Radiological characterization of building materials used in Malaysia and assessment of external and internal doses

  • Shittu Abdullahi
  • Aznan Fazli IsmailEmail author
  • Supian Samat


In this study, the activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th, 222Rn, and 40K, emanation fractions (P), equilibrium equivalent concentration (EEC), and mass exhalation rates (Em) of radon released from building materials used in Malaysia were studied using gamma-ray spectrometer with HPGe detector. Radiological parameters [activity concentration index (ACI), indoor air-absorbed dose rate (Din), annual effective dose (AEDin) from external and internal (ERn), soft tissues (HST) and lung (HL), and effective dose equivalent (Heff)] were estimated to evaluate radiological hazards due to the use of these building materials: sand, cement, gravel, bricks, tiles, fly ash, white cement, and ceramic raw materials. The measured P, EEC, and Em vary from 10 to 30%, 0.9 to 22 Bq m−3, and 33 to 674 mBq h−1 kg−1, respectively, while the calculated ACI and AEDin vary from 0.1 ± 0.01 to 2.1 ± 0.1 and 0.1 ± 0.01 to 2.4 ± 0.6 mSv y−1, respectively. On the other hand, the internal annual effective dose ranges from 0.1 to 1.4 mSv y−1. The estimated radiological risk parameters were below the recommended maximum values, and radiological hazards associated with building materials under investigation are therefore negligible.


Indoor radon Emanation fraction Equilibrium equivalent concentration Mass exhalation rate Annual effective dose Effective dose equivalent 



The authors would like to acknowledge all laboratory technicians of the Nuclear Science Program, UKM, for their technical support throughout the works. Shittu Abdullahi also wishes to appreciate and acknowledge Gombe State University, Gombe, Nigeria, for providing the Ph.D fellowship.


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Copyright information

© China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. (Science Press), Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Nuclear Society and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shittu Abdullahi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Aznan Fazli Ismail
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Supian Samat
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuclear Science Program, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)BangiMalaysia
  2. 2.Centre for Frontier Science, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)BangiMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Physics, Faculty of ScienceGombe State UniversityGombeNigeria

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