Levi Nwankwo, Adebayo Balogun

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An assessment of the natural radioactivity in sachet drinking-water samples in Ilorin, Nigeria has been carried out. Gamma-ray spectroscopic analysis of the samples revealed the presence of 40K, 226Ra and 228Ra radionuclides in high proportions. The activity concentration values range from 174.20 ± 34.19 to 376.02 ± 65.03 Bq l-1, 9.36±2.87 to 22.52±6.20 Bq l-1 and 9.85±3.88 to 23.88±7.47 Bq l-1 for 40K, 226Ra and  228Ra respectively. The derived annual effective dose received by the population as a result of the ingestion of 40K was found to range from 0.39±0.08 to 0.85±0.15 mSv y-1, 0.96±0.38 to 2.30±0.63 mSv y-1 for 226Ra and 2.48±0.98 to 6.01±1.88 mSv y-1 for 228Ra. Consequently, the effective dose received as a result of the combined ingestion of 226Ra and 228Ra was found to range from 1.27 to 2.32 mSv y-1. These contributions of both 226Ra and 228Ra activities to the committed effective dose from a year's consumption of the drinking-water are higher than the tolerable level of 1 mSv y-1 to the general public for prolonged exposure as recommended by ICRP, and much more than WHO’s recommended level of 0.1 mSv y-1 for drinking-water. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that calculated efforts should be made by relevant regulatory authorities in Nigeria to protect the populace from adverse radiological health implications.

Keywords: Radioactivity, drinking-water, gamma spectroscopy, health and Nigeria

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