Nuclear Science and Techniques

《核技术》(英文版) ISSN 1001-8042 CN 31-1559/TL     2019 Impact factor 1.556

Nuclear Science and Techniques ›› 2018, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (7): 93 doi: 10.1007/s41365-018-0442-9

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Radionuclide concentrations in sand samples from riverbanks of Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir

Abdul Razzaq Khan 1 • Muhammad Rafique 1 • Abdul Jabbar 2 • Saeed Ur Rahman 3 • Muhammad Ikram Shahzad 4 • Muhammad Ejaiz Khan 1 • Mulaika Yasin 1   

  1. 1 Department of Physics, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffarbad, Azad Kashmir 13100, Pakistan
    2 Health Physics Division, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (PINSTECH), Nilore, Islamabad 45650, Pakistan
    3 Department of Medical Physics, Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy Institute, Islamabad, Pakistan
    4 Physics Division, Directorate of Science, PINSTECH, P.O. Nilore, Islamabad 45650, Pakistan
  • Contact: Muhammad Rafique
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Abdul Razzaq Khan, Muhammad Rafique, Abdul Jabbar, Saeed Ur Rahman, Muhammad Ikram Shahzad, Muhammad Ejaiz Khan, Mulaika Yasin. Radionuclide concentrations in sand samples from riverbanks of Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir.Nuclear Science and Techniques, 2018, 29(7): 93     doi: 10.1007/s41365-018-0442-9


This paper presents the results of a radiological risk assessment arising from the presence of naturally occurring radionuclides in sand samples from three riverbanks in Muzaffarabad. The mean values obtained for 232Th, 226Ra, and 40K were found to be 44.58 ± 3.34, 48.25 ± 1.77, and 239.92 ± 22.73 Bq kg-1, respectively. To assess the uniformity of exposure, the radium equivalent activity (Raeq) was calculated and was found to be 130.47 ± 8.29 Bq kg-1. The current reported value for Raeq is lower than the maximum permissible value, that is, 370 Bq kg-1, and equivalent to a gamma dose of 1.5 mSv y-1. To investigate the possible contribution to health risks of alpha particle exposure, the radon exhalation rate (RER) from the sand samples was determined. The mean RER for all the samples was found to be 335 mBq m-2 h-1. About 43% of the samples were found to have an indoor excess lifetime cancer risk value slightly higher than recommended safety limit of 1, as proposed by the ICRP. A normalized parameter, the equivalent multiplicative factor, was defined and used to compare the current results with the findings of studies performed in other countries. Our findings are relevant to both human health and future environmental radiation monitoring.

Key words: Radiological risk, Radon exhalation rate, Absorbed dose rate, Hazard index, Annual effective dose