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Geochemical Journal
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Assessment of the average effective dose from the analysis of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in soil samples from Punjab, India

ROHIT MEHRA, SURINDER SINGH, KULWANT SINGH
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 45, No. 6, P. 497-503, 2011

ABSTRACT

The activity concentrations of the natural radionuclides, namely 238Ra, 232Th and 40K, are measured for soil samples collected from some locations of the Malwa region of Punjab. An HPGe detector, based on high-resolution gamma spectrometry system is used for the measurement of activity concentrations. The activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in the soil from the studied areas varies from 23.3 Bq kg–1 (Jagraon) to 43.6 Bq kg–1 (Ludhiana), 104 Bq kg–1 (Raikot) to 148 Bq kg–1 (Kauli) and 290 Bq kg–1 (Rajpura) to 394 Bq kg–1 (Sarhind) having an overall mean value of 32 Bq kg–1, 126 Bq kg–1 and 348 Bq kg–1 respectively. The radium equivalent activity (Raeq) in these soil samples ranges from 200 Bq kg–1 (Jagraon) to 264 Bq kg–1 (Kauli) having a mean value of 237 Bq kg–1. Corresponding indoor and outdoor annual effective doses range from 0.45 to 0.59 mSv and 0.11 to 0.15 mSv and average 0.53 and 0.13 mSv. The external hazard index (Hex) for soil samples of the study area are lower than unity; therefore, according to the Radiation Protection 112 (European Commission, 1999) report, soil from these regions is safe and can be used as a construction material without posing any significant radiological threat to population.

KEYWORDS

gamma ray spectrometry, HPGe detector, Raeq activities, annual effective dose, external hazard index

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