Vertical distribution and radiological risk assessment of 137Cs and natural radionuclides in soil samples
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The aims of this study were to investigate the vertical distributions of natural radionuclides 232Th, 226Ra and 40K as well as anthropogenic radionuclide 137Cs in soil samples and to analyze the correlation among the radioactivity of these radionuclides and the physiochemical characteristics of soil samples namely pH, grain size, carbonate content and organic matter. Risk assessment of the radiological hazard has also been estimated. Forty-four soil samples were collected from eleven locations in Qatar at four depth levels from 0 to 16 cm. The average concentrations of 232Th, 226Ra, 40K and 137Cs in the soil depth of 16 cm were 10, 17, 201 and 4 Bq/kg, respectively, which were within the reported world mean. The external absorbed gamma dose rate, the annual effective dose, the mean radium equivalent activity, the external hazard index and the lifetime cancer risk were 22 nGy/h, 0.027 mSv/y, 47 Bq/kg, 0.125 and 0.096 × 10−3, respectively. These values were far below the minimum recommended international values. The level of radioactivity concentrations in the soil was affected by the physiochemical characteristics of the soil. The positive correlation with highest R2 value was found among the radioactivity concentrations of 232Th and 40K and the soil clay content. Total organic carbon was also positively correlated for 226Ra and 137Cs activity concentrations, whereas, carbonate content was negatively correlated with the radioactivity concentrations of 232Th and 40K. As far as soil moisture content is concerned, the positive correlation with highest R2 value was obtained for 226Ra activity concentrations. © 2019, The Author(s).
- Biological & Environmental Sciences [295 items ]