Document Detail

Radioactivity of natural and artificial building materials - a comparative study.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23246704     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Building materials and their additives contain radioactive isotopes, which can increase both external and internal radioactive exposures of humans. In this study Hungarian natural (adobe) and artificial (brick, concrete, coal slag, coal slag concrete and gas silicate) building materials were examined. We qualified 40 samples based on their radium equivalent, activity concentration, external hazard and internal hazard indices and the determined threshold values of these parameters. Absorbed dose rate and annual effective dose for inhabitants living in buildings made of these building materials were also evaluated. The calculations are based on (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K activity concentrations determined by gamma-ray spectrometry. Measured radionuclide concentrations and hence, calculated indices and doses of artificial building materials show a rather disparate distribution compared to adobes. The studied coal slag samples among the artificial building materials have elevated (226)Ra content. Natural, i.e. adobe and also brick samples contain higher amount of (40)K compared to other artificial building materials. Correlation coefficients among radionuclide concentrations are consistent with the values in the literature and connected to the natural geochemical behavior of U, Th and K elements. Seven samples (coal slag and coal slag concrete) exceed any of the threshold values of the calculated hazard indices, however only three of them are considered to be risky to use according to the fact that the building material was used in bulk amount or in restricted usage. It is shown, that using different indices can lead to different conclusions; hence we recommend considering more of the indices at the same time when building materials are studied. Additionally, adding two times their statistical uncertainties to their values before comparing to thresholds should be considered for providing a more conservative qualification. We have defined radon hazard portion to point to the limitations of the internal hazard considerations based on only measured (226)Ra activity concentrations without direct radon measurements. Our data are compared to those obtained in other countries and they provide a good basis to expand the database of radioactivity of building materials and gives information about the safety and situation of the building material industry in this central region of Europe.
Zs Szabó; P Völgyesi; H É Nagy; Cs Szabó; Z Kis; O Csorba
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-12-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of environmental radioactivity     Volume:  118C     ISSN:  1879-1700     ISO Abbreviation:  J Environ Radioact     Publication Date:  2012 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8508119     Medline TA:  J Environ Radioact     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  64-74     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lithosphere Fluid Research Laboratory, Department of Petrology and Geochemistry, Eötvös University, 1/C, Pázmány P. b., Budapest H-1117, Hungary. Electronic address:
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