DETERMINATION OF THE ACTIVITY CONCENTRATIONS OF RADIONUCLIDES AND THE ASSOCIATED HAZARDS OF SAND SAMPLES USED FOR BUILDING CONSTRUCTION IN SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS IN AKWA-IBOM STATE, NIGERIA
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Sand which is used as a building material often emits radiation both outdoors [to the surrounding environment] and indoors [to the building residents]—whose doses may or may not be hazardous. In this study, the Radionuclide Activity Concentrations of 40kK, 238U and ²³²Th in sixteen(16) Sand samples used for constructing buildings that were randomly collected from eight(8) rivers and eight (8) burrow-pits in six (6) Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria; were determined by carrying-out a Gamma spectrometry using a NaI (Tl) detector. Also, the Radiological Hazard Assessment of the sixteen (16) Sand samples which involves indices such as Absorbed dose Rate (D), Hazard indices (external, Hex and internal, Hin), Radium equivalent (Raeq), Annual effective dose rate (AEDR) (outdoor and indoor), Representative level index (Iy) and Total absorbed dose rate (D4π) of the Sand samples were obtained through established Models (Equations) and Comparative analysis. Based on the results obtained, the following could be seen: the average activity concentration ranges of 40K were 91.86 ± 6.58 Bq.kg-1 to 167.64±11.99 Bq.kg-1 for Essien Udim, 61.72 ± 4.43 to 172.90 ± 7.37 Bq.kg-1 for Ikot Ekpene, 115.01 ± 8.25 for Ikono; the average activity concentration ranges of 238U were 5.70 ± 1.27 to 61.11 ±12.99 Bq.kg-1 for Essien Udim, 13.19 ± 3.09 to 14.71 ± 3.01 Bq.kg-1 for Ikot Ekpene, 10.80 ± 2.46 Bq.kg-1 for Ikono; and the average activity concentration ranges of ²³²Th were 2.68 ± 0.26 to 6.14 ± 0.60 Bq.kg-1 for Essien Udim, 3.26 ± 0.32 to 4.34 ± 0.42 Bq.kg-1for Ikot Ekpene, 4.36 ± 0.43 Bq.kg-1 for Ikono; amongst others. Also, the mean values of Absorbed dose Rate (D), Hazard indices (external, Hex and internal, Hin), Radium equivalent (Raeq), Annual effective dose rate (AEDR) (outdoor and indoor), Representative level index (Iy) and Total absorbed dose rate (D4π) were: 18.799 nGy.h-1, (0.107, 0.173) Bq.kg-1, 39.508 Bq.kg-1, (0.023, 0.092) mSv.y-1, 0.283 Bq.kg-1and 13.622 (10-8 Gy.h-1) respectively, amongst others. The above values indicate that both Absorbed dose radiation and Radiation hazard index are considerably low, thus implying that the Sand samples are good (safe) for building construction.