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ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119-128

Preliminary studies on 226 Ra and 232 Th, and 40 K concentrations from quartzite rocks used as building materials


1 Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission; Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana
2 Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Francis Otoo
Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission; Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra
Ghana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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The naturally occurring radioactive materials associated with quartzite rock samples used in the raw form or as aggregates in building materials from different geological locations have been studied using gamma spectrometry. The activity concentration of 226 Ra, 232 Th, and 40 K ranged from 27.64 to 225.78 Bq/kg for 226 Ra, from 20.08 to 72.07 Bq/kg for 232 Th, and from 118.09 to 1443.76 Bq/kg for 40 K. The highest values of 226 Ra and 232 Th occurred in gneiss quartzite from Twin Quarry (TQ), Shai Hills, while the lowest values of 226 Ra and 232 Th were recorded in gneiss quartzite from Rockshell International Quarry (RIQ), Shai Hills. The activity concentration of 40 K varied from 118.09 to 1443.76 Bq/kg, with the highest value in gneiss quartzite from Twin Quarry, Shai Hills, while the lowest activity concentration of 40 K resulting in the micaceous quartzite was recorded from Atomic Hills. The radium equivalent activity (Ra eq ; 98.82-414.35 Bq/kg), the external hazard index (H ex ; (0.27-1.12), gamma activity concentration index (I g ; 0.28-1.48), the absorbed dose rate D in air (11.35-47.72 nGy/h), and the annual effective dose (E T ) (0.08-0.23 mSv/y) were evaluated to assess the radiation hazard to people living in dwellings made of these building materials. The results obtained were found to be within the acceptable limits for public exposure control recommended by the European Commission, International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA-OECD).


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