Assessment of the Specific Activity of Alpha- and Beta-emitting Radionuclides in Groundwater, Anka, Nigeria

Document Type: Original Paper

Authors

1 Department of Physics, Faculty of Science,Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria

2 Department of Physics Faculty of Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto Nigeria

Abstract

Introduction: After the lead poisoning outbreak came to light in Zamfara State, Nigeria, people living near gold mines were worried about environmental safety, especially drinking water quality. This study examined the gross alpha and gross beta activity concentrations in groundwater in different locations of Anka, Zamfara State, Nigeria, to measure the possible radiation dose and potential health effects.
Material and Methods: In this study, 32 water samples were collected from hand dug wells and boreholes in Anka, Nigeria, through stratified random sampling method. The ISO 9696 and ISO 9697 methods were adapted using Eurysis system-multiple-channel-gas-filled proportional counter to measure gross alpha and gross beta activity concentration.
Results: The ranges of alpha and beta activity concentration in groundwater of the area were 0.114 to 3.698 Bq/l and 0.071 to 4.823 Bq/l with the geometric means of 0.961 Bq/l and 2.134 Bq/l, respectively. These amounts were higher than the reference limits of 0.5 Bq/l and 1 Bq/l for gross alpha and beta activity concentrations, respectively. Additionally, the total annual effective dose equivalent was more than that (0.1 mSv/y) of recommended by World Health Organization (WHO).
Conclusion: The mean concentrations of alpha and beta activities in the samples were above the limits recommended by WHO. These excessive radiations might negatively affect the environment and inhabitants.  

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