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 Table of Contents 
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 168-172  

Evaluation of the radiation dose from radon ingestion from different types of drinking water samples in Egypt using nuclear track detectors (LR-115 Type II)


Department of Nuclear Security, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, Riyadh, KSA; Department of Radiological and Environmental, Nuclear Power Plants Authority, Cairo, Egypt

Date of Submission27-Jun-2019
Date of Decision25-Sep-2019
Date of Acceptance22-Oct-2019
Date of Web Publication27-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ahmed Saad Hussein
Department of Nuclear Security, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, Riyadh; Department of Radiological and Environmental, Nuclear Power Plants Authority, Cairo

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/rpe.RPE_21_19

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  Abstract 


Radon concentrations in different sources of water samples collected from five different regions of Egypt by alpha track dosimetry using LR-115 detectors were determined. The values of radon concentration in water samples did not exceed the maximum level of contamination of 11 BqL−1 reported by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the recommended level of 10 BqL−1 by UNSCEAR 2000. The calculated values of annual effective dose for adults, children, and infants from radon ingested are less than the reference level of 100 μSvy−1 as recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency, 2002 and WHO, 2009. From these results, it is concluded that there is no radiological risk related to radon ingested from the water samples analyzed in the study area of five different regions of Egypt.

Keywords: Drinking water, Egypt, LR-115 detectors, radon


How to cite this article:
Hussein AS. Evaluation of the radiation dose from radon ingestion from different types of drinking water samples in Egypt using nuclear track detectors (LR-115 Type II). Radiat Prot Environ 2019;42:168-72

How to cite this URL:
Hussein AS. Evaluation of the radiation dose from radon ingestion from different types of drinking water samples in Egypt using nuclear track detectors (LR-115 Type II). Radiat Prot Environ [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Jul 13];42:168-72. Available from: http://www.rpe.org.in/text.asp?2019/42/4/168/276918




  Introduction Top


Radon (222 Rn) is a natural radioactive noble gaseous isotope, one of the daughter products of238 U series that also include226 Ra among others, which occurs in rocks, soil, natural gas, and water. Radon in air and domestic water supplies can cause human exposure and impart radiation dose both through inhalation and ingestion.[1] Exposure to environmental radon on an average, accounts for about one-half of all human exposure to radiation from natural background sources.[2],[3]

Radon is soluble in water, and this route of exposure may also be important if excessive radon concentrations are found in drinking water. If such water is ingested, most models describe the radon as remaining in the stomach for several minutes before being passed to the small intestine where it is transferred to blood and is rapidly lost from the body. Calculations show that the dose to the lining of the stomach can be significant and this implies some risk to the humans.[4],[5],[6] Thus, assessing radon in water, in addition to radon levels in air, assumes importance and help in mitigating reduction of potential human exposures. The use of water in residential dwellings may result in enhanced indoor air concentrations of radon, depends on the total use of water in the dwelling, the size of the dwelling, and the rate of air ventilation.[7]

Many studies on radon activity concentration were carried out in different sources of water sample from different areas in the world, including in Egypt using alpha track detectors with cup-techniques.[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24] High sensitivity, low-cost LR-115 nuclear track detectors are easy to handle and retain a permanent record of the measurement.[1],[25],[26]

The aim of the present work was to determine the radon activity concentrations in different sources of water samples from five regions (1 to 5, Qena, Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Matroh, and Siwa Oasis, respectively) in Egypt, and to assess potential health effects from the radon if any.


  Materials and Methods Top


Drinking water samples (from the tap, from bottled water, and from water wells) from five regions (Qena, Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Matroh, and Siwa Oasis) in Egypt [Figure 1] were collected and analyzed using a closed-cup technique with LR-115 nuclear track detectors, as shown in [Figure 2]. The collected water from each 1L sample was poured into the bottom of an aluminum cup. The cup was attached to the glass bottle and sealed with adhesive tape to prevent radon leakage. To maintain thermal equilibrium, the measuring glass bottles were kept immersed in a water bath during the measuring time. After an exposure time of 90 days, the dosimeter cups were separated from the sample bottles. The detectors were removed and treated using the method followed by Durrani and Iliac[1] and Gomaa et al.[26]
Figure 1: Map of Egypt showing the investigated regions

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Figure 2: Schematic diagram of radon detection in water[29]

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The radon activity concentration Ca in the air volume of the cup above water samples, as shown in [Figure 2], was determined from the following formula:[27],[28]

Ca= ρ/η−Rn T (1)

Where ρ is the measured track density, η-Rn is radon calibration coefficient and T is the exposure time(day).

According to Somogy et al., 1986[29] and Jonsson, 1999,[30] the radon activity concentration in the water Cw, can be estimated through an empirical formula given by:[29],[30]

Cw = f Ca (2)

Where, f is a calibration factor that depends on the area of the water bottle and on the mean temperature °C of the water during the exposure time.

The effective dose “E” due to radon ingested with water was estimated from the relation:[31],[32]

E = CwLaD (3)

Where, Cw is the radon activity concentration in the water (BqL−1), La is the annual consumption rate (Ly−1) and D is the dose conversion factor (SvBq−1).

The UNSCEAR estimated dose coefficient due to the ingestion of radon from water is 18 × 10−9 SvBq−1 for an adult, 26 × 10−9 SvBq−1 for a child and 35 × 10−9 SvBq−1 for an infant.[31],[32] The daily amount of water consumption is function of climate, physical activity, culture, economic factors, etc. The daily amount of water consumed by adults, children, and infants was 2.43, 0.43, and 0.33 Ld−1, respectively.[33]


  Results and Discussion Top


The radon activity concentration levels in different sources of water samples were obtained using the method described earlier. The tap water samples were collected the five regions of Egypt, as shown in [Figure 1] and mentioned in [Table 1]. The bottled water samples were collected from food markets [Table 2]. The groundwater samples were collected from regions 1, 4 to 5 [Table 3]. Using equation 3, the annual effective doses (Svy−1) due to the ingestion of various water samples for adults, children, and infants were calculated. These are given in [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3] for the samples of tapwater, bottledwater, and groundwater, respectively.
Table 1: Radon activity concentrations (Cw) and effective dose (E) for tap water samples

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Table 2: Radon activity concentrations (Cw) and effective dose (E) for bottled-water samples

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Table 3: Radon activity concentrations (Cw) and effective dose (E) for consuming ground water samples from wells

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{Table 1}{Table 2}{Table 3}

As may be noted in [Table 1], the measured values of radon concentration in tap water ranged from 0.036 to 0.12 with an average value of 0.073 BqL−1. The calculated values of the annual effective dose from drinking tap water due to ingestion of radon ranged between 0.58–1.92, 0.15–0.49, and 0.15–0.51, with averages 1.18, 0.30, and 0.31 μSvy−1, for adults, children, and infants, respectively.

It may be seen from [Table 2], the measured values of radon concentration in bottled water, collected from food markets, ranged from 0.016 to 0.24 with an average value of 0.089 BqL−1. The calculated values for the annual effective dose from consuming bottled water due to ingestion of radon ranged between 0.24–3.83, 0.07–0.98, and 0.07–1.01, with averages 1.41, 0.36, and 0.37 μSvy−1, for adults, children, and infants, respectively.

As shown in [Table 3], the measured values of radon concentration in groundwater ranged from 0.13 to 3.91 with average value of 1.74 BqL−1. The annual effective dose due to ingestion of radon present in groundwater samples are in the range between 2.08–62.42, 0.53–15.96, and 0.55–16.50, with averages 27.77, 7.10, and 7.33 μSvy−1, for adults, children, and infants, respectively.

Radon activity concentrations in the various water samples of the present study are far below the maximum recommended level of contamination of 11.1 BqL−1 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (1999).[34] UNSCEAR 2000[3] reported the average concentration of radon in water to be 10 BqL−1, with worldwide values ranging from 1 to 100 BqL−1.[35] As shown in [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], the effective doses due to radon in different sources of water were calculated for adults, children, and infants. It is noted that the effective doses due to ingestion of radon from all studied water samples of the present study are less than the International Atomic Energy Agency recommended levels of 0.10, 0.20, and 0.26 mSvy−1 for adults, children, and infants, respectively,[36] and hence do not pose any health risk.

[Table 4] shows the comparison of results obtained from this study with other national and international works for radon activity concentrations in various sources of water using the same technique. The results of the present study were consistent with the concentration of radon in different drinking water samples with national and international published results. The results obtained from this study for radon activity concentrations in tap water samples were relatively low compared to the data reported from Saudi Arabia,[15] India,[8] Pakistan,[12] and Turkey.[19] For bottled water samples, the results obtained from this study were relatively low compared to the data from Egypt[24] and Kuwait.[14] The variation in radon activity concentration refers to natural chemistry of the water samples, temperature, the geological factors, the climate, time of sampling, the location, and the treatment processing.[37]
Table 4: Comparison of radon activity concentrations in water samples with other works using cup technique with nuclear track detectors

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  Conclusions Top


Radon concentrations in environmental and domestic water samples (household tap, commercially bottled, and well water from ground sources) from five different regions of Egypt have been determined using LR-115 etched track detectors with cup-technique. The results showed that all sources of water samples contain very low levels of radon that are far below the well-accepted international standards, and hence should be considered safe in terms of radiation dose to persons consuming those water sources.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Dr. Darrell R. Fisher, a Past-President of the Health Physics Society, for his contribution in this work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
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    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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