Assessment of the Natural Radioactivity and Concentrations of Some Heavy Elements in the Dust of Some Schools in Karbala, Iraq

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Ministry of Education , General Directorate of Education in Karbala, 56001 Karbala, Iraq

2 Department of Physics, College of Science, University of Kerbala, 56001 Kerbala, Iraq

3 Department of Physics, College of Science, University of Kerbala, 56001 Karbala, Iraq


Introduction: This study covered the assessment of the natural radioactivity levels and heavy metalsconcentration in dust samples collected from selected schools in the holy Governorate of Karbala. The purpose of thisstudy was to assess the radiological health and safety impact of dust pollution on the children going to school.
Material and Methods: Sodium Iodide system (NaI [TI])from BICRON and the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer from SHIMADZU were used to measure the natural radioactivity in terms of 238U, 232Th, and 40K, as well as the concentrations of some heavy metals in the dust samples.
Results: The specific activity of 238U, Th232, and 40K in dust samples were 5.59± 0.1679 to 71.91±1.6561 Bq/kg, 1.36±0.0963 to 43.35±1.0434 Bq/kg, 66.94±1.638 to 417.91±13.721 Bq/kg, respectively. The external and internal hazard indices were 0.047 ± 0.001 to 0.449±0.011 and 0.062±0.00169 to 0.643±0.01583   respectively. The absorbeddose rate and radium equivalent values ranged from 8.21±0.215 to 76.83±1.968nGy/h and 17.45±0.458to 166.08±4.205 Bq/kg, respectively. The concentration of lead was within the range of 8.839-2.689 mg kg-1 and the concentration of Cd ranged from 0.141 mg kg-1 to less than the lower limit of detection of the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer.
Conclusion: The absorbed dose rate, effective dose (indoor and outdoor), hazard indices, and radium equivalent values were within the range of values indicated in the UNSCEAR 2008 report. The levels of lead and cadmium concentration detected in some schools were due to dust pollution in the Schools environment.


Main Subjects

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Volume 16, Issue 4 - Serial Number 4
July and August 2019
Pages 280-284
  • Receive Date: 05 October 2018
  • Revise Date: 16 November 2018
  • Accept Date: 19 November 2018
  • First Publish Date: 01 July 2019