International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 3 Issue 6 2013- June 2013    Pages: 2312-2223  <<Previous    Next>>

A Preliminary Study of Natural Radioactivity Ingestion from Cassava Grown and Consumed by Inhabitants around a Cement Production Facility in the Volta Region, Ghana

Author Information:

Addo M.A1, Darko E.O2, Gordon C3, Nyarko B.J.B1,
1- National Nuclear Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, P. O. Box LG 80, Legon-Accra
2- Radiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, P. O. Box LG 80, Legon-Accra
3- Institute of Environmental Science Studies, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG 209, Legon-Accra


Research in the surroundings of industrial facilities on environmental radiation protection and determination of contamination of natural radionuclides in soil and crops samples are of very great importance for the protection of human health. In this study, gamma spectroscopic system was used to measure 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in soil and cassava samples collected from different farms in the north, north-east and east directions from the Diamond Cement Factory. With the exception of 40K which is far lower, the 226Ra and 232Th activity concentration in the soil were adjudged comparable to global average. On the otherhand, the concentrations in the cassava samples were found to be higher than what was observed in two high radiation areas under similar studies in Nigeria. In the evaluation of radionuclide uptake by the cassava, the concentration ratio revealed higher values for 226Ra and 232Th when compared with data compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Measurement results together with cassava consumption  rates  were  used  to  estimate total  annual effective  dose  of the natural radionuclides  due  to consumption by inhabitants surrounding the cement facility. It was observed that an annual effective dose of 1.23mSv/y obtained for the study is above the annual dose limit set by the International Convention for Radiological Protection (ICRP) for the general public, indicating a human health risk for the cassava consuming population in the study area. The study recommended further studies by food regulatory authorities and also suggests the education of the cassava consuming public on best practices to safeguard their health.

Keywords: Radioactivity, concentration ratio, cassava, food chain, annual effective dose, health risk


© 2013 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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