The use of volunteer radon measurements for radon mapping purposes: an examination of sampling bias issues.
Burke O., Murphy P.
National and regional radon surveys are used in many nations to produce maps detailing the spatial variation of indoor radon concentrations. National surveys which are designed to be representative use either a geographically-weighted or a population-weighted sampling scheme. Additionally, many countries collect a large number of data on indoor radon concentrations from volunteers who have chosen to have the indoor radon concentration measured in their own dwellings. This work examines the representativeness of volunteer-based samples in radon measurement and explores the effect of potential volunteer bias on radon mapping results. We also investigate the influence that media attention has on volunteer sampling of indoor radon concentrations. The result of our work indicates that volunteer measurements are biased due to over-sampling of high radon areas. Consequently such volunteer radon measurements should not be used for radon mapping purposes.