Health for humans, animals & plants

Radiation protection services

The basic task of radiation protection is to protect people and the environment from ionizing radiation.

Our activities within radiation protection are diverse. In addition to the official monitoring of the environment and food for radioactivity, these include the official emission monitoring of nuclear facilities as well as the technical support of the ministries BMK (Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology) and BMSGPK (Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection). In addition, we run the Austrian expert center for radon as well as the reference center for technical quality assurance in the breast cancer screening program.

Our experienced experts provide individual advice in many important areas of radiation protection. All our services and consulting are based on the current state of the art in science and technology, in accordance with the applicable law and are adapted to your current problem.

We are your accredited partner for services in radiation protection. Our experts also act as experts. They are represented in international and national committees and carry out focus measurements. Our expert services are also available to private-sector clients. This includes, for example, dose assessments for natural radioactivity and at the workplace, drinking water and food investigations, expert opinions, radon measurements or export certificates.

An overview of our fields of activity can be found in the information folder: "Our range of services in radiation protection".

Radon measurement

Webshop

The (StrSchG) and the Radon Protection Ordinance (RnV) regulate the limitation of radon exposure (naturally occurring, radioactive noble gas) and the protection of employees. This applies to waterworks, radon health resorts and spas, underground workplaces without sufficient weathering - e.g. mines, display mines and caves, and general workplaces in radon protection areas in accordance with the RnV on the first floor and basement level.

Radon measurements are an important instrument for protection against radon and provide reliable information about the actual radon concentration. If elevated values are detected, measures can be initiated to reduce the radon concentration.

We offer customer-specific radon measurements in private households and at workplaces. In the course of determining the radon concentration at the workplace, we clarify your investigation needs in a consultation, such as the selection of relevant work areas and measurement locations and the necessary number of radon detectors. Based on this, we carry out radon measurements and, if required, a dose assessment and prepare a test report that can be submitted to the authorities.

We can cover the following areas during the radon survey at the workplace:

  • Consultation to clarify the assignment
  • Selection of relevant workplaces and, if necessary, on-site inspection
  • Radon measurements
  • Assessment of the investigation results
  • Evaluation of the investigation results in the context of the test report
  • Consultation concerning optimization measures for the reduction of the radon concentration
  • Dose estimation for the employees
  • Dose assessment in case of increased dose
  • Preservation of the tasks of the radon protection representative

Households

We perform measurements in apartments and houses for residential purposes.

Below you can see the possible time intervals for the start of a measurement. If you want to measure outside the recommended time intervals, we would ask you to contact us.

You can calculate the correct return date with ourmeasurement time calculator.

Jobs

In the following we inform you about radon measurements at general as well as special workplaces.

General workplaces

General workplaces include all workplaces such as offices, manufacturing plants or stores. Due to the newly enacted radon protection ordinance , there is an obligation to measure these workplaces in radon protection areas. You can find out if your company is located in a radon protection area here. Below you can see the possible time intervals for the start of a measurement. If you want to measure outside the recommended time intervals, we would ask you to contact us.

You can calculate the correct return date with ourmeasurement time calculator.

Special workplaces

Special workplaces are workplaces where elevated radon concentrations may occur due to the nature of the activities or the special position of the workplace. This applies, for example, to water supply plants, radon spa facilities or underground workplaces. According to the Radon Protection Ordinance , there is an obligation to measure these workplaces throughout Austria. In the following, you can see the permitted start of measurement time for underground work areas in mines, shafts, galleries, tunnels and caves and in exhibition mines and caves, as well as the permitted start of measurement time for radon spa facilities:

Procedure of radon measurement

The radon measurements are performed with passive radon detectors. These detectors are not dangerous, do not cause noise and do not radiate. The radon detectors are sent to you by mail including measurement instructions. The detectors are placed by you in the rooms to be measured. After the measuring time you send the detectors back to us and you receive the result of your measurement as a test report.

Measurement duration

For general workplaces and private households, the measurement period must be at least six months, with at least half of the measurement period taking place in the winter months (October 15 to April 15). The background for this regulation is that the radon concentration in indoor spaces can fluctuate strongly on a seasonal basis. A representative value of the average radon concentration can be determined by a long-term measurement.

Good time intervals are approximately either mid-December to the end of June or mid-July to the end of January. This way you comply with the legal requirements of the measurement and get a representative average radon concentration in the measured indoor space.

For special workplaces, a measurement period of at least 2 months applies.

Messort

The measurement location also differs depending on the area. In private households, measurements should be taken in the two most frequently used living rooms. In general workplaces, measurements should be taken in all workplaces on the first floor or in the basement. For special workplaces, the measurement locations and number of measurements should be determined individually. Our experienced experts will advise you on the selection of the relevant workplaces and measuring points.

Investigation results

After measuring the radon concentration in accordance with the Radon Protection Ordinance, the results of the investigation are assessed. If the reference value of 300 Bq/m³ was exceeded, optimization measures must be taken to reduce the radon concentration. (Bq stands for the physical unit "bequerel" and corresponds to the average number of radon atomic nuclei that decay radioactively per second) If the control measurement shows that radon concentrations above 300 Bq/m³ still prevail despite optimization measures, a dose assessment must be carried out. If this results in a possible annual dose of more than 6 mSv/a, an exact dose assessment is carried out for the affected employee. (Sv stands for the physical unit "Sievert" and is a measure for the radiation exposure of the human body).

To order the measurements, please visit our webshop.

You can find more information about radon here.

Authorized monitoring body for activities with natural radioactivity

Our Radiation Protection and Radiochemistry Department is an Authorized Monitoring Body with regard to activities involving naturally occurring radioactive materials in accordance with the Radiation Protection Act and is accredited as a testing laboratory in accordance with EN ISO 17025*. As part of the dose assessment at the workplace, we clarify your exact examination requirements, such as the selection of relevant workplaces, in a detailed consultation. Subsequently, the work processes are recorded and a measurement plan is drawn up. The situation in companies and at their workplaces is naturally very different, which is why we will provide you with an individual offer, adapted to your needs.

The General Radiation Protection Ordinance 2020 (AllgStrSchV 2020) provides for the inspection and assessment of work areas with potentially increased exposure to uranium, thorium and their decay products. Such work areas may occur, for example, in the processing of rock phosphates in the chemical and fertilizer industries, in industrial and commercial activities involving residues, or in the production of TiO2 pigments from minerals such as illmenite or rutile. Our experienced experts select the relevant workplaces on the basis of the work processes and on-site measurements with officially calibrated radiation measuring instruments and draw up a measurement plan. Sampling of raw materials and residues (waste, if applicable) complements the dose assessment, which is carried out in accordance with ÖNORM S 5223*. Subsequently, we will be pleased to advise you on the handling, storage and disposal of working materials and possible residues. In addition, we offer you radiation protection optimization of work processes and support vis-à-vis authorities.

* The conformity assessment bodies are accredited by the Accreditation Austria (Federal Ministry for Digitalization and Economic Location) for the areas listed in the notification and published at www.bmdw.gv.at according to Annex 1 of the applicable GTC.

We can cover the following areas during dose assessment at the workplace:

  • Consultation to clarify the assignment
  • On-site inspection, sampling and analysis
  • Document review and preparation
  • Preparation of the measurement plan
  • Assessment of the test results
  • Assessment (exposure scenario, dose estimation)
  • Issue of a radiation protection statement (dose assessment) with test reports (measured values)
  • Radiation protection optimization of work processes
  • Support vis-à-vis authorities
  • Synergies in case of repetition of dose estimation at the workplace due to plant knowledge

Authorized monitoring body for radon

The Radon and Radioecology Department of AGES is an authorized monitoring body for radon according to the Radiation Protection Act and accredited as a testing body according to EN ISO/IEC 17025*. In the course of determining the radon concentration at the workplace, we clarify your investigation needs in a consultation, such as the selection of relevant work areas and measurement locations and the necessary number of radon detectors. Based on this, we carry out radon measurements and, if required, a dose assessment and prepare a test report that can be submitted to the authorities.

The Radiation Protection Act (StrSchG) and the Radon Protection Ordinance (RnV) regulate the limitation of radon exposure (naturally occurring, radioactive noble gas) and the protection of employees (applies to waterworks, radon health resorts and spas, underground workplaces without sufficient weathering - e.g. mines, display mines and caves as well as to general workplaces in radon protection areas according to RnV in EC and KG).

Our experienced AGES experts will advise you on the selection of relevant workplaces and measurement sites. After the measurement of the radon concentration according to the Radon Protection Ordinance, the assessment of the test results is carried out. If the reference value of 300 Bq/m³ was exceeded, optimization measures must be taken to reduce the radon concentration. If the control measurement shows that radon concentrations above 300 Bq/m³ still prevail despite optimization measures, a dose assessment must be carried out. If the dose assessment shows a possible annual dose of more than 6 mSv/a, an exact dose assessment is carried out for the affected employee.

* The conformity assessment bodies are accredited by Accreditation Austria (Federal Ministry for Digitalization and Economic Location) for the areas listed in the notification and published at www.bmdw.gv.at according to Annex 1 of the applicable GTCs.

The following areas can be covered in the radon survey at the workplace by AGES:

  • Consultation to clarify the assignment
  • Selection of relevant workplaces and, if necessary, on-site inspection
  • Radon measurements
  • Assessment of the investigation results
  • Evaluation of the investigation results in the context of the test report
  • Consultation concerning optimization measures for the reduction of the radon concentration
  • Dose estimation for the employees
  • Dose assessment in case of increased dose
  • Preservation of the tasks of the radon protection representative

Trainings for structural radon protection

Our Radon and Radioecology Department, in cooperation with the Upper Austrian Provincial Government and the Wels University of Applied Sciences, offers a course on "Radon - Prevention and Remediation" for building professionals. The course explains the radon problem in apartments and houses and conveys both the principles of preventive radon protection in new buildings and important knowledge for the planning and implementation of radon remediation measures in existing buildings.

Target group

  • Planners and executors: Architects, construction managers, civil engineers, construction biologists, construction technicians, structural engineers, civil engineers, planning master builders and employees of engineering offices.
  • construction companies, building contractors, craftsmen and women, energy consultants

Content

Module 1 Technical basics + workshops

  • Radon basics
  • Radon measurements
  • Preventive structural radon protection
  • Radon protection in existing buildings

Module 2 Excursion

  • Assessment of a radon remediation
  • Independent data collection

Module 3 Homework

  • Creation of a remediation concept

Module 4 Online examination

  • 2 weeks after the course

Individual training on the subject of radon

Our Radon and Radioecology Department is also happy to offer individual training courses on the subject of radon. The topics of measurement and assessment, radon precautionary measures for new buildings as well as remediation measures for existing buildings can be discussed. Please contact us to arrange an individual program for your company.

Drinking water tests

We carry out determinations of the indicator parameter "radioactivity" in accordance with the Drinking Water Ordinance (TWV).

Further information on the subject of drinking water, as well as our other offers in the field of drinking water testing can be found here.

Export certificates

Our Radiation Protection and Radiochemistry Department Vienna is accredited as a testing laboratory according to EN ISO 17025. In the course of a detailed consultation, we clarify your exact examination requirements, such as the determination of the various radiological and non-radiological parameters. Based on this, we carry out a careful analysis and issue the required export certificates.

For the export of your food, feed or fertilizer, you need accredited proof that your products do not contain any increased artificial radioactivity (cesium-137, cesium-134, strontium-90) or natural radionuclides (uranium) and that they comply with the legal guideline values. Our experienced experts determine the alpha, beta and gamma emitting radionuclides of the samples. Furthermore, all necessary non-radiological parameters of the food, feed or fertilizer are determined. Subsequently, we prepare the export certificate on the basis of the test results (test certificate consisting of test report and evaluation) or the submitted documents (test reports, specifications, etc.) in German and English.

We can cover the following areas in the preparation of export certificates:

  • Consultation for clarification of the order
  • Determination of radionuclides emitting gamma radiation (Cs-137 and Cs-134)
  • Determination of radionuclides emitting beta radiation (Sr-90)
  • Determination of non-radiological parameters for food, feed and fertilizer testing
  • Preparation of the test report
  • Export certificate in German and English language

More order measurements

Our laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art measurement systems in the fields of high-resolution gamma spectrometry, low-level liquid scintillation spectrometry, alpha spectrometry and ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry). With this equipment as well as our knowledge acquired over many years, we provide you with reliable measurement results and findings.

We offer:

  • Gamma spectrometric determination of radionuclides in the laboratory or on site (e.g. Iodine-131, Caesium-134, Caesium-137 in food)
  • Radioactivity in building materials incl. evaluation according to ÖNORM S 5200
  • Determination of indicator parameters for radioactivity according to drinking water ordinance (H-3, Rn-222, guide dose according to ÖNORM S 5251)
  • Leak tests of sealed sources by means of wipe tests according to ÖNORM S 5222
  • Radiochemical determination of Sr-90 in solid and liquid samples
  • Elemental determination by means of ICP-MS
  • Alpha spectrometric determination of Po-210 in water, food and environmental media
  • Alpha spectrometric determination of Pu-238, Pu-239/Pu-240, Am-241, U-234, U-235, U-238 in solid and liquid samples*.
  • Incorporation monitoring by means of precipitation analyses*.

The conformity assessment bodies are accredited by Accreditation Austria (Federal Ministry for Digitalization and Economic Location) according to Annex 1 of the applicable GTC (www.ages.at) for the areas listed in the notification and published at www.bmdw.gv.at.

*not accredited

Expert opinions and documents

The Radiation Protection Act and the General Radiation Protection Ordinance require every company that handles radioactive substances to conduct a safety analysis to demonstrate the protection of workers and the general public. Our experienced experts will advise you on the selection and review of the necessary documents as well as on the requirements and conditions for handling radioactive materials. Depending on the type of procedure, we will prepare the necessary expert reports, dose assessments and safety analysis for you. We offer fast and competent preparation of applications to the authorities (safety analysis, accident and emergency analysis, expert opinions, work instructions) and support you with technical questions during negotiations.

We can cover the following areas in licensing and official procedures:

  • Consultation for clarification of the order
  • Expert opinion or dose estimation
  • Preparation of the necessary documentation for the application
  • Support in negotiations with the authorities

Breast cancer screening program

As part of the Austrian Breast Cancer Early Detection Program (BKFP ), the Reference Center for Technical Quality Assurance ( RefZQS ) within the Radiation Protection Business Unit carries out technical quality assurance in accordance with EUREF Ö guidelines. In this way, RefZQS ensures compliance with the high quality requirements for the X-ray and peripheral equipment used as well as the ultrasound equipment of the participating specialists in radiology, as specified in the"European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis". The background to this is the quality-assured, uniformly organized, population-based breast cancer screening program (BKFP) introduced in Austria on January 1, 2014. The aim is to reduce breast cancer mortality and to ensure improved chances of cure and gentler treatment methods for women in Austria.

Our tasks

One of the main tasks of RefZQS is to enable Austria-wide comparability of device measurement data and to ensure optimization of image quality for improved detection of breast cancer. Therefore, mammography devices, diagnostic monitors and ultrasound devices are regularly tested. Furthermore, knowledge and implementation of technical quality assurance according to the EUREF-Ö guidelines among specialists in radiology and group practices wishing to participate in the breast cancer screening program is an essential aspect of achieving the program's goal.

The reference center not only coordinates the tests performed by persons trained for the measurements according to EUREF-Ö itself, but also contributes to scientific work in the field of mammography. This ensures that the necessary competence is available at the RefZQS to carry out quality assurance and consultation of the examination units according to the state of the art and also to consider new technologies in the breast cancer screening program.

Download area for technical offices

This link leads to a protected area where measurement protocols and instructions can be downloaded. If you need access to this area, please write your contact details (name, e-mail address, phone number) to our e-mail address, which you can find under Contact on this page.

Download area for technical offices

Contact

Thema Radon (Messungen/Ausbildungen/Gutachten)

Technischer Strahlenschutz/Radiochemie (Messungen/Gutachten)

DI Horst Schödl

Last updated: 07.04.2022

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