NORM in building materials

NORM in building materials

During the EU-NORM conference in Teddington in 2017, one of the workshops was about NORM and building materials. Amongst the attendees of this session, several aspects were discussed and it was deemed that it is of importance to establish a working group NORM and Building materials in the (new) ENA. The aim is to have a platform on which all kinds of professionals in the field interested in both NORM and building materials are gathered and can exchange their experiences, thoughts and use it as a starting point to develop all kinds of related activities either within or without the ENA. Examples of such activities may be to e.g. have a bilateral exchange of info, starting (funded) projects to address specific topics of interest etc.

During the workshop and the plenary session and afterwards, several topics were chosen to be elaborated in the next stages of the working group. These items are listed below together with a short description in order to inform the interested ENA members on the background of it. Meanwhile, we received some input which has been merged with the existing document into the present updated document.


Aim: is to establish a “living document” which can be used by all the members to see what their contribution could be, to add relevant information and as a starting point for the ENA workshops and conferences to be held in the future. It is of the participant, more specifically those participants interested in cooperating on a certain issue, to set out their timelines and the way they want to communicate (other than meeting during an ENA event).


Theme 1.

Implementation guide for industry containing the major aspects to be considered (checklist with references where to find more detailed information (ENA website?). A guidance for authorities was not seen to be the first priority.

The checklist must consist of  requirements, sampling, measurements,


Theme 2

Request for screening methods; e.g. establishing ENA workgroup on this theme with as output a short document that can be used to inform/convince authorities (HERCA or CEN) to start developing such. An overview of present methods/options with their respective advantages/disadvantages could be part of it

Specific aspects are seen to be:

  • Measurement protocols (how often, sampling etc.)
  • Applicability of the measurement protocols for all kinds of building materials but also building products (which can be up to complete segments of a dwelling)


Theme 3.

Collateral damage: this was seen as a realistic aspect where a balance should be found between an open clear information for the public (and construction companies etc.) and prevention of the negative (and unnecessary/contra-productive) perception which might result in avoiding reuse etc.: it was seen to be an interesting theme for a next ENA workshop (Katowice?). After that, a community statement could be considered (for reasons that this potentially would be a statement by all stakeholders (industry, legislators, institutes) it was hoped for a better response of the public (which is always critical if only one stakeholder issues a statement).


Theme 4.

The NORM aspect is often interacting with other (regulatory and legislative) aspects. One of the aspects is the (drinking) water directive. This could be used to envisage the next stage in the development of sound and pragmatic leaching approaches both concerning the used methods and the thresholds to be chosen.


Theme 5.

Cooperation and sharing all relevant information on (measurement) of building materials such as information on the (ongoing) developments of standards, data on building materials and products and legislation/regulation as implied by the member states.


Theme 6.

Communication and dissemination. Both communication and dissemination are seen as important aspects of our work and due to the public perception of radiation and the ever growing means of information exchange (e.g. social media etc.) a rather difficult one. Moreover, most of the persons working in this field are experts in their own right but seldom are experts in (public) communication.  In the first stage, we could start with enquiring needs and experiences from the members and then in nest steps addressing those. Dissemination other than amongst the radiation experts community could also be an important item which is closely related to the communications aspect.


General issues:

For reasons that in all these matters a sound database is essential (gathering hard facts), the existing NORM4Building database (Wouter Schroeyers) will be maintained and transferred to ENA in combination with the recent By-BM database (Zoltan Sas). Other (future) database owners are invited to cooperate/share.