Radon Solubility and Diffusion in the Skin Surface Layer

Akihiro Sakoda, Tsuyoshi Ishida, Norie Kanzaki, Hiroshi Tanaka, Takahiro Kataoka, Fumihiro Mitsunobu, Kiyonori Yamaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In specific situations such as bathing in a radon spa, where the radon activity concentration in thermal water is far higher than that in air, it has been revealed that radon uptake via skin can occur and should be considered for more precise dose evaluation. The primary aim of the present study was to numerically demonstrate the distribution as well as the degree of diffusion of radon in the skin, with a focus on its surface layer (i.e., stratum corneum). We developed a biokinetic model that included diffusion theory at the stratum corneum, and measured radon solubility in that tissue layer as a crucial parameter. The implementation of the model suggested that the diffusion coefficient in the stratum corneum was as low as general radon-proof sheets. After a 20-min immersion in water, the simulated depth profile of radon in the skin showed that the radon activity concentration at the top surface skin layer was approximately 103 times higher than that at the viable skin layer. The information on the position of radon as a radiation source would contribute to special dose evaluation where specific target cell layers are assumed for the skin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7761
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2022


  • biokinetic model
  • diffusion
  • partition coefficient
  • radon
  • sebaceous lipids
  • skin
  • stratum corneum
  • viable skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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