Assessment of radiological hazards of clay bricks fabricated in the Punjab province of Pakistan
Authors: Asghar, M.; Tufail, M.; Khan, K.; Mahmood, A.
Source: Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Volume 142, Numbers 2-4, 8 December 2010 , pp. 369-377(9)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:The Punjab is the most populous among the four provinces of Pakistan, which has around 72 million of people and 205 344 km2 of land. The majority of the population of this province lives in houses made of clay bricks that contain variable amounts of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). The concentration level of NORM in clay bricks used to construct dwellings may pose health hazards to inhabitants if it exceeds the permissible limits. For radiological surveillance, activity concentrations of the primordial radionuclides 40K, 226Ra and 232Th were measured in 140 brick samples collected from 35 districts of the Punjab province. A high-purity germanium gamma-ray detector coupled with a personal computer-based multichannel analyzer was employed for the measurement of activity concentrations of primordial radionuclides in the brick samples. The province-wide average activity concentrations and the range (given in parenthesis) of 40K, 226Ra and 232Th were found to be 624 133 (299918), 35 7 (2147) and 42 8 (2258) Bq kg1, respectively. The values lie within the range of activity concentration values for clay bricks of some countries of Asia. Potential radiological constraint was checked in the form of hazard indices calculated from the measured activity concentrations; the indices were found to be less than their limiting values. Indoor external dose was calculated for a standard size room made of clay bricks, and the dose rate was 159 30 (83219) nGy h1. The average value of the dose rate is comparable to that of Asian countries and is about twice the worldwide average value. Annual effective dose Eff in the bricks-made room was calculated and the average value of the dose was 0.80 mSv y1, which is about twice the worldwide background value of 0.41 mSv y1.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 8 December 2010
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