Natural radioactivity in soils around mega coal-fired cement factory in Nigeria and its implications on human health and environment
- 27 Downloads
Cement industry is one of the anthropogenic activities capable of mobilizing and propagating naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) in human environment to levels that may become detrimental to human health. A pilot survey of radiological implications of a mega cement factory (AshakaCem), north-eastern Nigeria, on human health and the environment was conducted using high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometric technique. Average activity concentrations for 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in the soil samples were found to be 7.41 ± 0.44, 16.27 ± 0.84 and 196.11 ± 9.08 Bq kg−1, respectively. These values were lower than the world mean values documented by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). Calculated radiation hazard parameters associated with the studied soil samples showed mean air absorbed dose rate of 21.43 nGy h−1, with attendant annual effective dose of 0.03 mSv y−1 and average excess lifetime cancer risk of 0.9 × 10−4. Statistical analysis revealed strong relationship between calculated hazard parameters and the investigated natural radionuclides in the studied soil samples and confirmed that 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were major contributors to radiation dose. Results obtained from this study fall within acceptable limits provided for human safety and environmental protection. Thus, the operations of AshakaCem did not provide any significant radiological risk to workers nor pose any immediate radiological threat to the environment.
KeywordsNatural radioactivity Gamma dose rate Excess lifetime cancer risk Statistical analysis AshakaCem North-eastern Nigeria
The authors acknowledge the support of Radiation Laboratory, Physics Department, University of Malaya, Malaysia, in providing full equipment and conducive environment for this research.
This research was fully supported by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Tertiary education trust fund (TetFund).
- Chen C, Huang C, Yeh C (2001) Introduction to natural background radiation in Taiwan. Phys Bimonthly 23(3):441–443Google Scholar
- El-Taher A, Al-Zahrani J (2014) Radioactivity measurements and radiation dose assessments in soil of Al-Qassim region, Saudi Arabia. Indian J Pure Appl Phys 52(3):147–154Google Scholar
- FUTMinna (2019) Map archives, Remote sensing and GIS laboratory, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria. UnpublishedGoogle Scholar
- Hussain H, Ali A (2014) Natural radioactive survey around Kufa cement factory. J Kufa-Phys 6(1):64–73Google Scholar
- Khandaker MU, Uwatse OB, Shamsul Khairi KA, Faruque MRI, Bradley DA (2019b) Terrestrial radionuclides in surface (dam) water and concomitant dose in Metropolitan Kuala Lumpur. Radiat Prot Dosim:1–8. https://doi.org/10.1093/rpd/ncz018
- Kolo MT, Aziz SA, Khandaker MU, Asaduzzaman K, Amin YM (2015) Evaluation of radiological risks due to natural radioactivity around Lynas advanced material plant environment, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 22(17):13127–13136. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4577-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- NEA-OECD (1979) Exposure to radiation from natural radioactivity in building materials. Report by NEA Group of Experts. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
- Ravisankar R, Vanasundari K, Suganya M, Raghu Y, Rajalakshmi A, Chandrasekaran A, Sivakumar S, Chandramohan J, Vijayagopal P, Venkatraman B (2014) Multivariate statistical analysis of radiological data of building materials used in Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu, India. Appl Radiat Isot 85:114–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sivakumar S, Chandrasekaran A, Ravisankar R, Ravikumar S, Jebakumar JPP, Vijayagopal P, Vijayalakshmi I, Jose M (2014) Measurement of natural radioactivity and evaluation of radiation hazards in coastal sediments of east coast of Tamilnadu using statistical approach. J Taibah Univ Sci 8(4):375–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- UNSCEAR (2000) Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. Report to general assembly, with scientific annexes. United Nations, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- UNSCEAR (2008) Effects of ionizing radiation: report to the general assembly, with scientific annexes, vol 1. United Nations, New York Google Scholar