Effect of Using Chemical Fertilizers on Natural Radioactivity Levels in Agricultural Soil in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region
Hiwa H. Azeez 1  
,   Habeeb Hanna Mansour 1  
,   Saddon T. Ahmad 2  
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Department of Physics, College of Education, Salahaddin University – Erbil, Iraq
School of Medicine, Koya University, Danielle Mitterrand Boulevard, Koya, Iraq
Hiwa H. Azeez   

Physics, Salahaddin University -Erbil, Erbil, 44001, Erbil, Iraq
Submission date: 2018-08-29
Final revision date: 2019-03-13
Acceptance date: 2019-03-28
Online publication date: 2019-10-07
Publication date: 2020-01-16
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2020;29(2):1059–1068
In this study, the effect of the use of chemical fertilizers on natural radioactivity levels in agricultural soil was investigated. For this purpose, virgin and agricultural (fertilized) soils were collected from Erbil city, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Gamma-ray spectrometry was applied using a high-purity germanium (HPGe) detector to determine the activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K in soil samples. The results showed that the range of activity concentrations for 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K in virgin soils are (10.6-16.2) Bq/kg, (8.8-10.7) Bq/kg, and (241.8-340.9) Bq/kg, respectively, while the range of activity concentrations for 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K in agricultural soils are (11.9-18.2) Bq/kg, (8.8-12.4) Bq/kg, and (247.7-338.3) Bq/kg, respectively. The obtained values of activity concentration show that the application of chemical fertilizers elevated the natural radioactivity level of the soil. The radiological hazard parameters were also calculated in both the virgin and agricultural soil samples and compared with the international dose safety limit in the soil.