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Natural radioactivity in Zambian building materials collected from Lusaka

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Samples of natural and manufactures building materials collected around Lusaka have been analyzed for natural radionuclides using γ-spectrometry. A simple comparison of the specific radioactivities of primordial radionuclides in these materials to the world averages for soil (25 Bq kg−1 238U, 25 Bg kg−1 232Th, 370 Bq kg−1 40K and 89 Bq kg−1 Raeq) shows that, of the nine types of samples analyzed, only burnt clay bricks (for238U,232Th and40K), cement roofing tiles (for238U), building and river sands (for232Th and40K) have greater activities than does soil. Radiological evaluation of specific radioactivities in these materials indicates that all materials meet the external γ-ray dose limitation of 1.5 mSv y−1, that is, all samples have a radium equivalent activity of less than 370 Bq kg−1.

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Hayumbu, P., Zaman, M.B., Lubaba, N.C.H. et al. Natural radioactivity in Zambian building materials collected from Lusaka. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry Letters 199, 229–238 (1995).

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