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Assessment of Natural Radioactivity in Phosphate Ore, Phosphogypsum and Soil Samples Around a Phosphate Fertilizer Plant in Nigeria

Abstract

The radionuclides present in phosphate ore, phosphogypsum and soil samples in the vicinity of a phosphate fertilizer plants in Nigeria were identified and their activity concentration determined to assess the potential radiation impact on the environment due to fertilizer production. The mean activity concentration of 238U, 232Th, and 40K radionuclides in phosphate ore samples were 616 ± 38.6, BDL (Below Detection Level) and 323.7 ± 57.5 Bq kg−1 respectively. For the phosphogypsum, 334.8 ± 8.8, 4.0 ± 1.4, and 199.9 ± 9.3 Bq kg−1 respectively and for soil samples range from 20.5 ± 7.3 to 175.7 ± 10.5 Bq kg−1 for 226Ra, 15.5 ± 1.5 to 50.4 ± 0.6 Bq kg−1 for 232Th and 89.5 ± 8.1 to 316.1 ± 41.3 Bq kg−1 for 40K respectively. The mean absorbed dose rate was 71.4 nGy h−1. The mean annual effective dose was 86 μSv.

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Correspondence to Mark C. Okeji.

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Okeji, M.C., Agwu, K.K. & Idigo, F.U. Assessment of Natural Radioactivity in Phosphate Ore, Phosphogypsum and Soil Samples Around a Phosphate Fertilizer Plant in Nigeria. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 1078–1081 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-012-0811-8

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Keywords

  • Radioactivity
  • Phosphate ore
  • Phosphogypsum
  • Fertilizer plant