Natural Radioactivity and Radon Concentrations in Parenteral Nutrition Samples Utilized in Iraqi Hospitals

Document Type: Original Paper


University ofKufa


Introduction: This study was conducted to measure the gamma emitters (e.g., uranium-238 [238U], thorium-232 [232Th], and potassium-40[40K]) and alpha emitters (e.g., radon-222 [222Rn] and radium), and also to evaluate the radiation hazard indices of radionuclides in parenteral nutrition samples utilized in the hospitals of Iraq.
Material and Methods: The measurements were accomplished using gamma-ray spectroscopy with NaI (Tl) detector, solid state nuclear track detector (CR-39), and RAD-7 detector. Gamma radiation hazard indices, such as radium equivalent activity and internal hazard index, were also calculated.
Results: According to the results, the mean specific activities of the radionuclides belonging to the uranium (238U) and thorium series (232Th) in the parenteral nutrition samples were 1.17±0.20 and 0.185±0.026 Bq/kg, respectively (range: 0.33±0.17-1.81±0.42 Bq/kg and 0.09±0.03-0.28±0.06 Bq/kg, respectively). However, natural radionuclide (40K) was not detected in all samples. Furthermore, the mean values of radon and radium concentrations were 13.77±2.84 mBq/L and 0.19±0.03 mBq/kg, respectively using CR-39 detector (range: 2.00-29.97 mBq/L and 0.03-0.41 mBq/kg, respectively). There was a significant correlation (R2=0.91) between the concentrations estimated by the CR-39 and RAD-7 detectors. In addition, a significant correlation (R2=0.90) was observed between 238U and 222Rn.
Conclusion: The comparison of the results obtained in the present study with the worldwide average revealed that all values were within the recommended range given by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, World Health Organization, and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. In other words, the parenteral nutrition samples under study were safe for consumption and did not expose the citizens to any hazards.


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