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A study of soil radionuclide from Ilorin, Nigeria, has been carried out and it was analyzed by g-ray spectroscopy to determine the 226Ra and 228Ra concentrations. The activity concentration values range from 0.81 ± 0.08 to 7.4 ± 2.2 Bq/l for 226Ra and from 1.8 ± 0.3 to 5.6 ± 2.6 Bq/l for 228Ra. The derived Annual Effective Dose received by the population as a result of the ingestion of 226Ra was estimated to range from 0.08 ± 0.01 to 0.12 ± 0.07 mSv/y with an average of 0.39 ± 0.11 mSv/y and 228Ra range from 0.50 ± 0.32 to 1.42 ± 0.70 mSv/y with an average of 0.91 ± 0.31 mSv/y. Consequently, the Annual Effective Dose received, as a result of the combined ingestion of 226Ra and 228Ra, was found to range from 0.81 to 1.74 mSv/y with an average of 1.30 mSv/y. Therefore, this work is aimed at estimating the lung cancer risk of indoor radon exposure in residential basements.  


1.1     Background of the Project
1.2       Sources of Radon

    • Concentration units

1.4       Properties of Radon
1.4.1    Physical properties of Radon
1.4.2    Chemical properties of radon

1.5.1    Radon in groundwater

1.5.2    Radon in rainwater

1.5.3    Radon in the oil and gas industries

1.5.4    Radon in mines and caves

1.5.5    Radon in houses

1.6       Aim and Objectives

2.1     Overview of Radon
2.2     Risk of Radon
2.2.1 Geographic and Residential Risk
2.2.2 Risk for Smokers
2.2.3 Risk for Women and Men
2.2.4 Risk for Children and Elderly
2.3 Harmful Effects of Radon
2.4 Radon Measurement

3.1     study area
3.2     samples collection and treatment
3.3     radioactivity computation

4.1     Discussion

5.1     Conclusion

1.0                                        INTRODUCTION
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, formed as the decay product of radium-226 (half-life 1600 years), which is a member of the uranium-238 decay chain. Uranium and radium occur naturally in soil and rocks and provide a continuous source of radon. Radon-222 which is the most stable isotope of radon has a half lifeof 3.8 days. It is considered health hazard because of its radioactivity. Radon gas emanates from the earth’s crust and as a consequence is present in the air, outdoors and in all buildings, including workplaces. Radon generally disperses into the atmosphere, resulting in generally low level of radon immediately above the ground. Buildings that are poorly ventilated and have cracks in their foundations or floor drains are susceptible to high radon levels which may gradually build up to hazardous levels.
Radon is formed as one intermediate step in the normal radioactive decay chains, through which thorium and uranium slowly decay into lead. Thorium and uranium are the two most common radioactive elements on earth; they have been around since the earth was formed. Their naturally occurring isotopes have very long half-lives, on the order of billions of years. Thorium and uranium, their decay product radium, and its decay product radon, will therefore continue to occur for tens of millions of years at almost the same concentrations as they do now. As radon itself decays, it produces new radioactive elements called radon progenies or decay products. Unlike the gaseous radon itself, radon daughters are solids and stick to surfaces, such as dust particles in the air. If such contaminated dust is inhaled, these particles can stick to the airways of the lung and increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
Radon is responsible for the majority of the public exposure to ionizing radiation. It is often the single largest contributor to an individual's background radiation dose, and is the most variable from location to location.(ICRP, 1993). Despite its short lifetime, some radon gas from natural sources can accumulate to far higher than normal concentrations in buildings, especially in confined areas such as attics and basements. It can also be found in some spring waters and hot springs.

Radon is produced by the radioactive decay of radium which is a member of the naturally occurring Uranium decay series. The most abundant isotope 222Rn is a descendant of 238U while 220Rn (Thoron) and 219Rn (Actinon) are the descendants of 232Th and 235U respectively. As radon itself decays, it produces new radioactive elements called radon daughters or decay products. There are around seventeen known isotopes of radon. The decay series leading to the three abundant isotopes of radon is shown in Fig. 1.1
Fig 1.1: Decay series leading to radon Isotopes

Radon concentration is usually measured in the atmosphere, in becquerel per cubic meter (Bq/m3), the SI derived unit. It is often measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) in the USA, with 1 pCi/L = 37 Bq m-3 (USEPA, 2003).
In the mining industry, the exposition is traditionally measured in working level (WL), and the cumulative exposition in working level month (WLM): 1 WL equals any combination of short-lived 222Rn progeny (218Po, 214Pb, 214Bi, and 214Po) in 1 liter of air that releases 1.3 × 105 MeV of potential alpha energy; (EPA, 2003) one WL is equivalent to 2.08 × 10−5 joules per cubic meter of air (J/m3) (USPHS and USEPA, 1990). The SI unit of cumulative exposure is expressed in joule-hours per cubic meter (J·h/m3). One WLM is equivalent to 3.6 × 10−3J·h/m3. An exposure to 1 WL for 1 working month (170 hours) equals 1 WLM cumulative exposure. A cumulative exposition of 1 WLM is roughly equivalent to living one year in an atmosphere with a radon concentration of 230 Bq m-3.

1.4.1 Physical properties of Radon
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas, and therefore not detectable by human senses alone. At standard temperature and pressure, radon forms a monatomic gas with a density of 9.73 kg/m3,about 8 tunes the surface density of the Earth's atmosphere, 1.217 kg/m3.It is one of the heaviest gases at room temperature and the heaviest of the noble gases, excluding ununoctium. Although colorless at standard temperature and pressure, when cooled down below its freezing point of 202 K (-71°C; -96°F), radon has a brilliant phosphorescence which turns yellow as the temperature is lowered, and becomes orange-red as the air liquefies at temperatures below 93 K (-180.1 °C; -292.3 0F).Upon condensation, radon also glows because of the intense radiation it produces.

1.4.2 Chemical properties of radon
Being a noble gas, radon is chemically not very reactive. However, the 3.8 day half-life of radon-222 makes it useful in physical sciences as a natural tracer.
Radon is a member of the zero-valence elements that are called noble gases. It is inert to most common chemical reactions, such as combustion, because the outer valence shell contains eight electrons. This produces a stable, minimum energy configuration in which the outer electrons are tightly bound. Morethan 248 kcal/mol is required to extract one electron from its shells (also known as the first ionization energy). However, due to periodic trends, radon has lower electro negativity than the element one period before it, xenon, and is therefore more reactive. Radon is sparingly soluble in water, but more soluble than lighter noble gases. Radon is appreciably more soluble in organic liquids than in water. Early studies concluded that the ability of radon hydrate should be of the same order as that of the hydrates of chlorine (C12) or sulfur dioxide (SO2), and significantly higher than the stability of the hydrate of hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
Radon can be oxidized by a few powerful oxidizing agents such as F2, thus forming radon fluoride. It decomposes back to elements at a temperature of above 250°C. It has a low volatility and was thought to be RnF2. But because of the short half-life of radon and the radioactivity of its compounds, it has not been possible to study the compound in any detail. Theoretical studies on this molecule predict that it should have aRn-F bond distance of 2.08Ǻ, and that the compound is thermodynamically more stable and less volatile than itslighter counterpart XeF2.The octahedral molecule RnFe was predicted to have an even lower enthalpy of formation than the difluoride.The [RnF]+ ion is believed to form by the reaction:
Rn (g) + 2 [02] + [SbF6] - (s)  [RnF]+[Sb2F11]- (s) + 2 O2 (g)
Radon oxides are among the few other reported compounds of radon. Radon carbonyl RnCO has been predicted to be stable and to have a linear molecular geometry. The molecules Rn2 and RnXe were found to be significantly stabilized by spin-orbit coupling. Radon caged inside a fullerene has been proposed as a drug for tumors.


1.5.1 Radon in groundwater

Well water can be very rich in radon; the use of this water inside a house is an additional route allowing radon to enter the house. The radon can enter the air and then be a source of exposure to the humans, or the water can be consumed by human which is a different exposure route.

1.5.2 Radon in rainwater

Rainwater can be intensely radioactive due to high levels of radon and its decay progeny 214Bi &214Pb; the concentrations of these radioisotopes can be high enough to seriously disrupt radiation monitoring at nuclear power plants. The highest levels of radon in rainwater occurs during thunderstorms, and it is hypothesized that radon is concentrated in thunderstorms on account of the atom's positive electrical charge. Estimates of the age of rain drops have been obtained from measuring the isotopic abundance of radon's short-lived decay progeny in rainwater.

1.5.3 Radon in the oil and gas industries

The water, oil and gas from a well often containradon. The radon decays to form solid radioisotopes which form coatings on the inside of pipe work. In oil processing plant the area of the plant where propane is processed is often one of the more contaminated areas of the plant as radon has a similar boiling point to propane.

1.5.4 Radon in mines and caves

Because uranium minerals emit radon gas, and their harmful and highly radioactive daughter products, uranium mining is considerably more dangerous than other (already dangerous) hard rock mining, requiring adequate ventilation systems if the mines are not open pit. During the 1950s, a significant number of American uranium miners were Navajo Indians, as many uranium deposits were discovered on Navajo reservations. A statistically significant subset of these miners later developed small-cell lung cancer, a type of cancer usually not associated with smoking, after exposure to uranium ore and radon-222, a natural decay product of uranium. The radon, which is produced by the uranium and not the uranium itself, has been shown to be the cancer causing agent.
In a working mine, the radon level can be controlled by ventilation, sealing off old workings and controlling the water in the mine. The level in a mine can go up when a mine is abandoned, it can reach a level which is able to cause the skin to become red (a mild radiation burn). The radon levels in some of the mines can reach 400 to 700 kBq m−3.

1.5.5 Radon in houses

The risk depends on how houses are built and ventilated, radon may accumulate in basements and dwellings. The European Union recommends that action should be taken starting from concentrations of 400 Bq/m3 for old houses, and 200 Bq/m3 for new ones. (WHO, 2009).
The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) recommends action for any house with a concentration higher than8 pCi/L (300 Bq/m³). The United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency recommends action for any house with a concentration higher than 148 Bq/m3 (given as 4 pCi/L). 

Aim:    This work is aimed at estimating the lung cancer risk of indoor radon exposure in residential basements.

The objectives of this work are to;

  1. To measure radon concentration in selected region of the study area.
  2. detect and quantify soil radionuclide contents in selected region of the study area.
  3. estimate the absorbed dose among dwellers in the study area .
  4. estimate annual effective dose among dwellers in the study area.


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CHAPTER THREE: The complete chapter three of "assessment of soil radionuclide level in ilorin, kwara state" is available. Order full work to download. Chapter three of "assessment of soil radionuclide level in ilorin, kwara state" consists of the methodology. In this chapter all the method used in carrying out this work was discussed.

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CHAPTER FIVE: The complete chapter five of design and construction of a "assessment of soil radionuclide level in ilorin, kwara state" is available. Order full work to download. Chapter five of "assessment of soil radionuclide level in ilorin, kwara state" consist of conclusion, recommendation and references.



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