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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 120-131

Assessment of airborne 238 U and 232 Th exposure and dust load impact on people living in the vicinity of a cement factory in Ghana


1 Nuclear Reactors Research Centre, National Nuclear Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Legon, Accra, Ghana
2 Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Legon, Accra, Ghana
3 Institute of Environmental Science and Sanitaion Sudy, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana
4 Radiation Technology Centre, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Legon, Accra, Ghana
5 Environmental Protection and Waste Management Centre, Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Legon, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Peter Davor
Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, P. O. Box LG 80, Legon, Accra
Ghana
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Source of Support: Carnegie Next Generation of Academic in Africa (CNGAA) for financing this work through the University of Ghana, Legon. The ethical support offered by the generality of the people of Akporkploe., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-0464.154865

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Globally, the cement industry has been identified as one which causes significant particle pollution. In Ghana, environmental research in the neighborhood of the cement industry especially on human health is scanty. In the present work, attempts were made to evaluate the concentration of airborne dust at various distances and directions around the Diamond Cement Factory in the Volta Region of Ghana. The samples of dust were collected on filter papers and later analyzed for the concentration (mg/kg) of 232 Th and 238 U using neutron activation analysis. The principal objective of the study was to generate data intended at assessing the annual effective dose due to 232 Th and 238 U inhalation for both adult and children population living in the vicinity of cement factory. The data generated were supposed to assist in remediation decision making, if required. The study recored a few incidences of higher total dust load concentrations as compared to the permissible limit of 150 μg/m 3 specified by the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency. The calculated mean effective doses were 28.2 ± 1.06 μSv/year and 25.9 ± 0.91 μSv/year for both adult and child, respectively. From the radiological point of view, the study concluded that the people living in the vicinity of the cement factory are not at risk to significant radiological hazards. However, the study indicated the need to have a complete evaluation of the impact of the factory on the environment assessment programs which should include both chemical and radiological toxicity.


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