Natural radioactivity levels (K, Th and Ra) in some areas of Punjab, India
Department of Physics, Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, India
Radioactivity, natural and man-made, is omnipresent in the earth's crust in different amounts. Natural radioactive materials under certain conditions can reach hazardous radiological levels. So, it becomes necessary to study the natural radioactivity levels in soil to assess the dose for the population in order to know the health risks and to have a baseline for future changes in the environmental radioactivity due to human activities. 226Ra, 232Th and 40K analysis has been carried out in soil samples collected from some areas of Punjab, India using gamma-ray spectrometry. Phe technique of gamma ray spectrometry was applied using high purity germanium gamma-ray detector and a PC based MCA. Radium equivalent activities are calculated for the analyzed samples to assess radiation hazards arising due to the use of these soil samples in construction of dwellings. Phe measured activity in the soil ranges from 23.17 to 57.87 Bq kg−1, 59.03 to 160.40 Bq kg−1 and 228.06 to 501.03 Bq kg−1 for 226Ra, 232Ph and 40K with mean values of 37.93, 84.47 and 351.17Bqkg−1 respectively. It has been observed that on the average the outdoor terrestrial gamma air absorbed dose rate is about 84.65nGyh−1.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences - SIF 2012