Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 322, Issue 2, pp 305–318 | Cite as

Activity concentrations of 226Ra, 228Ra, 222Rn and their health impact in the groundwater of Jordan

  • Ahmad Hussein AlomariEmail author
  • Muneer Aziz SalehEmail author
  • Suhairul Hashim
  • Amal Alsayaheen
  • Ismael Abdeldin


The activity concentrations of 226Ra, 228Ra and 222Rn were measured in 87 groundwater samples to estimate the activity concentrations of these radionuclides and health impact due to intake of these radionuclides in groundwater of Jordan. The mean activity concentrations of 226Ra, 228Ra and 222Rn in groundwater were found to be 0.293 ± 0.005 Bq L−1, 0.508 ± 0.009 Bq L−1 and 58.829 ± 8.824 Bq L−1, respectively. They give a mean annual effective dose of 0.481 mSv with mean lifetime risk of 24.599 × 10−4, exceeding the admissible limit of 10−4. Most of the received annual effective dose (59.15% of the total) is attributed to 228Ra.


Radium Radon Groundwater Annual effective dose Health impact Jordan 



The authors would like to thank the Water Authority of Jordan, all the measurements and analysis were conducted at environmental isotopes section of water authority of Jordan. The authors would like to thank the ministry of higher education Malaysia (MOHE) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) for support and funding under UTM Research university Grant; Q. J130000.2546.19H71.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Akar U, Gurler O, Kahraman A, Yalcin S, Kaynak G, Gundogdu O (2012) Measurements of radium levels in bottled natural spring water of Marmara region (Turkey). J Phys 57(7–8):1204–1210Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cothern CR, AP Reberts (1990) Radon, radium, and uranium in drinking water. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kitto ME, Kim MS (2005) Naturally occurring radionuclides in community water supplies of New York State. Health Phys 88(3):253–260PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    UNSCEAR (2000) Sources and effects of ionizing radiation: sources, vol 1. United Nations Publications, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kendall G, Fell T, Phipps A (1988) A model to evaluate doses from radon in drinking water. Radiol Prot Bull 97:7–8Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    USEPA (1999) Radon in drinking water health risk reduction and cost analysis. Federal regestration, vol 64. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Milvy P, Cothern R (1990) Scientific background for the development of regulations for radionuclides in drinking water. In: Radon, radium, and uranium in drinking water, 1st edn. Lewis Publishers, INC, Michigan, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chen C-S, Wilson JL (1987) Radon production in pumping wells. In: Radon, radium and other radioactivity in ground water: hydrogeologic impact and application to indoor airborne contamination. Lewis Publishers, INC, Michigan, pp 423–436Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mills WA (1990) Risk assessment and control management of radon in drinking water. In: Radon, radium and uranium in drinking water, 1st edn. Lewis Publishers, INC, Michigan, pp 27–37Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Srinivasa E, Rangaswamy D, Sannappa J (2015) Determination of radon activity concentration in drinking water and evaluation of the annual effective dose in Hassan district, Karnataka state, India. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 305(2):665–673Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Higuchi H, Uesugi M, Satoh K, Ohashi N, Noguchi M (1984) Determination of radium in water by liquid scintillation counting after preconcentration with ion-exchange resin. Anal Chem 56(4):761–763Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Michel J (1990) Relationship of radium and radon with geological formations. In: Radon, radium and uranium in drinking water, vol 7, 1st edn. Lewis Publishers, INC, Michigan, pp 83–95Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    IAEA (1990) The Environmental Behaviour of Radium. Volume 1, Technical report series No. 310 edn. Internationa Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kjellberg S, Wiseman JS (1995) The relationship of radon to gastrointestinal malignancies. Am Surg 61(9):822–825PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Porntepkasemsan B, Srisuksawad K (2008) Assessment of 226Ra age-dependent dose from water intake. Appl Radiat Isot 66(11):1654–1656PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cech I, Lemma M, Prichard HM, Kreitler CW (1987) Radium-226 and radon-222 in domestic water of Houston-Harris County, Texas. In: Radon, radium and other radioactivity in ground water. Lewis Publishers, INC, Michigan, pp 377–402Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shapiro J (1990) Radiation protection: a guide for scientists, regulators, and physicians, 4th edn. Harvard University press, USAGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Abdurabu WA, Ramli AT, Saleh MA, Heryansyah A (2016) The activity concentrations of 222Rn and corresponding health risk in groundwater samples from basement and sandstone aquifer; the correlation to physicochemical parameters. Radiat Phys Chem 127:34–41Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Abdurabu WA, Saleh MA, Ramli AT, Heryansyah A (2016) Occurrence of natural radioactivity and corresponding health risk in groundwater with an elevated radiation background in Juban District, Yemen. Environ Earth Sci 75(20):1360Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Aliyu AS, Ibrahim U, Akpa CT, Garba NN, Ramli AT (2015) Health and ecological hazards due to natural radioactivity in soil from mining areas of Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Isotopes Environ Health Stud 51(3):448–468PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Binesh A, Mohammadi S, Mowlavi A, Parvaresh P (2010) Evaluation of the radiation dose from radon ingestion and inhalation in drinking water. Int J Water Resour Environ Eng 2(7):174–178Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bronzovic M, Marovic G (2005) Age-dependent dose assessment of 226Ra from bottled water intake. Health Phys 88(5):480–485PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Canu IG, Laurent O, Pires N, Laurier D, Dublineau I (2011) Health effects of naturally radioactive water ingestion: the need for enhanced studies. Environ Health Perspect 119(12):1676PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    El-Taher A (2012) Measurement of radon concentrations and their annual effective dose exposure in groundwater from Qassim area, Saudi Arabia. J Environ Sci Technol 5(6):475–481Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gorur FK, Camgoz H (2014) Natural radioactivity in various water samples and radiation dose estimations in Bolu province, Turkey. Chemosphere 112:134–140PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hopke PK, Borak T, Doull J, Cleaver J, Eckerman K, Gundersen L, Harley N, Hess C, Kinner N, Kopecky K (2000) Health risks due to radon in drinking water. ACS Publications, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Jackson PC (1996) Age-dependent doses to members of the public from intake of radionuclides: part 5 compilation of ingestion and inhalation dose coefficients (ICRP Publication 72). Phys Med Biol 41:2807Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jia G, Torri G (2007) Estimation of radiation doses to members of the public in Italy from intakes of some important naturally occurring radionuclides (238U, 234U, 235U, 226Ra, 228Ra, 224Ra and 210Po) in drinking water. Appl Radiat Isot 65(7):849–857PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kendall G, Smith T (2002) Doses to organs and tissues from radon and its decay products. J Radiol Prot 22(4):389PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Saleh MA, Ramli AT, Alajerami Y, Aliyu AS, Basri NAB (2013) Radiological study of Mersing District, Johor, Malaysia. Radiat Phys Chem 85:107–117Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Saleh MA, Ramli AT, Bin Hamzah K, Alajerami Y, Mhareb MHA, Aliyu AS, Hanifah NZHBA (2015) Natural environmental radioactivity and the corresponding health risk in Johor Bahru District, Johor, Malaysia. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 303(3):1753–1761Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    IAEA (1989) Measurement of radionuclides in food and the environment. International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Abu-Khader MM, Shawaqfeh AT, Naddaf Z, Maity JP, Bhattacharya P (2018) Radon in the groundwater in the Amman-Zarqa Basin and related environments in Jordan. Groundw Sustain Dev 7:73–81Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    El-Naser HK, Smith B, Kilani S, Abdeldin I, Howarth B, Saleh B (2016) Blending as the best compliance option for the management of radioactivity in drinking water supplied from the deep sandstone aquifer in Southern Jordan. J Water Health 14(3):528–548PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Xoubi N (2015) Evaluation of uranium concentration in soil samples of Central Jordan. Minerals 5(2):133–141Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Jordan Department of statistics (2017) The estimated population of the kingdom by Administrative divisions for 2017. Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan.
  37. 37.
    Bender F (1974) Geology of Jordan (trans: Authority NR), vol 7. Natural resources authority and German geological mission in Jordan,, Berlin, Germany. Accessed 10 Aug 2018Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    El-Naser H (1991) Groundwater Resources of the Deep Aquifer Systems in NW-Jordan: Hydrogeological and Hydrochemical Quasi 3-dimensional Modelling:[mit] 27 Tabellen. Lehr-und Forschungsbereich Angewandte Geologie und Hydrogeologie der UniversitätGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Abumaizer M (1996) Hydrochemical properties and environmental isotopes of groundwater of the middle aquifer in the Yarmouk Basin, JordanGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    IAEA (1996) Isotopes field applications for groundwater studies in the middle east. ViennaGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Abu-Jaber N, El-Naser H (2016) Geology and hydrochemistry of the deep sandstone aquifers of Jordan. Environ Earth Sci 75(10):875Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Al-Zyoud S, Rühaak W, Forootan E, Sass I (2015) Over exploitation of groundwater in the Centre of Amman Zarqa Basin—Jordan: evaluation of well data and GRACE satellite observations. Resources 4(4):819–830Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    APHA (2012) standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. book. American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, Water environment federation, United states of AmericaGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    L’Annunziata MF (2003) Handbook of radioactivity analysis, 2nd edn. Academic Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    IAEA (2010) Analytical methodology for the determination of radium isotopes in environmental samples. International Atomic Energy Commission, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Eleftheriou G, Tsabaris C, Androulakaki E, Patiris D, Kokkoris M, Kalfas C, Vlastou R (2013) Radioactivity measurements in the aquatic environment using in situ and laboratory gamma-ray spectrometry. Appl Radiat Isot 82:268–278PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Gilmore G (2011) Practical gamma-ray spectroscopy. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Dovlete C, Povinec P (2004) Quantification of uncertainty in gamma-spectrometric analysis of environmental samples. In: Quantifying uncertainty in nuclear analytical measurements, IAEA-TECDOC-140, vol 103. ViennaGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Currie LA (1968) Limits for qualitative detection and quantitative determination. Application to radiochemistry. Anal Chem 40(3):586–593Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    WHO (2011) Guidelines for drinking-water quality, vol 1, 3rd edn. World Health Organiszation, GenovaGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    JISM (2008) Jordanian drinking water standard 5th edn. Jordan Institute of Standards and Metrology, Hashmite Kingdom of JordanGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Somlai K, Tokonami S, Ishikawa T, Vancsura P, Gáspár M, Jobbágy V, Somlai J, Kovács T (2007) 222Rn concentrations of water in the Balaton Highland and in the southern part of Hungary, and the assessment of the resulting dose. Radiat Meas 42(3):491–495Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Sajo-Bohus L, Gomez J, Capote T, Greaves E, Herrera O, Salazar V, Smith A (1997) Gross alpha radioactivity of drinking water in Venezuela. J Environ Radioact 35(3):305–312Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    USA-EPA (1988) Federal Guideline report No. 11. Limiting values of radionuclide intake and air concentration and dose conversion factors for inhalation, submersion and ingestion.EPA 520/1-88-020. Washington, DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    IAEA B (2011) Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards-Interim Edition. General Safety Requirements Part 3Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Kim Y-s, Park H-s, Kim J-y, Park S-k, Cho B-w, Sung I-h, Shin D-c (2004) Health risk assessment for uranium in Korean groundwater. J Environ Radioact 77(1):77–85PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    EU (1998) Council Directive 98/83/EC of 3 November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumptionGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    USEPA (2018) Drinkingwater standards and health advisories. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Gilkeson R, Cartwright K, Cowart J, Holtzman R (1983) Hydrogeologic and geochemical studies of selected natural radioisotopes and barium in groundwater in Illinois. Final report. Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, USA; Florida State University, Tallahassee (USA); Argonne National Lab., IL, USAGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Bajjali W, Al-Hadidi K Hydrochemical evaluation of groundwater in Azraq Basin, Jordan using environmental isotopes and GIS techniques. In: 25th annual ESRI international user conference, San Diego, California, 2005. pp 25-29Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    WHO (2006) Guidelines for drinking-water quality, vol 1, 3rd edn. World Health Organiszation, GenovaGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Lauria D, Almeida R, Sracek O (2004) Behavior of radium, thorium and uranium in groundwater near the Buena Lagoon in the Coastal Zone of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Environ Geol 47(1):11–19Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Vengosh A, Hirschfeld D, Vinson D, Dwyer G, Raanan H, Rimawi O, Al-Zoubi A, Akkawi E, Marie A, Haquin G (2009) High naturally occurring radioactivity in fossil groundwater from the Middle East. Environ Sci Technol 43(6):1769–1775PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Al-Absi E, Alameer S, Manasrah R (2019) Critical remarks on radioactivity analysis in drinking waters: high doses and increased lifetime risks from Aqaba tap water, Jordan. Desalin Water Treat 146:107–119Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Zapecza OS, Szabo Z (1986) Natural radioactivity in ground water—a review. US Geological Survey national water summary, pp 50–57Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Alomari AH, Saleh MA, Hashim S, Alsayaheen A, Abukashabeh A (2019) Statistical relationship between activity concentrations of radionuclides 226Ra, 232Th, 40K, and 137Cs and geological formations in surface soil of Jordan. Isotopes Environ Health Stud 55(2):211–226PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Girault F, Perrier F, Przylibski TA (2018) Radon-222 and radium-226 occurrence in water: a review, vol 451, no 1. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, pp 131–154Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Althoyaib S, El-Taher A (2015) Natural radioactivity measurements in groundwater from Al-Jawa, Saudi Arabia. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 304(2):547–552Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Dragović S, Janković-Mandić LJ, Dragović R, Đorđević M, Đokić M (2012) Spatial distribution of the 226Ra activity concentrations in well and spring waters in Serbia and their relation to geological formations. J Geochem Explor 112:206–211Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Shabana E, Kinsara A (2014) Radioactivity in the groundwater of a high background radiation area. J Environ Radioact 137:181–189PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Sherif MI, Lin J, Poghosyan A, Abouelmagd A, Sultan MI, Sturchio NC (2018) Geological and hydrogeochemical controls on radium isotopes in groundwater of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Sci Total Environ 613:877–885PubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Idriss H, Salih I, Sam A (2011) Study of radon in ground water and physicochemical parameters in Khartoum state. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 290(2):333–338Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Srilatha M, Rangaswamy D, Sannappa J (2014) Studies on concentration of radon and physicochemical parameters in ground water around Ramanagara and Tumkur districts, Karnataka, India. Int J Adv Sci Tech Res 2(4):641–660Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Alabdula’aly AI (2014) Occurrence of radon in groundwater of Saudi Arabia. J Environ Radioact 138:186–191PubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Al-Amir SM, Al-Hamarneh IF, Al-Abed T, Awadallah M (2012) Natural radioactivity in tap water and associated age-dependent dose and lifetime risk assessment in Amman, Jordan. Appl Radiat Isot 70(4):692–698PubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Akawwi E (2014) Radon-222 concentrations in the groundwater along Eastern Jordan Rift. J Appl Sci 14(4):309–316Google Scholar
  77. 77.
    Al-Bataina B, Ismail A, Kullab M, Abumurad K, Mustafa H (1997) Radon measurements in different types of natural waters in Jordan. Radiat Meas 28(1–6):591–594Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Abdallah SM, Habib RR, Nuwayhid RY, Chatila M, Katul G (2007) Radon measurements in well and spring water in Lebanon. Radiat Meas 42(2):298–303Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Ahmad N, Rafique M, Nasir T (2018) Age-dependent annual effective dose estimations of 226Ra, 232Th, 40 K and 222Rn from drinking water in Baling, Malaysia. Water Sci Technol Water Supply 18(1):32–39Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Lopes I, Vesterbacka P, Kelleher K (2017) Comparison of radon (Rn-222) concentration in Portugal and Finland underground waters. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 311(3):1867–1873Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Othman I, Yassine T (1996) Natural radioactivity of drinking water in the southern and middle parts of Syria. Environ Int 22:355–359Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    Kanellopoulos C, Mitropoulos P, Argyraki A (2018) Radiological and hydrochemical study of thermal and fresh groundwater samples of northern Euboea and Sperchios areas, Greece: insights into groundwater natural radioactivity and geology. Environ Monit Assess 190(5):265PubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Porcelli D, Swarzenski PW (2003) The behavior of U-and Th-series nuclides in groundwater. Rev Mineral Geochem 52(1):317–361Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Kraemer TF, Reid DF (1984) The occurrence and behavior of radium in saline formation water of the US Gulf Coast region. Chem Geol 46(2):153–174Google Scholar
  85. 85.
    Burdon DJ, Quennell AM (1959) Handbook of the Geology of Jordan. Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of JordanGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Sherif MI, Sturchio NC (2018) Radionuclide geochemistry of groundwater in the Eastern Desert, Egypt. Appl Geochem 93:69–80Google Scholar
  87. 87.
    Szabo Z, DePaul VT, Kraemer TF, Parsa B (2005) Occurrence of radium-224, radium-226, and radium-228 in water of the unconfined Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system, southern New Jersey. Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5224, U. S. Geological Survey, New Jersey, USAGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Weaver T, Bahr J (1991) Geochemical evolution in the Cambrian-Ordovician sandstone aquifer, eastern Wisconsin: 2. Correlation between flow paths and ground-water chemistry. Groundwater 29(4):510–515Google Scholar
  89. 89.
    Alkhomashi N, Al-Hamarneh IF, Almasoud FI (2016) Determination of natural radioactivity in irrigation water of drilled wells in northwestern Saudi Arabia. Chemosphere 144:1928–1936PubMedGoogle Scholar
  90. 90.
    Ryan T, Sequeira S, McKittrick L, Colgan P (2003) Radon in drinking water in Co. Wicklow. A pilot study. Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (Ireland)Google Scholar
  91. 91.
    Skeppström K, Olofsson B (2007) Uranium and radon in groundwater. Eur Water 17(18):51–62Google Scholar
  92. 92.
    Awad M (1997) Environmental study of the Amman-Zerqa Basin Jordan. Environ Geol 33(1):54–60Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics, Faculty of ScienceUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaSkudai, Johore BahruMalaysia
  2. 2.Nuclear Engineering Programme, School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaSkudai, Johore BahruMalaysia
  3. 3.Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ)AmmanJordan

Personalised recommendations