LARUC: the first calibration laboratory accredited to increase radon control guarantees in Spain
The University of Cantabria's environmental radioactivity laboratory (Laboratorio de Radiactividad Ambiental de la Universidad de Cantabria, LARUC) has recently expanded its ENAC accreditation scope in accordance with the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard, becoming the first accredited laboratory in Spain to carry out calibrations on equipment involved in measuring radon in air, which will enable it to serve the laboratories wanting to carry out these tests.
This accreditation is part of the radon control activities. Radon is a radioactive gas that is present in nature, which if continually inhaled can cause serious damage to the respiratory system (the World Health Organization points out that it is one of the main causes of lung cancer).
In Europe, actions aimed at mitigating its effect are established in Directive 59/2013/EURATOM, which sets out the Member States' obligation to measure and control radon in homes, schools, public buildings, workplaces, etc., establishing that such controls can be carried out by accredited laboratories.
Nationally speaking, Royal Decree 732/2019, which modifies the Technical Building Code (CTE), incorporated the requirement that laboratories carrying out this measure must be accredited by ENAC according to the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard, since only accredited laboratories provide the best reliability in the validity of their results.
Moreover, for Spanish laboratories this new accreditation is very useful for measuring radon in air, which until now, did not have accredited calibration services in our country and we were forced to resort to accredited laboratories in other countries.
"Without a doubt, this accreditation will have enormous importance for other laboratories accredited in radon testing, both national and European, as well as for all those involved in the compliance measures with labour legislation and the Spanish Technical Building Code," explains Luis Santiago Quindós Poncela, Director of the University of Cantabria's Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory.
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