Natural radioactivity and chemical concentrations in Egyptian groundwater
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Measurements of natural radioactivity in drinking water have been performed in many parts of the world, mostly for assessment of the doses and risk resulting from consuming water. A study of the radionuclide and chemical components in groundwater from Beni Suef Governate, Egypt has been carried out. Fifty water samples were analyzed by gamma ray spectroscopy to determine the 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K concentrations; major elements, pH, alkalinity, and conductivity were also measured. The specific activity values ranged from 0.008 to 0.040 Bq/l for 226Ra, from 0.003 to 0.019 Bq/l for 232Th, and from 0.025 to 0.344 Bq/l for 40K. The annual ingestions of these radionuclides, using local consumption rates (average over the whole population) of 1.5 l day − 1, were estimated to be 8.59, 4.86, and 83.47 Bq year − 1 for 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K, respectively. The estimated values and weighted means of these radionuclides compare well with the world average. The estimated effective doses from drinking water were found to be 2.4 μSv year − 1 (226Ra), 1.1 μSv year − 1 (232Th), and 0.51 μSv year − 1 (40K). Contribution of these radionuclides to the committed effective dose from 1 year consumption of drinking water is estimated to be only 4%.
KeywordsGroundwater Natural radioactivity Dose assessment Chemical contents Beni Suef
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