Natural radioactivity and radon exhalation rate in Brazilian igneous rocks.
ABSTRACT This paper reports the natural radioactivity of Brazilian igneous rocks that are used as dimension stones, following the trend of other studies on the evaluation of the risks to the human health caused by the rocks radioactivity as a consequence of their use as cover indoors. Gamma-ray spectrometry has been utilized to determine the (40)K, (226)Ra and (232)Th activity concentrations in 14 rock types collected at different quarries. The following activity concentration range was found: 12.18-251.90 Bq/kg for (226)Ra, 9.55-347.47 Bq/kg for (232)Th and 407.5-1615.0 Bq/kg for (40)K. Such data were used to estimate Ra(eq), H(ex) and I(γ), which were compared with the threshold limit values recommended in literature. They have been exceeded for Ra(eq) and H(ex) in five samples, where the highest indices corresponded to a rock that suffered a process of ductile-brittle deformation that caused it a microbrecciated shape. The exhalation rate of Rn and daughters has also been determined in slabs consisting of rock pieces ~10 cm-long, 5 cm-wide and 3 cm-thick. It ranged from 0.24 to 3.93 Bq/m(2)/h and exhibited significant correlation with eU (=(226)Ra), as expected. The results indicated that most of the studied rocks did not present risk to human health and may be used indoors, even with low ventilation. On the other hand, igneous rocks that yielded indices above the threshold limit values recommended in literature may be used outdoors without any restriction or indoors with ample ventilation.
- SourceAvailable from: Gopinathan A Kumar[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The present paper describes a detailed study on the distribution of radionuclides along Chavara - Neendakara placer deposit, a high background radiation area (HBRA) along the Southwest coast of India (Kerala). Judged from our studies using HPGe gamma spectrometric detector, it becomes evident that Uranium ((238)U), Thorium ((232)Th) and Potassium ((40)K) are the major sources for radioactivity prevailing in the area. Our statistical analyses reveal the existence of a high positive correlation between (238)U and (232)Th, implicating that the levels of these elements are interdependent. Our SEM-EDAX analyses reveal that titanium (Ti) and zircon (Zr) are the major trace elements in the sand samples, followed by aluminum, copper, iron, ruthenium, magnesium, calcium, sulphur and lead. This is first of its kind report on the radiation hazard indices on this placer deposit. The average absorbed dose rates (9795 nGy h(-1)) computed from the present study is comparable with the top-ranking HBRAs in the world, thus offering the Chavara-Neendakara placer the second position, after Brazil; pertinently, this value is much higher than the World average. The perceptibly high absorbed gamma dose rates, entrained with the high annual external effective dose rates (AEED) and average annual gonadal dose equivalent (AGDE) values existing in this HBRA, encourage us to suggest for a candid assessment of the impact of the background radiation, if any, on the organisms that inhabit along this placer deposit. Future research could effectively address the issue of the possible impact of natural radiation on the biota inhabiting this HBRA.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e50468. · 3.53 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Most destructive earthquakes nucleate at between 5–7 km and about 35–40 km depth. Before earthquakes, rocks are subjected to increasing stress. Not every stress increase leads to rupture. To understand pre-earthquake phenomena we note that igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks contain defects which, upon stressing, release defect electrons in the oxygen anion sublattice, known as positive holes. These charge carriers are highly mobile, able to flow out of stressed rocks into surrounding unstressed rocks. They form electric currents, which emit electromagnetic radiation, sometimes in pulses, sometimes sustained. The arrival of positive holes at the ground-air interface can lead to air ionization, often exclusively positive. Ionized air rising upward can lead to cloud condensation. The upward flow of positive ions can lead to instabilities in the mesosphere, to mesospheric lightning, to changes in the Total Electron Content (TEC) at the lower edge of the ionosphere, and electric field turbulences. Advances in deciphering the earthquake process can only be achieved in a broadly multidisciplinary spirit.Acta Geophysica 61(4). · 0.91 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The term "commercial granite" comprises different natural stones with different mineralogical components. In Extremadura, western Spain, "commercial granites" can be classified in three types: granite s.s. (sensus stricti), granodiorite, and diorite. The content of naturally occurring radionuclides depended of the mineralogy. Thus, the (40)K content increased as the relative content of alkaline feldspar increased but decreased as the plagioclase content increased. The radioactive content decreased in the following order: granite s.s. > granodiorite > diorite. In this work, the radiological hazard of these granites as building material was analyzed in terms of external irradiation and radon exposure. External irradiation was estimated based on the "I" index, ranged between 0.073 and 1.36. Therefore, these granites can be use as superficial building materials with no restriction. Radon exposure was estimated using the surface exhalation rates in polished granites. The exhalation rate in granites depends of their superficial finishes (different roughness). For distinct mechanical finishes of granite (polish, diamond sawed, bush-hammered and flamed), the surface exhalation rate increased with the roughness of the finishes. Thermal finish presented the highest exhalation rate, because the high temperatures applied to the granite may increase the number of fissures within it. The exhalation rates in polished granites varied from 0.013 to 10.4 Bq m(-2) h(-1).Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 02/2014; 132C:81-88. · 3.67 Impact Factor