In-Situ Measurement of Soil and Rock Background Ionization Radiation at Edwin Clark University and Its Environs, South-South, Nigeria
Rufus Chigozie Nwankwo, Department of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Edwin Clark University, Kiagbodo, Nigeria.
Gregory Onomakere Avwiri, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
In this study, the levels of ionizing radiation in the soil/rock were measured in-situ at the Edwin Clark University (ECU), Kiagbodo, Delta State, South-south Nigeria and its environs. Radiation is useful in many respects but it also associated with several health risks to man. People all over the world are daily exposed to radiations of different types – both ionizing and non-ionizing radiations- which are ingested or absorbed into the human body in varying concentrations or intensities through different sources. Ingested or absorbed radiations have been reported as the cause of major health problems such as cancer, damage to the genes, bones, blood cells and different body tissues, which ultimately can result in death. These radiations are emitted from various sources, but environmental radiation is particularly connected with terrestrial and cosmic sources. In Nigeria, not much attention has been paid to irradiation within buildings (known as indoor background radiation), although studies have revealed the presence of hazardous ionizing radiations within buildings. It has been established that continuous exposure to nuclear radiation even at low dose rates within a building can cause genetic damage in human beings. In addition, exposure above permissible levels to radiation within the environment or outside buildings (known as outdoor background radiation) has similar genetic effect that can result in cancer. In this study, Indoor and outdoor soil and rock ionizing radiation levels in the Edwin Clark University environment have been measured. A Radiation monitor (Radalert 100) and ETREX Germin GPS were used for the measurement. A total of 40 points (20 outdoor and 20 indoor) were surveyed across the university for soil and geologic contribution to background environmental radiation. Our results depict the outdoor rate of radiation exposure to vary between 0.106 µSv/h and 0.199 µSv/h, while for the indoor measurement, the least exposure rate is 0.106 µSv/h while a peak exposure rate 0.199 µSv/h was obtained. The results also reveal the average exposure rates within and outside the buildings for all points studied to lie between 0.14675 µSv/h and 0.130197 µSv/h respectively. These radiation levels, however, do not exceed the safety exposure threshold of 1.0 x 10-3Sv per annum in line with the recommendations of world’s radiation regulatory agencies for populations not engaged in occupations that lead to radiation exposure. The levels of ionizing radiation measured in the study area were found to be due to the prevailing geology (the constituent rocks and soil) as the major natural source of radiation in the area, as no radiation generators exist within and around the university.
Soil, Rock, Ionization, Radiation, Dose, Rate, Radalert
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