Measurement of natural radioactivity in soil from Peshawar basin of Pakistan
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Natural radioactivity in the environment may change with time due to human activities, chemical and biological changes. From the view of radiation risk to population, the knowledge of natural radioactivity levels and the measurement of collective radiation dose received by the population is very vital. Radiological constraints on soil of thickly populated Peshawar basin in northern Pakistan were assessed through radiometric assay. Soil samples collected from different locations of four districts of this basin were analysed using an HPGe gamma spectrometer. Activity concentrations of 40K, 226Ra and 232Th in these samples was 648 ± 121 (421–996), 45 ± 7 (32–60) and 59 ± 7 (46–72) Bq kg−1, respectively that followed lognormal distribution. The average concentrations of primordial radionuclides were found to be higher than that reported for the worldwide soil. Radium equivalent activity and gamma index derived from these activity concentrations were lesser than their respective limits. The average absorbed dose rate and the annual effective dose for both indoor and outdoor cases were found to be higher than the values given in the UNSCEAR 2000 report. The results of the present study were compared with those for other locations of Pakistan along with that for the world. The radiological impact of the measured data was evaluated using hazard assessment models. A thoughtful discussion of the above mentioned evaluation is also given.
KeywordsSoil Natural radioactivity Gamma spectrometry Activity mass concentration Hazard indices Dose rates
All the authors, especially M. Asghar and Sabiha-Javied, would like to express their gratitude to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and appreciate its financial support through “Indigenous Scholarship Scheme for Ph.D. studies in Science and Technology”.
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