Skip to main content

Natural radioactivity measurements of frozen red meat samples consumed in Iraq



In the present study, the activity concentrations of long-lived gamma-ray emitters (238U, 232Th and 40K) in ten different types of frozen red meat samples selected from markets in Iraq were measured.


The technique of gamma spectrometer equipped with scintillation detector NaI (Tl) was used.


The annual effective dose was estimated in adults and kids. The results showed that the concentrations of 238U, 232Th and 40K were found in the range of permissible limits of 30, 32 and 400 Bq kg−1, respectively. On the other hand, the maximum values of 238U and 232Th in beef samples are higher than in lamb meat samples. The annual effective dose of adults and kids was observed to be below the limit (1.0 mSv) recommended by ICRP.


The frozen red meat samples are safe for human consumption and have gamma-ray emitter concentrations lower than the maximum permissible levels.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency. A Guidebook, Technical Reports Series No. 295, IAEA, Vienna (1989)

  2. IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency, Natural and Induced Radioactivity in Food (IAEA, Vienna, 2002)

    Google Scholar 

  3. M.S. Aswood, M.S. Jaafar, N. Salih, Estimation of annual effective dose due to natural radioactivity in ingestion of vegetables from Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Environ. Technol. Innov. 8, 96–102 (2017)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. E.L. Cooper, E. Zeiller, A. Ghods-Esphahani, M. Makarewicz, R. Schelenz, O. Frindik, W. Kalus, Radioactivity in food and total diet samples collected in selected settlements in the USSR. J. Environ. Radioact. 17(2–3), 147–157 (1992)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. S.Y. Mao, K.N. Yu, Measurement of natural and artificial radionuclide concentrations in meat consumed in Hong Kong. Radiat. Meas. 24(2), 201–205 (1995)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. K. Shiraishi, K. Tagami, Y. Muramastu, M. Yamamoto, Contributions of 18 food categories to intakes of 232Th and 238U in Japan. Health Phys. 78(1), 28–36 (2000)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. T. Hosseini, V.A. Fathi, H. Barati, M. Karimi, Assessment of radionuclides in imported foodstuffs in Iran. Iran J. Rad. Res. 4(3), 149–153 (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  8. A.A. Abojassim, Annual effective dose of gamma emitters in infants, children and adults for frozen chicken samples consumed in Iraq. Curr. Pediatr. Res. 21(3), 520–525 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  9. T.V. Ramachandran, U.C. Mishra, Measurement of natural radioactivity levels in Indian foodstuffs by gamma spectrometry. Int. J. Rad. Appl. Instrum. A 40(8), 723–726 (1989)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. M. Eisenbud, T.F. Gesell, Environmental radioactivity from natural, industrial and military sources: from natural, industrial and military sources (Elsevier, Oxford, 1997)

    Google Scholar 

  11. M.S. Al-Nafiey, M.S. Jaafar, S.A.B.A.R. Bauk, Measuring radon concentration and toxic elements in the irrigation water of the agricultural areas in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Sains Malaysiana 43(2), 227–231 (2014)

    Google Scholar 

  12. J.C. Ritchie, J.R. McHenry, Application of radioactive fallout cesium-137 for measuring soil erosion and sediment accumulation rates and patterns: a review. J. Environ. Qual. 19(2), 215–233 (1990)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. R.L. Murray, Understanding radioactive waste (No. PNL–3570). Pacific Northwest Lab (1981)

  14. J. Valentin, The 2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (Elsevier, Oxford, 2007), pp. 1–333

    Google Scholar 

  15. R. Casanovas, J.J. Morant, M. Salvadó, Implementation of gamma-ray spectrometry in two real-time water monitors using NaI (Tl) scintillation detectors. Appl. Radiat. Isot. 80, 49–55 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. UNSCEAR, Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. United Nations Scientific Committee on the effects of atomic radiation effects of atomic radiation. Report to the General Assembly with annexes. United Nations, NY (2000)

  17. ICRP, International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), Age-dependent doses to the members of the public from intake of radionuclides—part 5 compilation of ingestion and inhalation coefficients, vol 72. ICRP Publication (1995)

  18. A.A. Al-Hamzawi, Uranium concentrations measurement in beef and lamb samples from selected regions in Iraq. J. Univ. Babylon Pure Appl. Sci. 25(5), 1786–1792 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by the Kufa University, College of Science. Authors would like to thank all those who have contributed in this research and warm regards to the Department of Physics at Kufa University.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Murtadha Sh. Aswood.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Aswood, M.S., Abojassim, A.A. & Al Musawi, M.S.A. Natural radioactivity measurements of frozen red meat samples consumed in Iraq. Radiat Detect Technol Methods 3, 57 (2019).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Radioactivity
  • Annual effective dose
  • Frozen red meats
  • Iraq