 10.1083/rpd/ncw284. 
    • T. Tollefsen, G. Cinelli, P. Bossew, V. Gruber, M. De Cort, 2014. From the European indoor radon map towards an atlas of natural radiation. Radiation Protection Dosimetry 162 (1-2) 129-134 (2014). doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncu244. http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/162/1-2/129.full.pdf. Download
    • G. Dubois, P. Bossew, T. Tollefsen, M. De Cort, 2010. First steps towards a European Atlas of natural radiation: Status  of  the  European  indoor  radon  map. J. Environ. Radioact., 101, 786–798 (2010). doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.03.007.

    The following national competent authorities have provided input data:

    • Albania: Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics
    • Austria: University of Vienna
    • Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan National Academy of Science
    • Belgium: Agence fédérale de contrôle nucléaire
    • Bulgaria: National Centre of Radiobiology and Radiation Protection
    • Croatia: University of Osijek
    • Czech Republic: Czech Geological Survey
    • Cyprus: Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance
    • Denmark: Danish Health Authority
    • Estonia: Environmental Board
    • Finland: Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority
    • France: Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire
    • Germany: Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz
    • Greece: Greek Atomic Energy Commission
    • Hungary: Szent Istvan University
    • Iceland: Icelandic Radiation Safety Authority
    • Ireland: Environmental Protection Agency
    • Italy: Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale
    • Latvia: Radiation Safety Centre of State Environmental Service of Latvia
    • Lithuania: Radiation Protection Centre
    • Luxembourg: Ministry of Health
    • Macedonia, FYRO: Institute of Public Health
    • Malta: Ministry for Energy and Health
    • Netherlands: National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
    • Norway: Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority
    • Poland: Wrocław University of Science and Technology
    • Portugal: Instituto Tecnológico e Nuclear
    • Romania: Babeş-Bolyai University
    • Serbia: Serbian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
    • Slovenia: Jožef Stefan Institute
    • Spain: Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear
    • Sweden: National Board of Housing, Building and Planning
    • Switzerland: Bundesamt für Gesundheit
    • United Kingdom: Public Health England

    Additional Information

    Resolution: 10000 m

    Last Modified: 07/03/2018

    Update frequency: Irregular