Author(s): Ngachin M, Garavaglia M, Giovani C, Kwato Njock MG, Nourreddine A
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Abstract The radioactivity level of soils in a volcanic area in Cameroon was determined and discussed. Thirty soils samples were collected from Buea and Limbé cities located in the south-western Cameroon. These two regions are known for theirs volcanic grounds due to the presence of Mount Cameroon Mountain. The activity concentrations of natural radionuclides as well as that of the fission product were evaluated by gamma-ray spectrometry using a hyper-purity germanium detector (HPGe). The ranges of concentrations in the surveyed soils were 11-17 Bq kg(-1), 22-36 Bq kg(-1) and 43-201 Bq kg(-1) for (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K, respectively. The radioisotope (137)Cs was also found but in a very small amount. The outdoor absorbed dose rate 1m above ground with the corresponding annual effective dose rate, assuming a 20\% occupancy factor was estimated. The radium equivalent and the external hazard index were also evaluated and results are compared with available data from other studies and with the world average value [United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), 1988. Sources, Effects and Risks of Ionizing Radiation. Report to the General Assembly on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. United Nations, New York; UNSCEAR, 2000. Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiations. Report to the General Assembly with Scientific Annexes. United Nations, New York]. A solid state nuclear track detector (SSNTD), LR-115 was used for soil radon measurements at a depth of 50 cm. The ranges of soil radon concentrations were 6.7-10.8 kBq m(-3) and 5.5-8.7 kBq m(-3) in Buea and Limbé, respectively. A positive correlation was found between concentrations of radium measured with gamma-spectrometry and the soil radon concentrations measured with the nitrate cellulose detectors. The results of this study provide the radioactivity level in soil of a volcanic area, which has been found to be within the safety limits. The south-western Cameroon can be considered as having normal natural background radiation.
This article was published in J Environ Radioact
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques