Estimation of background radiation levels and associated health risks in mineral rich district Chiniot, Pakistan

  • Waseem Shehzad
  • Khizar Hayat Satti
  • Mumtaz KhanEmail author
  • Khalid Khan
  • Amara Naseem
  • Shakeel ur Rehman
  • Abdul Jabbar


The mineral extraction activities may disturb the natural radioactivity, therefore current study aims to generate baseline data of natural radionuclides and anthropogenic 137Cs before the start of industrial activities. Gamma spectrometry and gross alpha and beta counting systems were used for activity measurement in environmental samples. In soil, the mean activity of 232Th, 226Ra, 40K and 137Cs were determined as 79 (66–117), 47 (34–80), 823 (602–1159) and 1.3 (1.1–4.5) Bq kg−1, respectively. The average annual effective dose rate (128.7 µSv h−1) in the study area was twice higher than world’s average value. Indoor hazard index was greater than unity at two places; therefore, proper ventilation is proposed during construction.


Mineral extraction Soil radioactivity Indoor hazard index Health risks 



The authors are highly thankful to head HPD, Director S and S, and Director General PINSTECH for providing financial support to conduct this research work. We are also thankful to our colleague and friends especially Mr. Khalid Mehmood, Mr. IftikharAnjum, Mr. Masood Mahmood, Mr. Khalil Ahmad, Mr. Rashid Khan, Mr. Babar Hussain, Mr. Irshad Ullah, and Mr. Munib Shafique for support in this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10967_2019_6425_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Waseem Shehzad
    • 1
  • Khizar Hayat Satti
    • 2
  • Mumtaz Khan
    • 2
    Email author
  • Khalid Khan
    • 2
  • Amara Naseem
    • 2
  • Shakeel ur Rehman
    • 1
  • Abdul Jabbar
    • 2
  1. 1.Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied SciencesIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Environmental Monitoring Group, Health Physics DivisionPakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH)IslamabadPakistan

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