Gamma Radiation Profile of the High Background Radiation Area along Southwest Coastal India and its Neighbourhood

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Centre for Advanced Research in Physical Science, Department of Physics, Fatima Mata National College (Autonomous), Kollam, 691001, India

2 Postgraduate and Research Department of Physics, Christian College, Chengannur-689122, India

3 Department of Applied Physics, The Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea



Radioactive contamination of the earth’s biosphere has always been a source of concern. From the health point of view, radiation exposure and dose delivered to human beings are of prime importance. Certain parts of coastal southwest districts of the state of Kerala in India namely Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kollam (Quilon) and Alappuzha (Alleppey) are known high background radiation areas (HBRA) owing to the presence of rich quantities of thorium and uranium. Surface soil samples from these districts' HBRAs and adjoining regions were studied for their primordial radionuclide levels using NaI(Tl) based gamma-ray spectrometry. Specific activities of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K nuclides in soil samples from the whole study area were between 4.7 Bq/kg to 130 Bq/kg, 6.5 Bq/kg to 611 Bq/kg and 101 Bq/kg to 1852 Bq/kg, respectively. Important dosimetric parameters namely radium equivalent activity (Raeq), absorbed gamma dose (D), Indoor and outdoor Annual Effective Dose equivalents (AEDin & AEDout), internal and external hazard indices (Hin & Hex) for gamma exposure, and Excess Lifetime Cancer Risk (ELCR) were also determined to assess probable health effects on human beings residing in these regions. A comparison of average specific radioactivities and average indoor annual effective doses between the HBRA and Normal background Radiation Area (NBRA) is presented. Results show that the neighbouring regions have considerably lower radiation dosimetric parameters. 


Main Subjects

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