Natural radioactivity in virgin and agricultural soil and its environmental implications in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

10.7508/pj.2015.03.007

Abstract

A study on natural radioactivity in virgin and agricultural soil samples collected from Sungai Petani was conducted using high-purity germanium. The mean activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K in virgin soils were 51.06±5.83, 78.44±6.42, and 125.66±7.26 Bq kg−1, respectively, while those in agricultural soils were 80.63±5.78, 116.87±7.87, and 200.66±18.24 Bq kg−1, respectively. The corresponding activity concentrations in agricultural soils were higher than those in virgin soils and those reported for other countries of the world. The average values of radium equivalent activity (Raeq), external hazard index (Hex), internal hazard index (Hin), outdoor annual effective doses (Eout), and indoor annual effective doses (Ein) in agricultural soils were 258.38 Ba kg−1, 0.708, 0.925, 0.162 mSv y−1, and 0.669 mSv y−1, respectively. The average values of outdoor external dose (Dout) and indoor absorbed dose (Din) rate in agricultural soils were 116.04 and 218.46 nGy h−1, respectively, which were higher than the permissible limit. Soil with Hex and Hin less than unity are suitable for use as building materials and in agriculture.

Keywords


Abbady, A. (2005). Assessment of the natural radioactivity and its radiological hazards in some Egyptian rock phosphates.Indian J Pure Ap Phy. 43, 489-493.
Abd El-mageed, A., El-Kamel, A. Abbady, A., Harb, S., Youssef, A. and Saleh, I. (2011). Assessment of natural and anthropogenic radioactivity levels in rocks and soils in the environments of Juban town in Yemen. Radiat Phys Chem. 80, 710-715.
Agbalagba, E. and Onoja, R. (2011). Evaluation of natural radioactivity in soil, sediment and water samples of Niger Delta (Biseni) flood plain lakes, Nigeria. J Environ Radioactiv. 102, 667-671.
Ahmad, N., Jaafar, M., Bakhash, S. and Rahim, M. (2014). An overview on measurements of natural radioactivity in Malaysia. J Radiat Res and Ap Sci.
Akhtar, N., Tufail, M. and Ashraf, M. (2005). Natural environmental radioactivity and estimation of radiation exposure from saline soils. Int J Environ Sci & Tech. 1, 279-285.
Al-Jundi, J., Al-Bataina, B., Abu-Rukah, Y. and Shehadeh, H. (2003). Natural radioactivity concentrations in soil samples along the Amman Aqaba Highway, Jordan. Radiat Meas. 36, 555-560.
Alam, M., Miah, M. Chowdhury, M. Kamal, M. Ghose, S. Islam, M., Mustafa M. and Miah, M. (1999). Radiation dose estimation from the radioactivity analysis of lime and cement used in Bangladesh. J Environ Radioactiv. 42, 77-85.
Almayahi, B., Tajuddin, A. and Jaafar, M. (2012a). Effect of the natural radioactivity concentrations and< sup> 226 Ra/< sup> 238 U disequilibrium on cancer diseases in Penang, Malaysia. Radiat Phys Chem. 81, 1547-1558.
Almayahi, B., Tajuddin, A. and Jaafar, M. (2012b). Radiation hazard indices of soil and water samples in Northern Malaysian Peninsula. Appl Radiat Isotopes. 70, 2652-2660.
Beretka, J. and Mathew, P. (1985). Natural radioactivity of Australian building materials, industrial wastes and by-products. Health Phys. 48, 87-95.
Bikit, I., Slivka, J., Čonkić, L., Krmar, M., Vesković, M., Žikić-Todorović, N., Varga, E., Ćurčić, S., and Mrdja, D. (2004). Radioactivity of the soil in Vojvodina (northern province of Serbia and Montenegro). J Environ Radioactiv. 78, 11-19.
Bolca, M., Sac, M., Cokuysal, B., Karalı, T. and Ekdal, E. (2007). Radioactivity in soils and various foodstuffs from the Gediz River Basin of Turkey. Radiat Meas. 42, 263-270.
Boukhenfouf, W. and Boucenna, A. (2011). The radioactivity measurements in soils and fertilizers using gamma spectrometry technique. J Environ Radioactiv. 102, 336-339.
Hussein, E. (1994). Radioactivity of phosphate ore, superphosphate, and phosphogypsum in Abu-Zaabal phosphate plant, Egypt. Health Phys. 67, 280-282.
ICRP (1991). Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. ICRP Publication 60, Ann. ICRP 21, Nos. 1–3.
Issa, S.A. (2013). Radiometric assessment of natural radioactivity levels of agricultural soil samples collected in Dakahlia, Egypt. Radiat Prot Dosim. nct039.
Merdanoğlu, B. and Altınsoy, N. (2006). Radioactivity concentrations and dose assessment for soil samples from Kestanbol granite area, Turkey. Radiat Prot Dosim. 121, 399-405.
Murty, V. and Karunakara, N. (2008). Natural radioactivity in the soil samples of Botswana. Radiat Meas. 43, 1541-1545.
Noresah, M. and R. Ruslan (2009). Modelling urban spatial structure using Geographically Weighted Regression. 18th World IMACS congress and MODSIM09 international congress on modelling and simulation, The Australian National University Canberra, ACT.
OECD (1979). Exposure to Radiation from the Natural Radioactivity in BuildingMaterials. Report by a Group of Experts of the OECD. Nuclear Energy Agency,Paris, France.
Ramola, R., G. Gusain, M. Badoni, Y. Prasad, G. Prasad and T. Ramachandran (2008). 226Ra, 232Th and 40K contents in soil samples from Garhwal Himalaya, India, and its radiological implications. J Radiolog Prot. 28, 379.
Righi, S., P. Lucialli and L. Bruzzi (2005). Health and environmental impacts of a fertilizer plant–Part I: Assessment of radioactive pollution. J Environ Radioactiv. 82, 167-182.
Saleh, M. A., A. T. Ramli, Y. Alajerami and A. S. Aliyu (2013). Assessment of natural radiation levels and associated dose rates from surface soils in pontian district, Johor, Malaysia. J Ovonic Res. Vol. 9, 17-27.
Shanbhag, A., S. Sartandel, T. Ramachandran and V. Puranik (2005). Natural radioactivity content in beach sands of Ratnagiri coast, Maharashtra.

Skorovarov, J., L. Rusin, A. Lomonsov, H. Chaforian, A. Hashemi and H. Novaseqhi (1996). Development of uranium extraction technology from phosphoric acid solutions with extract. Proceeding of international conference on uranium extraction from soil, 217: 106.
Tufail, M., N. Akhtar and M. Waqas (2006). Measurement of terrestrial radiation for assessment of gamma dose from cultivated and barren saline soils of Faisalabad in Pakistan. Radiat Meas. 41, 443-451.
UNSCEAR (1988). Sources, effects and risks of ionizing radiation. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. 1988 Report to the General Assembly, with Annexes.
UNSCEAR (2000). Soureces and effects of ionizing radiation. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation UNSCEAR 2000 Report (Vol 1) to the General Assembly with scientific annexes.
Ziqiang, P., Y. Yin and G. Mingqiang (1988). Natural radiation and radioactivity in China. Radiat Prot Dosim. 24, 29-38.