Natural Radioactivity in Underground Waters
Agata Walencik1, Beata Kozłowska1, Jerzy Dorda1, Piotr Szłapa2, Wiktor Zipper1
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1Department of Nuclear Physics and Its Applications, Institute of Physics, University of Silesia, Uniwersytecka 4, 40-007 Katowice, Poland
2Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Kościelna 13, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2010;19(2):461–465
Nine underground water springs from the Szczawno-Jedlina health resort and one from Zagórze Śląskie were investigated for natural radioactivity content (222Rn, 226,228Ra, 238,234U). In order to obtain the necessary data, two different nuclear spectrometry techniques were applied: a liquid scintillation counter that enabled us to determine 222Rn and 226,228Ra isotope content, and α spectrometer for measurements of uranium isotopes (234,238U) in investigated samples. The activity concentrations of 222Rn in investigated samples varied from 6 Bq/l to 227 Bq/l. For radium isotopes the concentrations ranged from 13 mBq/l to 808 mBq/l for 226Ra and from below 30 mBq/l to 184 mBq/l for 228Ra. The activity concentrations for uranium isotopes varied from 2.4 mBq/l to 964 mBq/l for 234U, and from 1.0 mBq/l to 725 mBq/l for 238U. The isotopic ratios between uranium and radium isotopes (226Ra/228Ra, 226Ra/238U, 234U/238U) and annual effective doses due to these isotopes’ consumption were evaluated. Risk levels due to carcinogenic effects of 226,228Ra and 234,238U radionuclides consumed with water were estimated.