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Measurement of Natural Radioactivity in Lagoon Sands Used in Construction in the District of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Olkalé Jean-Claude Brigui, Tekpo Paul Amewe Dali, Koudou Djagouri, Bogbé Douo Louis Huberson Gogon, Samafou Penabei, Aka Antonin Koua, Georges Alain Monnehan

Abstract: Sand is an important natural material for the construction of houses, work buildings and other public spaces. This work, which is one of the first contributions to the environmental quality of construction materials, concerns the measurement of natural radioactivity in the lagoon sands collected in the district of Abidjan. Nineteen (19) samples of these sands are analyzed by gamma-ray spectrometry equipped with HPGe detector. The mean values obtained for 226Ra, 232Th and 40K are respectively 7.76 ± 1.84 Bq·kg-1, 5.21 ± 1.36 Bq·kg-1, and 217.31 ± 5.03 Bq·kg-1. The estimated average value of radium equivalent (Raeq) is 31.94 Bq·kg-1. The results show that the average values obtained are far lower than the global limits of 35, 30, and 400 Bq·kg-1 for the concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K, respectively, and 370 Bq·kg-1 for the equivalent radium established by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). Therefore, the use of the analyzed lagoon sand samples in the different construction sectors should not cause serious radiological effects on the populations living in the District of Abidjan. Our results provide new data on building materials radioactivity in Côte d’Ivoire and all over the World. They can also be used as a reference for future work.
Keywords: Radionuclide Concentration / Gamma-Ray Spectrometry / Radium Equivalent Activity / Lagoon Sand / Abidjan

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