Radon in the spring water of the Zdolbuniv Region, Ukraine

Abstract

O.O. Lebed, V.O. Myslinchuk, S.S. Trusheva, Y.M. Mandyhra, A.V. Lysytsya

Large-scale studies of Radon-222 content in spring waters and the specific activity of spring soil determined in Zdolbuniv district of Rivne region for the first time. The purpose of the research is to determine the potential radiation hazard for the health of the population of the region. Another task is to create a detailed map of radon content in water sources. We measured in 2014-2017. We used the «Alfarad Plus» (water study) and the «Beta» radiometer (soil study). The value of radon volumetric activity in water samples varies in a wide range: from 2 Bq/dm3 to 14 Bq/dm3, the average value is 8.05 ± 0.91 Bq/dm3. We surveyed 58 water sources. The concentration of radon exceeded the norm (according to recommendations of US Environmental Protection Agency, USEPA) in 13 (22.4%) only. This is a radon concentration of slightly higher than 11.1 Bq/dm3, which is the limit value for the safety of radon content in non-drinking water. We compared average concentrations of radon in samples of water in the Zdolbuniv district with the capacity of effective doses in other countries. We examined the soil near the sources; the soil was low-activity for strontium-90 and cesium-137. Its specific activity is from 6 to 30 Bq/kg. The correlation of the soil specific activity with the bulk activity of radon in water detected. The results of the survey of drinking water sources allowed to divide them into radon content into three categories and to create a map of radon safety of natural sources of the region. Sources with a high concentration of radon are concentrated in a narrow strip 5-7 km wide. This strip extends from the south to the north of the area. Such, the concentration of sources with somewhat increased radioactivity of water explained, in our opinion, by the vertical fault that exists in the crystalline basement of the landscape. Radon enters through this fault in surface water sources. The calculations conducted by us have shown that the average annual effective doses of spring water used for consumption by the population are 1.68 mSv/year about. This does not exceed the lower limit specified by the recommendations of the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP). Therefore, we proved that radon in the spring water of the Zdolbuniv district is practically not a threat to the health and life of people and domestic animals in the area.

Keywords: Radioactive gas in water; volumetric activity; effective dose

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