Soil radioactivity and radiotoxic risks of uranium in drinking water. A case study of Jos Plateau, Nigeria

Habu Tela Abba, Muneer Aziz Saleh


Protection and assessment of any radiation pollution resulting from the use and disposal of radioactive materials to the large extent depend on the knowledge of natural radioactivity level of an environment. This work determined the activity concentration of terrestrial radionuclides 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in top soil samples of Jos Plateau using high resolution HPGe detector. Inductive Coupled Plasma (ICP) Mass Spectrometer was used to determine the chemical concentrations of uranium (238U) in drinking water samples collected from the area.  The activity concentration of 226Ra varied between 34±1 and 1006±18 Bq/kg, 67±2 and 1695±37 Bq kg−1 for 232Th and between 67±4 and 2465±45 Bq/kg for 40K. Chemical concentration of 238U in water samples was found to vary from 1.4 to 35 μg/ L. The values of radiological risks due to radioactivity and chemical risks of mortality and morbidity due concentration of 238U in drinking water were estimated. The risk values for some samples are found to be within safe limits provided by health and environmental protection agencies (ICRP, WHO and USEPA). The radiometric data could be useful for geochemical exploration and diagnosis and prognosis of uranium persuaded diseases for the local inhabitants in the study area.


Soil; Radioactivity; Uranium; Radiotoxic risk; ICP-Mass spectroscopy

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