O. Belyaeva, K. Pyuskyulyan, N. Movsisyan, A. Saghatelyan, F. Carvalho; Chemosphere, 2019, 225, pp. 859-870; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.03.057
Soil radioactivity levels, dose rate and radiological health risk were assessed in metal mining centers of Armenia, at the towns of Kapan and Kajaran. Archive soil samples of the multipurpose soil surveys implemented in Kapan and Kajaran were used for estimation of total alpha and total beta activity levels using gas-less iMatic™ alpha/beta counting system (Canberra). Ten representative soil samples per town were randomly selected from different urban zones for naturally occurring radionuclide measurements (238U, 232Th, 40 K) using high purity germanium detector. Four radiological indices: radium equivalent activity, outdoor absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent and excess lifetime cancer risk were estimated based on naturally occurring radionuclide activity concentrations in soils. Results suggest that in Kapan the soil radioactivity, although enhanced by copper and gold-polymetallic mining, are not a significant risk factor to human health. In Kajaran, the soil radioactivity levels were above the background and world average values provided by UNSCEAR, but radionuclides originated in a natural geogenic source and not from mining activities. Generally, in this region no significant radiological risks were identified in relationship with molybdenum, copper, and gold-polymetallic ore mining.
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