Corentium Digital Radon Monitor

The Corentium radon gas monitor is a state-of-the-art measuring instrument that combines ease of use and performance.

The Corentium monitor allows you to take a reading of the radon levels and its LCD screen displays the average daily, weekly and long term concentrations. Powered by 3 standard AAA batteries, the monitor makes it easy to take measurements from one room to another in order to get an overview of the concentrations of radon in a home, workplace, school, a daycare centre or any other location.  The Corentium monitor is also an essential tool to use when performing property inspections or when checking the operation of a radon mitigation system.

The internal architecture of the Corentium monitor comes from advanced technology normally reserved for commercial-type detectors. Particular attention has been paid to the quality and protection of the internal components, allowing the use of algorithms for signal analysis that are more sophisticated. The Corentium monitor quickly adapts to its environment and eliminates inaccuracies related to external factors, allowing it to obtain the best accuracy in its niche.

The Corentium monitor is guaranteed for one year and in normal home use, it requires no annual calibrations throughout its useful life, estimated at over 10 years.

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Corentium Digital Radon Monitor

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Specification

Radon Sampling Method

Passive radon diffusion chamber

Radon Detection Method

Alpha spectrometry using digital detector technology.

Precision (at 2,7pCi/L)
Short term (7 days)
Long term

 
20% after 1 week
10% after 1 month

Accuracy

< 5% ± 0,14pCi/L

Power Supply

3 LR03 (AAA alkaline battery)
3 years battery life-time

Power Consumption

< 250µW

Dimensions

120mm × 69mm × 22.5mm

Weight

130 grams (incl. batteries)

Operation Environment

Temperature: 0 °C to +40 °C
Relative Humidity < 95%

Measurement range

0 pCi/L (lower detection limit)
9999 pCi/L  (upper display limit)

Certification

Radon monitors should preferably undergo international comparative tests, in order to compare against other technologies and producers. Since there are so few similar digital monitors in the marked, the Corentium monitor has so far only been able to be tested against traditional alpha track detectors.

The Corentium monitor (named ‘Canary’ in the European market) was in July 2011 tested at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Japan. NIRS has calibrated laboratories, and are certified to conduct such tests. The methodology used is that we send a number of monitors to the laboratory; they conduct a test at (for us) an unknown radon level (blind test), and return the monitors to us. We then report our results to them, before they present the correct values, i.e. their measured results. For alpha track detectors, typically 70% of the participants have a result within +-20% of the reference value. This implies that measuring with an alpha track detector in a room with exactly 2.7 pCi/L (100 Bq/m3) over a two months period, the measurements done in that room with an alpha track detector from a random supplier will show values from 1.62 pCi/L (60 Bq/m3) up to 3.78 pCi/L (140 Bq/m3) with 95% probabilityIn the test at NIRS, Canary had a deviation of 3% of the NIRS reference value. Since the reference value has an uncertainty of 6%, the Canary is thus well within the NIRS laboratory measurement uncertainty.

This means that for a 2 month measurement period at 2.7 pCi/L (100 Bq/m3)  - as discussed above regarding the alpha track detector - one can expect that a random Corentium monitor shows between 2.43 pCi/L (90 Bq/m3)  and 2.97 pCi/L (110 Bq/m3).

The NIRS report may be downloaded here: NIRS report

In September 2012 Canary was tested in the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bfs) in Germany. 21 monitors were tested against reference monitors, and all were statistically measured to be within the laboratories own measurement uncertainty – which is 7%.

The BfS report may be downloaded here: BfS report

In June 2013 the Corentium was again tested at BfS. 6 monitors were exposed for 1100 h*kBq/m3 and showed an average of 3.6% below the BfS reference value.

The BfS report may be downloaded here: BfS report

Corentium was in 2013 tested at IRSN (Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire) in France.  The test was conducted over 3 months at a radon level of 4.59 pCi/L (170 Bq/m3). The average for the 20 tested devices was 4.51 pCi/L (167 Bq/m3).

The IRSN report may be downloaded here: IRSN report

Corentium was in 2014 tested at Bowser-Morner in USA. 10 Corentium monitors was exposed to a controlled radon environment for 2 months and they performed very well compared to the reference instruments.

The Bowser-Morner report may be downloaded here: Bowser-Morner report

Corentium has also been tested in calibrated radon laboratories in the Czech Republic. These tests verify that Corentium shows the same radon values irrespective of any changes in temperature, humidity, aerosols (dust particles in the air) and electromagnetic fields. This is in contrast to many monitors that are sensitive, and will typically show wrong results when these parameters change.

 

Technology

Radon monitoring now is taking a permanent step into the digital age – also for the home owner. It has become much easier to diagnose the health of buildings when it comes to radon radiation. Radon measurement procedures have become much easier, more flexible, and more accurate.

The use of Corentium does not require any knowledge about the monitor technology. For those eager to have more insight into the world of digital radon measurement, we will go into more detail here:

 

 

Measurement principles

A Corentium can be compared to a digital version of a traditional alpha track detector. The detection of radon is based on the principle that radon gas diffuses into a detection chamber. When the radon atoms decay they emit energetic alpha particles. The alpha particles are detected by a silicon photo diode. Every alpha particle generates a small signal current when it hits the photo diode. By the use of a low-power amplifier stage the signal current is converted into a larger voltage signal. The maximum amplitude of the voltage signal is detected and sampled by an analog to digital converter (ADC). The amplitude is proportional to the energy of the alpha particle that hit the photo diode. The brain of the monitor is a micro-controller that registers the time and energy of every detected particle. This information is used to calculate the mean radon gas concentration for daily, weekly and yearly periods. This is all realized in electronic circuitry that in total only consumes a few microwatts of power, making the Corentium able to operate for almost 3 years on a single set of small AAA alkaline batteries.

 

The calculation of radon gas concentration is complex since there are multiple error sources that have to be considered. When radon decays, several radioactive so-called daughters are produced - most notably Polonium-218 and Polonium-214, - which themselves emit alpha particles like radon does. These alpha particles could be mistaken for alpha particles from radon and give a false radon gas reading, but Corentium uses algorithms that are able to distinguish between the various alpha sources. The main input to these algorithms is the alpha particle energy in combination with the knowledge of the energy spectrum of radon and polonium isotopes. The Corentium has a very good energy measurement resolution, which is required when using such algorithms.

 

 

Accuracy and precision

The Corentium is not constructed to give instantaneous measurement results of the radon gas concentration, but rather averages over time. The reason is that instantaneous values are of little importance, since radon can vary a lot over a short time span, and since the health effect is linked to the average exposure over time. This is the reason why the three values that the Corentium presents are referred to as ‘averages’. The only difference in these three averages is the time span over which the averaging takes place. The day average (1 day) is taken over the last 24 hours, the week average (7 day) over the last 7 days and the long term average for the duration since the Corentium was first started (or last RESET). If the total measurement period is more than one year, the long term measurement is the average over the last year only.

 

The Corentium performs several levels of calibration. The first calibration takes place during the first 3 minutes after the batteries are inserted. After the Corentium has been running for several days it will ‘learn’ the local conditions and measurement accuracy will improve over time. As an example, the daily averages presented will be more precise after some weeks than during the first few days. The reason is that measurements are affected by aerosols and trace gases in the air, which are typically ‘stable’ for each house/environment and changes little over time, allowing the Corentium to ‘learn’ the local conditions. When the Corentium is first started there is no history for the current location, and the display shows a value of 0 pCi/L (0.4 pCi/L in the first sold version of the Corentium). As an example, if the unit is placed in a room with exactly 2.7 pCi/L, one will see the measurement slowly ramp up from 0 (0.4 pCi/L in the first sold version of the Corentium) to 2.7 pCi/L during the first 24 hours. As mentioned earlier, the unit does not measure an instantaneous radon gas concentration, but rather an average over a time interval. Therefore, it is of little value to read the unit in the first few hours after it was first started - one should give it at least 24 hours. Before that, the values are likely to be an underestimation of the real value. However, in the case where a room has a very high radon gas concentration - say 27 pCi/L as an example - even the underestimation you get after a few hours will give a hint that the unit may reach high values by the end of the first day.

 

There is a similar situation related to the weekly average. Until the Corentium has been measuring a full week, the weekly average value will not be as precise as when the unit has been measuring for more than a week.

 

At this point it is natural to bring forward the two concepts; measurement accuracy and measurement precision.

 

Accuracy is related to how well the Corentium measurement value matches the true radon gas concentration. This is verified by placing many Corentium units in a laboratory with a known radon gas concentration to check how well the Corentium results match those of professional high cost reference monitors (which is the proxy for the ‘true’ radon gas concentration in the laboratory). We have performed such measurements in renowned laboratories in Japan and the Czech Republic. The result of these tests shows that the Corentium accuracy is around 5%. This means that the results of such comparison measurements are within +/-5% of the result the reference monitors show. Accuracy is really related to systematic errors, for example due to a wrong calibration or other effects that systematically would produce too high or too low values.

 

Precision on the other hand is related to the spread of the measurement results. If we would place 100 Corentium units side by side in the same room (i.e. at the same radon gas concentration), how well do the results of the individual Corentium units match each other? Looking back at accuracy, this would be how well the average readings of these 100 units match the true radon gas concentration (or how it matches a professional well calibrated monitor). Since we have indicated that Corentium has 5% accuracy, it means we can assume that the average of the 100 monitors would be no more than 5% away from the true value.

 

For the Corentium the measurement precision (spread in measurement values for the various Corentium) depends on the radon level itself. The higher the radon gas concentration, the more precise the measurement will be. The precision is also different for the various time averages that are measured. The longer the measurement duration the more precise the result will be. These measurement precisions are illustrated in the tables below.

 

It is customary to give the measurement results (for radon) with a 20% precision. When a precision is indicated it will for most monitors mean that the measurement will follow a Gaussian distribution. A Gaussian distribution with a 20% standard deviation means that in about 68% of the cases (say you had 100 units) the result of a selected unit (pick one of the 100) will be inside a window of +/-20% of the average in 68% of the cases. If the average measurement of the 100 units were 2.7pCi/L, it means you can expect 68 of them to show a result from 2.1 to 3,2pCi/L. Further, the Gaussian distribution means that approximately 95% of the measurements will be within two times the standard deviation (i.e. 40%) of the average. This means for a 20% reported precision you can expect 95 of the 100 units to show a value between 1.6 and 3.8 pCi/L for a true radon concentration in the room of 2,7pCi/L.

 

The total measurement uncertainty is typically the root mean square of the individual contributions (where individual contributions are Gaussian distributed). If we operate with an accuracy of 5% and a precision of 20%, the fact that the accuracy is much better than the precision will only slightly increase the total uncertainty above the precision:

 

20%2+5%221%


This means we are dominated by the uncertainty introduced by the lower precision.

 

In a large comparison study between various suppliers of alpha track detectors performed by NIRS (The Japanese Health Authorities) in 2009 it was found that 16 of the 26 contributors (62%) were within +/-20% of the reference value reported by NIRS. Comparing this result to the earlier discussions about precision, we see that this can be taken to indicate that alpha track detectors typically have a measurement precision of about 20%. This is the reason why our tables below show typical measurement durations and radon gas concentration which will allow the Corentium measurement precision to be 20% or better (than alpha track detectors).

 

The following tables show the total measurement of uncertainty for a Corentium for different radon gas concentrations and for the various averages (weekly and long term). The table does not present values for radon gas concentrations below 2.7pCi/L, since no countries use an action level below this value.

 

Measurement duration to get below the indicated uncertainty for the long term measurement

 

Radon concentration

[pCi/L]

20% uncertainty

10% uncertainty

3

4 days

3 weeks

5

2 days

10 days

8

2 days

7 days

13

1 day

4 days

30

1 day

2 days

>65

1 day

1 day

 

Measurement uncertainty (%) for the weekly average at different radon gas levels

 

Radon gas concentration

[pCi/L]

Measurement uncertainty

[%] 

3

16

5

12

8

10

15

8

30

7

65

6

 

Lifetime 

The monitor is tested and quality assured at production. It meets the accuracy specified in the specification table, unless it is continuously measured at high radon levels (many hundred pCi/L) over years. We recommend that the unit is left on all the times

Quick start guide

  1. Insert batteries
  2. Place the Corentium correctly
    • The monitor should be lying flat with the display facing up. The monitor should not be hanging or standing
    • The monitor should not be exposed to sunlight
    • The monitor should be placed at least 25 cm away from nearest wall, at least 50 cm above the floor and least 150 cm from nearest door, window or ventilation inlet/outlet
  3. Measure for minimum 7 days in the mostly used rooms
    • Living rooms
    • Bedrooms
    • Rooms with ground contact

FAQ

1. How do I start the Corentium monitor?

2. Where should I place the Corentium monitor?

3. How long should I measure with Corentium monitor in one room?

4. What does ‘LONG TERM AVERAGE’ mean?

5. What does SHORT TERM AVERAGE’ mean?

6. How do I know when the batteries should be replaced?

7. What happens with the measurements if the batteries are replaced?

8. How do I erase the data stored in the monitor?

9. How do I know that the monitor actually measures radon?

10. What does it mean when ERR ### is shown on the display?

11. May I hang the monitor on the wall?

 

1. How do I start the Corentium monitor?

The Corentium monitor starts automatically when the batteries are inserted. There is no need to press any button to start the monitor.

Leave the monitor untouched for the first few minutes after the batteries are inserted, until you see the measurement indicator starts to blink in the upper right corner on the display.

When you move the monitor to a new room and start a new measurement, press the RESET button. This will erase the stored data.

 

2. Where should I place the Corentium monitor?

The Corentium monitor should be placed in the room (basically ground-floor) you want to measure for radon, and in a location that is representative for the air that is breathed.

To get as correct values as possible, you should avoid placing the monitor in or near:

    - windows
    - ventilation or ventilation channels
    - heating sources (stoves, fireplaces, heat pumps)
    - bathrooms and kitchen (because of the possibility for dust and humidity) 
 

3. How long should I measure with the Corentium monitor in one room?

Since the radon concentration can vary from one day to another, and from one season to another, the monitor should measure for at least one week (preferably one month) in each room in order to get a representative measurement for that room.   

In most countries, the Radiation Protection Authorities suggest that radon should be measured for a minimum of 2 months in each location to find the right long term average. This is because the old alpha track technology requires minimum 2 months measurement to be able to establish a result that can be extrapolated to a one year average – which the national action levels most often relate to.

When you move the monitor to a new room, you should press the RESET button. When you have measured for at least one week in each room, you can place the monitor permanently in the room you mostly reside, or where you registered the highest value.

 

4. What does ‘LONG TERM AVERAGE’ mean?

’Long Term Average’ is the average radon value for the last year. If the monitor has measured for less than a year, it shows the mean value for the period since the batteries were inserted, or the period since the last time the monitor was restarted by pressing the RESET button.

The long term average value is updated on the display every 24 hours.

 

5. What does SHORT TERM AVERAGE’ mean?

‘Short Term Average’ shows both the average radon value for the last 24 hours (1 DAY) and for the last week (7 DAYS). The display alternates between showing 1 day and 7 days mean values, with 6 seconds duration.

The monitor calculates and presents a new 1 day average value every hour. 7 days average value is updated once every 24 hours, as with the long term average.

The short term average should primarily be used as an indicator for the radon level.

 

6. How do I know when the batteries should be replaced?

A battery indicator on the display is shown when it is time to replace the batteries.

 

7. What happens with the measurements if the batteries are replaced?

If the batteries are removed the measurements stop temporarily - the measurements registered so far will not be erased. The measurements continue when batteries are inserted again.

 

8. How do I erase the data stored in the monitor?

By pushing the RESET button, all stored data in that measurement period will be erased. The monitor will then start to measure as if it was new. This should be done every time the monitor is moved to a new location or after mitigation measures are completed and you want to initiate a new measurement.

 

9. How do I know that the monitor actually measures radon?

The measurement indicator in the upper right corner of the display starts blinking 5 minutes after the batteries are inserted.

 

10. What does it mean when ERR ### is shown on the display?

If the display shows the error message combined with a digit, you should remove the batteries and insert them again. If the problem persists, you should contact your dealer.

If such errors occur, it will most likely be in the startup phase, since the calibration phase is sensitive to vibrations and mechanical disturbance. Leave the monitor untouched for the first few minutes after the batteries are inserted, until you see the measurement indicator blinking in the upper right corner at the display.

 

11. May I hang the monitor on the wall?

The monitor comes with a hole at the back for mounting on walls, but we do recommend that the monitor should be placed lying down with the display facing upwards. The reason is that most national Radiation Authorities suggest that radon should be measured more than 30 cm from walls to get a representative value for the indoor air.

Calibration

All measuring instruments must be calibrated to provide information relevant to their users. Without this process of calibration, the devices cannot be considered reliable and have neither real usefulness nor value.


The Corentium monitors are carefully calibrated, tested and rechecked during production to ensure that the measures they will reveal during their useful lives will be the most accurate and reliable. In addition, each unit has a program that allows the Corentium to self-calibrate and self-test periodically.


Home Use

Special attention has been given to the quality and protection of the internal components of Corentium monitors since their design. This innovative approach preserves measurement reliability under normal conditions of home use for many years without requiring an annual external calibration. Without annual calibration, the estimated life of the device is 10 years or more. After a period of 10 years, if the device seems to have lost its reliability, we recommend simply replacing the monitor.


Commercial

Use In terms of commercial use, some public guidelines require that radon monitors be calibrated annually. To meet this requirement, Corentium offers testing and calibration services as follows:

  • The service is available twice a year.
  • Fill out our online form, and then send, at your expense, your Corentium monitor to our warehouse in the United States.
  • It must be received by:
    • The 1st of February or the 1st of August.
  • Processing times, including return shipping, are normally within 20 working days of one of the two dates above.
  • Return shipping to your address is included in the price. The cost for this service is $ 95.00 USD.


To start the calibration process of your Corentium monitor standard edition, please have your device's serial number ready and click on the following link:



Measuring radon gas during a real estate transaction.

Radon levels can greatly vary over a short period of time. Several factors may cause this variation: temperature, wind speed, type and amount of precipitation, atmospheric pressure, and more. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see radon levels more than double within a single day.


Health risks are calculated based on average levels of exposure to radon over an extended period of time. Therefore, when taking measurements of radon concentrations, it is better to have the longest possible sampling period so that the extrapolation obtained by analyzing test results corresponds as closely as possible to the actual trend to come.


However, during a real estate transaction, all inspections must be performed in a defined and often a relatively short period of time. In these circumstances, it is still possible to perform radon testing to provide an indication of what could be the general levels of radon.


In the past, short-term tests such as charcoal canister were used in such circumstances. While functional, they had some disadvantages since:

  • They are disposable and their supply must be constantly replenished.
  • They look outdated, and have a cheap and unreliable appearance.
  • They require extra handling to ship the dosimeter to a laboratory.
  • They require additional wait times to receive analysis results.

For several years, Corentium has worked to develop a new generation of radon monitors. These monitors were quickly acknowledged as the ultimate tools to perform radon testing during a real estate transaction. Reusable, reliable, efficient and elegant, the Corentium monitors have since become the #1 choice of building inspectors.


Corentium offers two solutions for building inspectors to perform short-term testing during a real estate transaction:

  • The standard edition Corentium monitor, if used as directed, will provide all the key information needed to prepare a basic inspection report. The "inspection report" section provides a procedure, which allows the production of an instant formal report. This version offers an affordable choice to accommodate smaller equipment budgets.
  • The Corentium Pro monitor is the ultimate tool to generate very detailed reports, which allow visualizing changes in concentration and any external factors that may influence the measurements collected. The CRA software supplied with each Corentium Pro, allows users to download a wealth of data recorded by the monitor and then, in just a few clicks, generate expanded and accurate reports containing detailed time graphics, which bring rich and professional visual appeal while remaining user friendly.

Regardless of which model they choose, all Corentium customers receive fast and personalized technical support. Our certified NRPP/AARST team is readily available for you.


Click on the following link to get access our section reserved to home inspectors: