Natural and anthropogenic radionuclides in urban soil around non-nuclear industries (Northern Al Jubail), Saudi Arabia: assessment of health risk

  • Fatimh AlshahriEmail author
Research Article


The residential areas are located around one of the oldest and largest non-nuclear industrial cities in Saudi Arabia, Arabian Gulf. Therefore, it is important to study the radioactivity levels in the urban soil in order to estimate the potential risk of radiation in environment and for public. The activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th, 40K, and 137Cs in urban soil around non-nuclear industries were measured using gamma ray spectrometric technique. The mean values of activity concentrations were found to be 7.64 ± 0.4, 3.76 ± 0.2, 174 ± 3.7, and 0.391 ± 0.03 (Bq/kg) for 226Ra, 232Th, 40K, and 137Cs, respectively. Radium equivalent activity (Raeq), gamma absorbed dose rate in air (D), and annual effective dose equivalent (E) for outdoor were calculated. The mean values of these radiological parameters were found to be less than the allowed limits in soil. The obtained results were compared with other studies from Arabian Gulf and other regions of the world. Consequently, the direct gamma radiation exposure from the urban soil in the study area was found to be safe for public. Additionally, the present study is the first in this area which could be used as a baseline for radioactivity levels in soil nearby industrial areas of the Arabian Gulf region.


Activity concentration Urban soil Radiological parameters Non-nuclear industries Arabian Gulf 



The author thanks the students from Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University and the research team from Basic and Applied Scientific Research Center for assistance in sampling. Great thanks are extended to Mrs. Ameena Alahmari from Laboratory of Radiation, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, for helping in gamma-ray spectrometry analysis.

Funding information

The study is financially supported by Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6647_MOESM1_ESM.docx (58 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 57 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics, College of ScienceImam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal UniversityDammamSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Basic and Applied Scientific Research CenterImam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal UniversityDammamSaudi Arabia

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