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International Journal of Application or Innovation in Engineering & Management (IJAIEM

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Web Site: www.ijaiem.org Email: editor@ijaiem.org, editorijaiem@gmail.com Volume 2, Issue 5, May 2013 ISSN 2319 - 4847

Measurement of Radon and Uranium Concentrations and Background Gamma Rays at the University of Baghdad -Jadiriyah Site
Shafik S. Shafik1, Aamir A. Mohammed2
1, 2

Department of Physics, College of Science, University of Baghdad -Baghdad-Iraq

ABSTRACT
Radon is a radioactive gas produced by uranium decay chain. The concentration of this gas in indoor is higher than that of outdoor. An indoor radon survey of a total of 112 locations with one dosimeter per site was carried out at the university of Baghdad- Jadiriyah site. In this study, the concentrations of radon and uranium, radon exhalation rate and background of gamma rays were estimated, and the dose due to indoor radon concentrations was calculated. The minimum, maximum and average of indoor radon concentrations were 22.399±2.182 , 66.447±1.98 and 45.487±1.157 respectively. Radon mass exhalation rate ranged from 2.851±0.1874 to 4.240±0.3797 with an average value of 3.31±0.13 . The average concentrations of radon and uranium in soil samples were 66.73±2.62 and 18.672±0.457 respectively. The average indoor inhalation exposure (radon) effective dose in the buildings was 0.8058 and the background dose rate of gamma rays was 0.0328 Keywords: Radon, Exhalation Rate, Uranium, Gamma ray, CR-39 detector.

1. INTRODUCTION
The exposure to natural radiation may be due to external or internal according to the body radiation source geometry. External exposure comes mainly from the γ- emitter in man's surrounding environment which impacts the body and can be harmful to different organs due to the high penetration property of γ- rays. There has been interest in the determination of the average gamma radiation dose to which the population is exposed. The environmental radiation is composed of natural radiation, found in the ground, plus the cosmic radiation together with the contribution to background radiation from nuclear weapons tests and accidents which, eventually, will come down to the ground level. On the other hand, internal exposure comes from swallowing or inhaling radioactive materials as in the case of inhaling radon and its daughters (Saleh, 2007).[1] Radon is radioactive noble inert gas and very mobile gaseous daughter of uranium 238U which is found in all rocks and soil. Radon is very soluble in water (Misdaq et al., 2000). [2] There are three natural isotopes of the radioactive element radon: 222Rn originate in the 238U decay series and has a half-life of 3.82 days, 220Rn (thoron) is in the 232Th chain with a half-life of 55.6 sec and 219Rn (actinon) is in the 235U series with its half-life of 4 sec. The chemical element radon with atomic weight 86 is the heaviest among of the inert gases, which include neon, argon, krypton and xenon as well (Wilkening, 1990).[3] The exposure to radon gas is the most signification element of human exposure to natural sources. It is distinguished from the other three elements of basic background because exposure varies markedly in ordinary circumstances, and because high exposure may be avoided with comparative ease. The most important mechanism of exposure is the inhalation of the short-lived decay products of the principal isotope, 222Rn, with indoor air. Concentrations of 222Rn and its progeny are usually higher in indoor air than in outdoor air, exceptions are in tropical regions, where 222Rn concentrations in well- ventilated dwellings are essentially the same as in outdoor air (UNSCEAR 1993).[4] Sources of radon include soil, water, outdoor air, and building materials, but transport of radon – bearing gas from soil is generally the most predominant source of indoor. The concentration of radon is expressed as Becquerel per cubic meter ( ) or picocuries per liter ( ) (Nagda, 1994).[5] The exposure to high level of radon gas through breathing of air increases the risk of lung cancer (Ramadhan, 2012).[6] When radon gas is inhaled, densely ionizing alpha particles emitted by deposited short- lived decay products of radon (218Po and 214Po) can interact with biological tissue in the lungs leading to DNA damage (WHO, 2009). [7]

2. MATERIAL AND METHODS
The technique used in this work is based on CR-39 nuclear track detectors (Pershore Mouldings which was made in England). The passive radon dosimeter geometry consists of a closed chamber into which radon diffuses (Al-Jarallah et al., 2003).[8] It is made from plastic cup with a hole at the top cover which is covered with a 5 thickness of soft

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sponge layer. The radon dosimeter containing CR-39 (with an area 1 x 1 and 500 at its bottom. The design of the chamber ensures that the aerosol particles and radon decay products are deposited on the sponge from outside and that only radon diffuses through it to the volume of the chamber (Al-Jarallah et al., 2008).[9] The radon dosimeter was used to determine the indoor radon concentrations as shown in the figure (1). The exposure time was 90 days. At the end of the exposure time, the radon dosimeters were collected and the detectors were removed, and then treated using etching solution NaOH with 6.25N in water bath at 70±1°C for 7 h. Then, the CR-39 detectors were washed with distilled water and dried. The tracks produced were counted using optical microscope with 400x magnification as shown in figure (2).

Figure 1 The Radon dosimeter.

Figure 2 The tracks counting system.. The radon concentrations were calculated using the following equation (Ajaj, 1999): [10] CRn= ------- (1) where represents the track density resulting from all alpha particles which are present inside the container, represent the time exposure radon and the calibration factor is given by: where is the critical angle, R is the alpha particle range and is the radius of container. The radon and uranium dosimeters for soil are shown in figures (3) and (4) respectively.

Cover CR-39 Detector

Plastic Container Soil 6cm

15 cm

Figure 3 The radon dosimeter for soil.

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Cover

CR –
Soil Sample

3 cm

5 cm

Figure 4 The uranium dosimeter for soil. The uranium concentration CU can be determined using a procedure similar to used to determine radon concentration, one can write (Ajaj, 1999, Salama et al., 2006):[10,11] CU KU T ------- (2) CTh KTh T ------- (3) + ------- (4) total=CU KU T + CTh KTh T ----- (5) = CU Ku+ CTh KTh ----- (6) CUKU [1+ (CTh / CU) (KTh / KU)] - - - - (7) The ratio CTh / CU = 4 / T = CU KU [1+ 4 (KTh / KU)] -- (8) KU =0.25 AU cos2 --- (9) KTh is given by a formula similar to eq. (9). where is the density, ei is the branching ratio, and AU is the radioactivity concentration of 1 ppm (one part per million ) of Uranium. The mass exhalation rate is given by the following equation (K. Kant et al., 2010):[12] Ex= --------- (10) where Ex is the mass exhalation rate of radon, CRn is the integrated radon exposure (Bq m-3h-1) , M is the mass of the sample, V is the effective volume of radon dosimeter can (figure 1), is the decay constant of radon and T is the exposure time. The annual exposure to potential alpha energy EP (effective dose equivalent) is then related to the average radon concentration CRn by the expression: EP [WLM.Y-1] = --- (11) 3 where, CRn is in Bq/m ; n is the fraction of time spent indoors; 8760, the number of hours per year; 170, the number of hours per working month and F is the equilibrium factor for radon and was taken as 0.4 as suggested by UNSCEAR, (2000). Radon progeny equilibrium is a very important quantity, where dose calculation are to be made on the basis of the measurement of radon concentration, it may have value 0 < F < 1.Thus, the values of n=0.8 and F=0.4 were used in the present research. From radon exposure the indoor inhalation exposure (radon) effective dose was estimated using the conversion factor of 3.88 by ICRP, (1993) (Mahur, 2012).[13]In addition to the radon and uranium measurements, gamma rays were measured in 75 locations of the University of Baghdad - Jadiriyah site using digital hand-held gamma spectrometer.

3. Results and Discussion
A summary of the results are shown in Table (1), it is observed that the concentration of indoor radon and the indoor inhalation exposure (radon) effective dose inside the buildings at the university of Baghdad-Jadiriyah site. The concentrations of indoor radon were varied from 22.399±2.182 to 66.447±1.98 with an average value of 45.487±1.157 . From the results listed in Table (2), it is observed that the average concentrations of indoor radon in the campus of the university of Baghdad – Jadiriyah site were lowest at the Institute of Genetic Engineering with value of 30.008±1.46 while the highest value was 61.168±1.48 in the College of Khwarizmi Engineering because all college buildings located has lacked of ventilation. The indoor radon concentrations are much lower than the recommended ICRP action level of 200- 600 (ICRP 1993).[14] The average indoor inhalation exposure (radon) effective dose in the buildings was 0.8058±0.0205 . Table (3) shows the concentration of radon in soil and mass exhalation rate of radon in Jadiriyah site. The average radon concentration in soil samples was

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66.73±2.62 . The radon concentrations in the soil are lower than the allowed limit (800 ) from WHO (WHO,1993).[15] The mass exhalation rate of radon ranged from 2.851±0.1874 to 4.240±0.3797 with an overall average value of 3.31±0.13 Table (4) shows the concentrations of uranium in soil samples taken from the university of Baghdad - Jadiriyah site . Its values varied from 17.145±0.623 to 21.496±1.153 with an overall average value of 18.672±0.457 . The uranium concentration in soil s samples are less than the allowed limit (40 ) from UNSCEAR (UNSCEAR1993).[16] Also the background gamma dose rate was measured in Jadiriyah site, it is equal to 0.0328 . It is lower than the recommended Ministry of Environmental in Iraq action level of 0.08±0.008 (Ministry of Environment/Iraq).[17] Table 1: Radon concentrations, EP and indoor inhalation exposure (radon) effective dose in buildings.
No. Symbol Radon concentration ( ) 64.625±1.808 29.580±1.503 49.514±0.380 34.188±1.068 59.266±1.302 48.335±0.269 37.617±0.744 59.481±1.322 59.159±1.292 31.401±1.331 60.660±1.434 53.479±0.755 53.050±0.715 36.653±0.835 36.010±0.895 53.801±0.785 36.224±0.875 29.044±1.554 38.689±0.642 43.512±0.187 56.373±1.029 26.579±1.787 43.941±0.146 62.696±1.626 57.873±1.17 48.228±0.259 56.587±1.049 62.053±1.565 32.259±1.25 60.338±1.403 29.365±1.523 54.122±0.816 58.516±1.231 59.695±1.342 38.796±0.632 46.941±0.137 Ep ( 0.2951 0.1351 0.2261 0.1561 0.2706 0.2207 0.1718 0.2716 0.2701 0.1434 0.277 0.2442 0.2422 0.1673 0.1644 0.2456 0.1654 0.1326 0.1766 0.1987 0.2574 0.1213 0.2006 0.2863 0.2642 0.2202 0.2584 0.2833 0.1473 0.2755 0.1341 0.2471 0.2672 0.2726 0.1771 0.2143 ) Indoor Inhalation exposure (radon) effective dose ( ) 1.1449±0.032 0.524±0.0266 0.8772±0.0067 0.6057±0.0189 1.05±0.0231 0.8563±0.0048 0.6664±0.0132 1.0538±0.0234 1.0481±0.0229 0.5563±0.0236 1.0746±0.0254 0.9474±0.0134 0.9398±0.0127 0.6493±0.0148 0.6379±0.0159 0.9531±0.0139 0.6417±0.0155 0.5145±0.0275 0.6854±0.0114 0.7709±0.0033 0.9987±0.0182 0.4708±0.0316 0.7784±0.0026 1.1107±0.0288 1.0253±0.0207 0.8544±0.0046 1.0025±0.0186 1.0993±0.0277 0.5715±0.0221 1.0689±0.0249 0.5202±0.027 0.9588±0.0144 1.0367±0.0218 1.0576±0.0238 0.6873±0.0112 0.8316±0.0024

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9 A10 A11 A12 A13 A14 A15 A16 A17 A18 B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10 B11 B12 B13 B14 B15 B16 B17 B18

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37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 B19 B20 B21 B22 B23 B24 B25 B26 B27 B28 B29 B30 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10 C11 D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10 D11 D12 E1 E2 E3 E4 E5 E6 E7 E8 E9 E10 F1 F2 F3 57.659±1.150 60.767±1.444 33.438±1.138 51.443±0.563 57.980±1.180 56.158±1.008 28.722±1.584 42.547±0.278 60.767±1.444 58.730±1.251 24.971±1.938 60.231±1.393 52.407±0.654 33.545±1.128 65.161±1.859 30.330±1.432 29.687±1.493 48.763±0.309 50.478±0.472 23.578±2.070 27.329±1.716 29.472±1.513 50.049±0.431 29.258±1.533 23.364±2.090 35.796±0.916 23.256±2.101 35.796±0.916 22.613±2.161 66.447±1.980 38.475±0.662 22.613±2.161 48.871±0.32 33.223±1.159 31.830±1.290 60.231±1.393 58.838±1.261 53.372±0.745 61.731±1.535 56.158±1.008 58.409±1.221 32.473±123 43.405±0.197 25.721±1.868 43.726±0.166 61.731±1.535 34.188±1.068 30.115±1.452 0.2633 0.2775 0.1527 0.2349 0.2647 0.2564 0.1311 0.1943 0.2775 0.2682 0.114 0.275 0.2393 0.1532 0.2975 0.1385 0.1355 0.2226 0.2305 0.1076 0.1248 0.1346 0.2285 0.1336 0.1067 0.1634 0.1062 0.1634 0.1032 0.3034 0.1757 0.1032 0.2231 0.1517 0.1453 0.275 0.2686 0.2437 0.2819 0.2564 0.2667 0.1483 0.1982 0.1174 0.1996 0.2819 0.1561 0.1375 1.0215±0.0204 1.0765±0.0256 0.5929±0.0202 0.9114±0.00997 1.0272±0.0209 0.9949±0.0179 0.5088±0.0281 0.7538±0.0049 1.0765±0.0256 1.0404±0.0222 0.4424±0.0343 1.067±0.0249 0.9284±0.0116 0.5943±0.01999 1.1544±0.0329 0.5373±0.0254 0.5259±0.0264 0.8639±0.0055 0.8943±0.0083 0.4177±0.0367 0.4842±0.0304 0.5221±0.0268 0.8867±0.0076 0.5183±0.0272 0.4139±0.037 0.6341±0.0162 0.412±0.0372 0.6341±0.0162 0.4006±0.0383 1.1772±0.0351 0.6816±0.0117 0.4006±0.0383 0.8658±0.0057 0.5886±0.0205 0.5639±0.0229 1.067±0.0247 1.0424±0.0223 0.9455±0.0132 1.0936±0.0272 0.9949±0.0179 1.03478±0.0216 0.5753±0.0218 0.769±0.0035 0.4557±0.0331 0.7747±0.0029 1.0936±0.0272 0.6057±0.0189 0.5335±0.0257

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85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 F11 G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 H1 H2 H3 K1 K2 K3 K4 M1 M2 N1 N2 N3 46.727±0.117 45.763±0.026 45.763±0.026 38.904±0.622 33.974±1.088 64.839±1.829 22.828±2.141 56.801±1.069 63.875±1.737 63.017±1.656 62.160±1.575 59.266±1.302 66.125±1.950 55.408±0937 61.410±1.504 58.087±1.191 35.367±0.956 22.399±2.182 57.123±1.099 31.830±1.290 33.866±1.098 36.760±0.825 62.589±1.616 25.507±1.888 34.509±1.037 59.159±1.292 37.510±0.754 38.475±0.662 0.2133 0.2089 0.2089 0.1776 0.1551 0.296 0.1042 0.2593 0.2916 0.2877 0.2838 0.2706 0.3019 0.253 0.2804 0.2652 0.1615 0.1023 0.2608 0.1453 0.1546 0.1678 0.2858 0.1165 0.1576 0.2701 0.1713 0.1757 0.8278±0.0021 0.8107±0.0005 0.8107±0.0005 0.6892±0.011 0.6019±0.0193 1.1487±0.0324 0.4044±0.0379 1.0063±0.0189 1.1316±0.031 1.1164±0.0293 1.1012±0.0279 1.05±0.0231 1.1715±0.0345 0.9816±0.0166 1.0879±0.0266 1.0291±0.0211 0.6266±0.0169 0.3968±0.0386 1.012±0.0195 0.5639±0.0229 0.6±0.0194 0.6512±0.0146 1.1088±0.0286 0.4519±0.0334 0.6114±0.0184 1.0481±0.0229 0.6645±0.0133 0.6816±0.0117

where the symbols A’s for College of Science, B’s for College of Engineering, C’s for College of Science for Women, D’s for College of Education for Women, E’s for College of Media, F’s for College of Political Science, G’s for College of Khwarizmi Engineering, H’s for Institute of Laser, K’s for Institute of Accounting and Financial studies, M’s for Institute of Genetic Engineering, and N’s for Institute of Urban and Regional planning. Table 2: The average radon concentrations in the colleges and institutes in Jadiriyah site
No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Name of College or Institute College of Science College of Engineering College of Science for Women College of Education for Women College of Media College of Political Science College of Khwarizmi Engineering Institute of Laser Institute of Accounting and Financial studies Institute of Genetic Engineering Institute of Urban and Regional planning Average Radon concentrations( 46.227±1.048 48.999±1.072 40.073±1.189 34.295±1.440 49.406±1.060 43.785±0.997 61.168±1.480 38.296±1.412 41.261±1.207 30.008±1.460 45.048±0.903 )

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Table 3: Radon concentrations and mass exhalation rate in soil samples.
No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Symbol S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 Radon concentration ( ) 67.231±0.204 65.156±0.643 85.491±7.659 57.478±3.777 58.827±3.226 66.194±0.219 Radon mass exhalation rate ( ) 3.335±0.0102 3.232±0.0318 4.240±0.3797 2.851±0.1874 2.918±0.160 3.283±0.011

Table 4: Uranium concentrations in Jadiriyah site.
No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Symbol S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 Uranium concentration ( 19.206±0.218 18.126±0.223 21.496±1.153 17.145±0.623 17.766±0.369 18.290±0.156 ) Uranium concentration ( 1.549±0.0176 1.462±0.0179 1.733±0.093 1.383±0.0503 1.433±0.0298 1.475±0.0126 )

4. Conclusions
The concentrations of radon gas in soil samples and inside buildings were measured using Cr – 39 detectors, and they were found lower than the recommended WHO and ICRP action levels respectively. The concentrations of uranium in soil samples were found lower than the recommended UNSCEAR. The background gamma rays and mass exhalation rates of radon were 0.0328 and 58.922±2.315 , respectively. All results of indoor radon showed that no action is required to reduce radon levels inside the buildings.

References
[1.] F. S. Al- Saleh, "Measurements of indoor gamma radiation and radon concentrations in dwellings of Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia", App. Rad. Isot. 65(2007) – 843-848. [2.] M. A. Misdaq, A. Merzouki, D. Elabboubi, F. Aitnouh, and S. Berrazzouk, "Determination of radon equivalent alpha- dose in different human organs from water ingestion using SSNTD and dosimetric compartmental models", J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., Vol.245, No.3 (2000) 513-520. [3.] M. Wilkening, "Radon in the Environment", Elsevier Science Publishing Company INC., New York, U.S.A.1990. [4.] UNSCEAR 1993, "Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation", United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation 1993, Report to the General Assembly. [5.] N. L. Nagda, " Radon: Prevalence, Measurements, Health Risks and Control", American Society for testing and materials, Philadelphia, PA, 1994. [6.] R. M. Ramadhan, " Measurement of radon concentration in Iraqi and imported cement", J. Thi- Qar Sci., Vol.3 (2), 2012. [7.] WHO, "Handbook on Indoor Radon, A public health perspective" World Health Organization, 2009. [8.] M. I. Al-Jarallah and F. Rehman, "Indoor radon measurements in dwellings of four Saudi Arabian cities", Radiat. Meas. 36(2003) 445-448. [9.] M. I. Al-Jaralla, F. Rehman, and Abdalla K. "Comparative study of short and long term indoor radon measurements", Radiat. Meas. 43(2008) S471-S474. [10.] F. Abdul-Kader, " A study of the nuclear track detectors and the use of them in Natural Radioactivity Measurements in Mekkah ", M.sc thesis , Umm Al- Qura University, 1999. [11.] T. A. Salama, U. Seddik, T. M. Dsoky, A. M. Morsy, and R. El-Asser, "Determination of thorium and uranium contents in soil samples using SSNTDs passive method", Pramana – J. Phys., Vol. 67, No. 2, 2006, pp 269- 276. [12.] K. Kant, R. Rashmi, S. Kuriakose, R. G. Sonkawade, R. P. Chauhan, S.K. Chakarvarti and G. S. Sharma, " Radon activity and exhalation rates in Indian fly ash samples " , Indian Journal of Pure & Applied Physics, Vol. 48, July 2010, pp.457-462.

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[13.] A. K. Mahur, "Comparative study of indoor radon, thoron with radon exhalation rate in soil samples in some historical places at Jaipur, Rajasthan, India", Pelagia Research Library: Advances in Applied Science Research, 2012, 3(2): 1085 – 1091. [14.] International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP 65), 1993, "Protection against Rn-222 at home and at work", Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1993. [15.] World Health Organization, WHO, " Guidelines for Drinking –Water Quality", 2nd. Geneva, 1993. [16.] UNSCEAR 1993 , "sources and effects of ionizing radiation ", united nations scientific committee effects of atomic radiation , Report to the General Assembly , United Nations , New York,1993. [17.] Ministry of Environment in Iraq, "Indeed Environment Radioactivity for 2007". http://www.moen.gov.iq.

AUTHOR
Shafik S. Shafik received the B.S., M.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Nuclear Physics, from Physics Department, Collage of Science, Baghdad University in 1995, 1999, and 2006 respectively. During 19951999, he stayed in Iraqi Radiation Protection Center (ICRC), Ministry of Environment of Iraq. During 1999till now he worked as a lecturer in the Physics Department, Collage of Science, Baghdad University. In addition, he now occupies a deputy Dean of the Collage of Science, Baghdad University

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