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AARST 2019 – Radon Community Gathers in Denver for Annual Symposium

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Last week the 33rd Annual 2019 International Radon Symposium and Trade Show (AARST) was hosted by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technicians (AARST) in downtown Denver, CO.? Members of the Radonova team from both sides of the pond were in attendance, exhibiting in the sold-out vendor hall.? The symposium is the largest of its kind and is attended by hundreds of radon professionals including scientists, regulators and companies from across the United States, as well as participants from Canada, Europe, and Asia.

There were over 70 guest speakers including the keynote speech from Dr. Jonathan Samet, M.D., M.S. Dean and Professor of the Colorado School of Public Health, who provided an insightful look back at the history of radon and its role in our environment and workplaces. During the talk Dr Samet highlighted the many controversies which have occurred across radon’s history, some of which are now resolved as the scientific foundation for radon control becomes more certain. The presentation ended with a look forward to the future of controlling radon’s risks. Another presentation of note was delivered by featured speaker Sara Jensen from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who provided an update on its radon policies for multifamily financing.

Naturally, the tradition of the AARST social “Night-Out” continued on, with attendees joining for a fun evening of food and drink, networking, and sport at the Wynkoop Brewery, Denver’s original craft brewery which was founded in 1988. During the evening conference goers challenged each other to games of pool, foosball, and shuffleboard.

Denver was a fantastic location, the symposium was well organized, and we left the 33rd annual meeting feeling motivated and energized to meet the challenges ahead of us, which is to provide as many quality measurement results as possible, and empower people to take action to minimize unnecessary exposure to the harmful effects of this known carcinogen, radon gas.

Let’s hope by the time we attend the 2020 Symposium more technological and legislative advances have been made to combat the issue of radon exposure

AARST 2019 - Radon Community Gathers in Denver for Annual Symposium

Radonova Signs Danish Partner Agreement with RadonHuset

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Radonova Laboratories has signed a partnership agreement with Denmark’s leading radon measurement company, RadonHuset, which will enable Radonova to deliver radon detectors to RadonHuset’s customers. Under the agreement, RadonHuset becomes Radonova’s offical representative in Denmark. Therefore, RadonHuset will now become a return hub for all radon detectors and will provide support to Radonova’s Danish customers.

Increased focus on radon

In Demark, the demand for radon measurement has substantially grown over the past few years. Initially this growth was primarily driven by measurements in private houses. However, there is now a strong demand for radon measurements from municipalities that want to carry out measurements in schools and public premises. As a country, Denmark strives to be “greener” which is highlighted by governmental legislation, consequently there is increased dialogue on the dangers of radon exposure which is leading to an even greater demand for radon measurements.

Bjarke Jacobsen, CEO of RadonHuset said: “The majority of Danish households have not conducted any radon measurement. However, several large foundations, authorities and the Building Research Institute (SBi) are actively focussing more on radon related issues as it becomes a higher priority across the country. We are convinced that radon measurements will become more frequent in Denmark, which necessitates the need for a qualified partner who can deliver high quality and fast radon analysis.”

“By combining RadonHuset’s local knowledge and sales channels with Radonova’s technical excellence, we become a very strong team. Radonova has already shown that they are at the forefront of radon measurements and we look forward to a close and successful collaboration,” Bjarke Jacobsen continues.

Radonova Laboratories CEO Karl Nilsson said: “The market for radon measurements is international. By signing an agreement with RadonHuset, we continue to expand our global presence at a time when the demand for reliable radon measurements increases. Although the Danish market is relatively small, for us it is strategically important and we foresee considerable growth opportunities. RadonHuset is a highly qualified and well-established local partner that matches and complements our own offering in radon measurement.”

Besides Denmark, Radonova Laboratories has local partners in Finland, Norway, Poland, Germany, England, USA, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, France, Spain and Portugal.

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that leaks from the ground and in some cases comes from building materials. Depending on the ground beneath the house and the type of building construction, harmful high concentrations of radon can occur. Radon is a health risk that, after smoking, is the most common cause of lung cancer. Globally, an estimated 230 000 people are affected each year by lung cancer as a result of long-term exposure to radon.

RadonHuset’s head office is in Glostrup. For more information visit www.radonhuset.dk.

For more information about radon and radon measurement click here.

For more information about Radonova’s portfolio of cutting edge solutions contact Karl Nilsson, CEO Radonova Laboratories AB, phone: 070-639 01 31, email: karl.nilsson@radonova.com

Radonova Signs Danish Partner Agreement with RadonHuset

Radonova and Durridge partnership brings RAD7 radon and thoron detector closer to European customers

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Radonova Laboratories and Durridge have signed a reseller agreement where Radonova will make the Durridge RAD7 radon and thoron detector available to the European market. So far over 5 000 units of RAD7 have been sold in six continents and the instrument has become a standard in the global scientific community, including mentions in over 2 500 research papers.

Carlos Bielicki, Chief Commercial Officer at Durridge, said: “The partnership with Radonova is a key part of our global strategy and we are confident that Radonova’s excellent reputation, knowledge and sales team will significantly increase Durridge’s exposure on the European market. Customers that need a radon and thoron instrument for any application can rest assured that the RAD7 delivers unparalleled measurement performance at a cost-effective price.”

Karl Nilsson, CEO at Radonova Laboratories, said: “Durridge RAD7 is an excellent complement to our own radon sniffer ATMOS. RAD7 is built on a different technology and makes it possible to detect both thoron and radon gas. From that aspect and based on RAD7´s track record this is a very important agreement which makes our portfolio of instruments even stronger.”

Dag Sedin, Senior Advisor at Radonova Laboratories, comments: “The capacity to measure both thoron and radon gas is especially important in some applications. Thoron gas has a half-life of one minute where RAD7 allows measurements detecting if the source has direct contact with the earth air which many times is the source of radon as well. My experience is that RAD7 is a very reliable and useful instrument. For instance, it is a very effective tool when measuring radon levels where ventilation varies over time. The instrument also comes with a number of accessories for measurement in water and soil.”

The RAD7 is used in a variety of applications in North America, a prevalent use is for geologists to measure radon as an environmental tracer for groundwater-surface water interactions. For these projects, RAD7 is used together with RAD H2O or RAD AQUA, both accessories for measuring radon in water.

For more information, please contact:

Karl Nilsson, CEO, Radonova Laboratories Phone: +46 (0)70-639 01 31, E-mail: karl.nilsson@radonova.com

Carlos Bielicki, Chief Commercial Officer, Durridge Phone: +1 978 239 0325, E-mail: carlos@durridge.com

Radonova and Durridge partnership RAD7

The Global Leader in Radon Measurements Kicks Off Another Year in Northern Spain

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As our global team descended on the Northern coast of Spain for our annual kick off meeting, it was a good time to reflect on what has been an outstanding last twelve months for Radonova…

During that time we have completed a number of key technical acquisitions to broaden our portfolio of radon measurement technologies, recruited experienced personnel to meet the growing demand for home and work radon measurements (in just one week in May we analysed 30,000 detectors, a record for the company), scaled up our operations to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry and expanded our footprint across Europe by offering our services to new markets. All in all, it has been quite a year as we continue to spread the word of why measuring radon is so important to everybody’s health.

Over the few days we spent together in Santander, one key highlight was seeing how our whole team embraced the purpose of our business. Through the use of state-of-the-art technology we are committed to decreasing the number of lung cancer fatalities caused by radon exposure.

As part of an educational and fact-finding mission, the team visited the Facultad de Medicina and group Laruc which is headed up by Professor Luis S. Quindos. Professor Quindos is a radon measurement pioneer in Spain and one of the founders of the European Radon Association (ERA). Recently he was chosen to head-up a working group on radon within the Spanish Society of Radiological Protection. The Radonova team benefitted from a guided tour of the laboratory of natural radioactivity and learned more about the specific issues Spain faces in terms of radon levels and exposure.

But as you can see from the photo it wasn’t all about work, and we certainly enjoyed the beautiful coastline of Northern Spain and the culinary delights that this region has to offer. At Radonova it is our belief that our employees and their dedication to our mission are paramount to being a strong and reliable laboratory partner. To that end, team building exercises such as those at our annual Kick Off are an integral part of developing and strengthening our organization, and help position us to be a best in class service provider to our valued clients.

Radonova, Kickoff 2019

Introducing MARKUS 10 – Measuring Radon Content in Soil

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As part of a wider strategic growth initiative, Radonova acquired the radon measurement instrument division of Gammadata Instruments earlier this year. The acquisition broadened Radonova’s portfolio of radon measurement technologies by adding several advanced instruments and products to its offering.

Here we take a more in-depth look at MARKUS 10, one of the state-of-the-art radon monitors developed and manufactured by Gammadata, a portable, battery-powered precision instrument for determining radon content in soil – designed with simplicity at its core.

MARKUS 10 Overview

Attach the MARKUS 10 and hollow measurement probe to the ground and simply press a button to start measuring. The soil air is pumped through the probe into a measurement chamber which detects radon daughters (charged isotopes produced from the decay of radon gas which are attached to particles and aerosols). A water lock prevents the chamber from being flooded. The result is presented in the display after 12 minutes.

MARKUS 10 in Action

During the initial measuring phase, air from the soil is pumped up through a sounding tube into a measuring cell. The pumping time (about 30 seconds) ensures that soil gas overfills the chamber.

A pressure sensor stops the pump if the pressure in the tube drops below a given value. When the pressure rises, the pump starts again. The pump’s running time is always the same, which guarantees a certain minimum volume of air that can be measured.

Following the pumping phase, the measurement phase commences. The detector is activated and the voltage to the measuring chamber is switched on. The charged radon daughters are driven towards the detector by an electric field in the chamber. The detector registers the alpha radiation originating from the radon daughters.

The detector pulses are amplified and filtered in a single channel analyser that only accepts pulses from the short-lived radon daughter polonium 218. This eliminates the slow variations in the background from polonium 214. The pulses are counted and the result is shown in text on the instrument’s display (kBq/m3 radon-gas activity).

The display flashes during the measuring phase and becomes steady when the measurement is completed. As the instrument only counts pulses from the short-lived nuclide polonium 218, a new measurement can be started after just 18 minutes. In that time, activity from the previous measurement will have decayed sufficiently.

MARKUS 10 accessories include an aluminium case, charger, water seal, handle, impact rod, spanner to sounding tube and replaceable tip.

Technical Specifications:

Pump capacity: 1.8 lit/min
Effective pumping time: 30 sec
Lower pressure limit: 0.95 Atm
Type of detector: Passivated Implanted Planar Silicon (PIPS™) Detectors
Active area of detector: 100 mm²
Window thickness: 200 µm
Energy resolution of detector: < 16 keV (in vacuum)
Battery capacity: About 70 measurements
Battery type: Lead
Recharging time: 8 hours
Accuracy of measurement: 10 % at 50 kBq/m³ (1350 pCi/l)
Measurement time: Typically 12 minutes
Measurement range: 1– 199kBq/m³
Dimensions: 220 x 122 x 80 mm (L x H x D)
Weight 3 kg

More information about MARKUS is available here»
More information on radon and radon measurement can be found here»

Introducing MARKUS 10 – Measuring Radon Content in Soil

Radonova Expands European Footprint – Thomas Chauvin Heads-Up New French Division

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Radonova Laboratories continues to expand and has appointed Thomas Chauvin. Thomas will be responsible for the company’s sales, business development and partnerships in the French market. Thomas brings extensive industry experience to the new French operation, enabling Radonova to make inroads into the growing demand for radon measurement and analysis in France. The announcement of the new division is another example of Radonova’s increased global profile which has occurred at a time when many regions across the world are being increasingly affected by stringent requirements for measuring radon in homes and workplaces.

Like many other countries, France has adopted new rules and legislation regarding human exposure to radon.
”In France, knowledge of radon has generally been low, even though radon levels in several parts of the country pose a health risk. However, that perspective is changing and there is now noticeably more interest in understanding the risks of radon exposure and how radon can be measured accurately in the home and at work. As the world’s leading radon laboratory, I am convinced that Radonova will contribute both knowledge and services in generating greater awareness across France”, comments Thomas Chauvin.

“We know from experience that in-depth knowledge of local conditions is required for international success. In this respect, Thomas has the background and experience to provide us with a stronger presence in France to ultimately raise awareness of how effective our portfolio of radon measurement technologies can mitigate the dangers of radon exposure”, comments Karl Nilsson, CEO of Radonova Laboratories.

Public sector and Workplaces driving radon awareness
“From my perspective, the areas of growth in regard to radon measurement will be in the public sector, authorities and workplaces. These are the institutions that will drive awareness of the harmful effects of radon. Any operator in the market will only succeed if they provide efficient processes, service and quality”, Thomas Chauvin continues.

“Radonova is accredited according to ISO 17025 and via RadOnline is the only operator offering an online service that facilitates radon measurement and analysis. Using this proprietary customer web portal, customers can capture detector measurement data and track the status of projects. This means we are perfectly positioned to meet customer demand as awareness of the dangers of radon exposure increases. I’m looking forward to being responsible for the company’s development and operations in my native France”, concludes Thomas.

Thomas Chauvin holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Nantes. For several years, Thomas has worked on various urban planning projects in France.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3% – 14% of all lung cancer cases are caused by radon depending on where you live. WHO recommends a limit value for radon content of 100 Bq /m3.

Accreditation guarantees accurate radon measurement

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Accreditation guarantees the quality of a radon measurement, in part because the laboratory’s measurement processes are regularly checked by independent organizations. However, most of the world’s radon laboratories are not accredited, which to many might seem a little strange. Why is this? Firstly, accreditation entails a large additional cost and secondly customers do not demand it, but this is expected to change.
The definition of an accredited radon measurement is a measurement obtained using radon detectors from a laboratory which is accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 and follows the instructions that accompany the detectors.

Why is accreditation important?

When a customer orders a radon measurement, the expectation is that the measurement is conducted professionally and accurately – a non-accredited laboratory cannot guarantee this.
– An incorrect procedure can, for example, lead to measuring too low values, although the user is actually measuring an indoor environment with high radon levels. For those who live or work in such an environment, the risk of suffering from lung cancer increases and unfortunately the individual will not be aware of this. Conversely, carrying out a measurement that incorrectly shows too high values also has undesirable consequences. This means time and money is invested to reduce radon levels even though it is not necessary, comments Karl Nilsson, CEO of Radonova Laboratories.
The conclusion is therefore obvious: always use radon measurement technology from an accredited laboratory. In Sweden, the authorities also require accreditation.

What differentiates an accredited radon laboratory?
An accreditation according to the laboratory standard ISO/IEC 17025 sets a quality level for the business. This includes mandatory requirements for quality systems and competence.

Factors that differentiate Radonova from other providers:

  • Our measurement processes are continuously revised by an independent government agency. They check that we meet different measurement standards and ISO/IEC 17025. In Radonova’s case, it is SWEDAC, the national accreditation body for Sweden, that continuously tests that the company is competent to carry out the accredited tests.
  • We are monitored for impartiality – there should be no self-interest for Radonova to provide a certain measurement result. For example, if you conduct radon consulting, it could be tempting to show too high values because it would generate more jobs. We do not do that.
  • We continuously calibrate our measuring equipment and radon detectors against a known radon source, e.g. Radon chamber of the Radiation Safety Authority.
  • We participate in demanding national and international comparison tests.

Note, accreditation may relate to different measurement methods. Therefore, it is important to check what types of measurements a laboratory is accredited for. Radonova is accredited for both indoor air and water measurements. Here you will find more information about Radonova and our accredited measurement methods.

Customers can trust a measurement from Radonova

Since October 1995, Radonova has been an accredited test laboratory for radon. This means that we can guarantee high quality and accurate radon measurements. With accreditation and the market’s fastest delivery and analysis times, we have become the first choice for individuals and businesses who want to carry out a correct radon measurement as efficiently as possible.

Measuring radon in water – Radonova gets top marks in EU test

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Radonova Laboratories has achieved excellent results in the comparative EU test “REM 2018”. The test measures the incidence of radon in water and compares participating laboratories’ analytical results with a reference value. Radonova’s analysis had an average deviation of 3.1 per cent in relation to the reference value. Deviations up to 15 per cent are judged to be an acceptable result.  

“This is a large-scale international test that demonstrates that Radonova’s method of measuring radon in drinking water is reliable and very precise. Radon in water does not necessarily present a major problem. However, radon that evaporates into indoor air when, for example, we take a shower, wash up or do laundry, can be a health hazard. For this reason it is important for studies and tests of this kind to be conducted,” comments Tryggve Rönnqvist, technical manager at Radonova Laboratories.

The comparative test covers a total of 101 participating laboratories, some of which have been involved in more than one analysis. The full name of the test is “REM 2018 radon-in-water proficiency test”.

About radon gas in water     

Radon in water easily evaporates into the air. This in turn can contribute to raised radon levels in the indoor air, and leads to an increased risk of lung cancer. Radon levels of 1,000 Bq/l can add roughly another 100 Bq/m³ to the indoor air. It is primarily radon gas in drinking water from drilled wells that must be measured, in order to ensure that the water does not contain dangerous levels of radon.

For further information about radon in water, visit https://radonovalaboratories.com/questions-and-answers-about-radon-in-water/

ATMOS: New version of the world’s lightest and most sensitive radon sniffer

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Radonova Laboratories is launching a completely new version of the radon sniffer ATMOS. The new version weighs 4.5 kg , has a new design, several new features and enhanced software functionality. The new ATMOS is designed to enable even faster and more efficient radon measurements in the field. The latest version of ATMOS is now commercially available.
The instrument has been developed to meet the needs of an international market that is growing and demanding modern, user-friendly instruments for radon measurement.

Increased demand for radon measurement

The need for reliable and flexible field instruments has increased as more and more homes and workplaces show increased levels of radon.
In the case of a radon inspection, the user normally searches for the leakage of radon and therefore needs an instrument that can quickly display the correct radon content. Therefore, there is sometimes a need to measure the variation of radon every minute and in various contexts to clarify daytime variations. In this circumstance, ATMOS makes the radon consultant’s everyday life easier and more efficient.

Fast and reliable measurement reports

ATMOS is unique because it is the most sensitive and lightest instrument that can be used both in the field and in a laboratory.
– Thanks to its light compact format and general portability, ATMOS can easily be taken out for radon inspection of properties. The updated software makes it very easy to extract data and quickly create reliable measurement reports. The latest version of ATMOS enables radon consultants to conduct considerably more measurements compared to other instruments on the market in a 24 hour period, says Patrik Starck, technical physicist and Radonova’s development manager.
– Compared to previous versions, the instrument has essentially been completely redesigned. The only part that remains is the measuring chamber. That particular part is based on a proven technique and it is doubtful whether you can improve the design, continues Patrik Starck.

Growing international market

Previous versions of ATMOS have mainly been delivered and used in Sweden. With increased international demand, Radonova has scaled production at the company’s plant in Uppsala.
– It is of course gratifying when we now see clear demand outside Sweden. The new ATMOS has been launched after several years of research and development. The positive response from the market is an acknowledgment that more and more people and businesses are seeing the benefits of the instrument, comments Karl Nilsson, CEO, Radonova Laboratories.

New ATMOS specifications:

  • Light and compact, simplifying field work
  • Weight: 4.5 kg Size: 500 x 385 x 220 mm (W x H x D)
  • New software enables fast and secure measurement reports
  • The pulsation chamber has high sensitivity and a fast response time
  • Chirp function – listens to how high the content is in confined spaces
  • Communication to PC via USB
  • > 10 year history for measurement data

The basic version of ATMOS costs SEK 89,450 excluding VAT.

Risks with radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when the substance Uran238 decomposes. Thereafter, the radon gas, in turn, decomposes into radond daughters. Radon daughters are radioactive metal atoms that get stuck in our airways during inhalation. When this disintegration occurs, radiation is emitted from the radon daughters that can damage the cells in our airways and lungs. In the worst case, they can cause cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3-14 percent of all lung cancer cases are caused by radon depending on where you live. Therefore, WHO recommends a radon level limit of 100 Bq/m3.

ATMOS product description

ATMOS has a built-in dehumidification to ensure that the moisture content of the air does not interfere with the measurement. The dehumidifier works in saturated moisture at temperatures up to 40ºC. 40 degrees C. ATMOS also shows a table of the 10 latest measured levels per selected integration time. To each calculated radon measurement the user is presented with the associated uncertainty in measurement. The dehumidification of the air in ATMOS takes place automatically and is fully integrated in the instrument. The atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity of the air are shown in the display and stored together with each measurement. Due to the fact that the measurement value is displayed directly at a new measurement, the user does not have to wait for the end of the measuring cycle.
ATMOS includes software for analyzing measurement data. The display is a 3.5 ? touch screen that shows the radon content in Bq/m³, the uncertainty since the start time of the measurement, integration time, measurement time, time and date. In addition, a field storage bag with detachable lid, 24VDC mains adapter and 3 meter hose with instrument adapter are included. The readout and reporting software works in Windows and is included with the instrument. The software is used to read out stored measurement data to evaluate time variations and energy spectrum. In addition, the software is compatible with older versions of Windows.
The instrument measures the alpha decay of radon and its daughters and is completely insensitive to gamma radiation. The alpha energies of the different isotopes are detected and the radon concentration is displayed in a touch display on the instrument. The user selects the desired integration time, the longer the time the more accurate the measurement. The measurement energy spectrum is stored every 10 minutes during the measurement and always gives the user the opportunity to quality-assure the measurement data. A measurement value is displayed directly at a new measurement and the user does not have to wait.

More information about new ATMOS is available here»
More information on radon and radon measurement can be found here»

Radiation measurement: from timber to wild boar

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Radonova’s story begins in 1986 when a group of researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden were commissioned to measure the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident in Sweden and beyond. Today the company focuses primarily on radon measurement, a field in which we are the global leader.

Each year, though, Radonova also carries out a large number of radiation measurements on everything from wild game meat to timber. Our customers are authorities, private individuals and companies.

“Although our core business these days is radon measurement in homes and other premises, we regularly carry out other forms of radiation analyses. We have so far conducted around half a million analyses, in addition to radon measurement,” comments Oscar Wännerud, a laboratory manager at Radonova Laboratories.

Participated in several wildlife projects

Over the years Radonova has collaborated on projects with a number of authorities and organisations. Radonova also performs caesium analyses for customers in Europe and Asia.

“A lot of our analyses have involved reindeer meat and have been commissioned by the Swedish Board of Agriculture and more recently Sametinget (the Sami Parliament). We have also carried out a large number of measurements on wild boar meat and have participated in the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s project offering free measurement of caesium-137 in meat from wild boar,” continues Oscar.

Radiation levels can be high in wild boar because the animals root for food and consume berries, mushrooms and roots or other foodstuffs that have lain in the soil for a long time. The wild boar also ingests a lot of soil that may also contain caesium-137.

Easy to carry out radiation measurement

Like radon measurement, radiation measurement of foodstuffs and other items is often relatively simple. “Generally speaking, it is easy to order and submit a sample of foodstuff for radiation measurement. Over the years we have received a lot of foodstuffs, including wild game meat, mushrooms, berries and fish, as well as some more unusual items, such as a tree stump, a cot, lynx testicles, vodka, snus and cigarettes. These are items you wouldn’t normally associate with radioactive radiation. When it comes to foodstuffs and items that are in close proximity to people for a prolonged period, it is, of course, prudent to conduct a measurement. Especially when you consider that exposure to radiation can have serious consequences and increase the risk of cancer,” concludes Oscar Wännerud.

Read more about caesium in wild game meat»