University of Kufa, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics, Al-Najaf, Iraq


Ar Specific activity of natural radionuclides namely (238U, 232Th,  40K  and 235U) and radon concentrations were measured for soil samples collected from green zone in Al-Najaf city, Iraq. There are three nuclear techniques used in present study NaI(Tl), CR-39 and LR-115 type II) were used to determine these radionuclides. Also, the radiological hazard due to natural radioactivity and radon concentrations were calculated.  The average of specific activity for 238U,232Th, 40K and 235U using NaI(Tl) detector were17.48±7.43, 8.59±3.18, 298.31±76.22 and 0.80±0.07Bq/kg, respectively. While the average value of radon concentrations using CR-39 detector and LR-115 type II detector was 579.65±33.30 Bq/m3. The average value of radiological hazard due to natural radioactivity (Raeq., Dr, Eγ, Hex, Hin, Iγ, AEDE and ELCR) were within the permissible limits. Also the average values of radon exhalation rates for all samples were within the permissible limits. In addition, there is a good correlation (r= 0.93) for value of radon concentrations using CR-39 and LR-115 type II detectors. There is a good correlation between specific activity of uranium-238 and radon-222 concentrations were found which it is equal r=0.91. It can be concluded that, measurements have been taken as representing baseline of radionuclides present in the soil of the studied area. Therefore, the probability of occurrence of any radiation health effects is low.


1.        Knoll G., 2000, Radiation Detection and Measurement, John Willy and sons , New York , 3rd ed.
2.        IAEA., 2006, The International Atomic Energy Agency. IAEA Safety Glossary, Terminology used in Nuclear, Radiation, Radioactive Waste and Transport Safety. Vienna,2.
3.        Ryuta Hazama and Kiyoshi Shizuma, 2009, Environmental Assessment of Natural Radioactivity in Soil Samples from the LUSI Mud Volcano, Indonesia, 45-49.
4.        Martin A. and Harbison S. A., 1979, An Introduction to Radiation Protection, second edition, Spottiswoode Ballantyne Ltd. Colchester and London.
5.        Papastefanou C., 2008, Radioactive Aerosols. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Atomic & Nuclear Physics Laboratory. Greece.
6.        Nabil M. A. Hamed, 2005, Measurement of Radon Concentration in Soil at North Gaza, M.Sc. Thesis, University of Athens – Greece.
7.        Sroora A. , El-Bahia S.M., Ahmed F. and Abdel-Haleem A.S., 2001, Natural radioactivity and radon exhalation rate of soil in southern Egypt.  Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 55(6), 873–879.
8.        Ali Abid Abojassim Al-Hamidawi, 2014, Assessment of Radiation Hazard Indices and Excess Life time Cancer Risk due to Dust Storm for Al-Najaf, Iraq, Wseas transactions on environment and development, 10, 312-319.
9.        Abbas J. Al- Saadi, Abdalsattar K. Hashim,, Hayder J. Musa, 2015, Determination of Radium and Radon Exhalation Rates in Soil Samples Collected from Kerbala Governorate, International Journal of Physics, 5(3), 2018-212.
10.     [10] Ali Abid Abojassim, Mohanad H . Oleiwi and Mohammad Hassan, 2016, Evaluation of Radiation Hazard Indicesduo to Gamma Radiation in Hattin Complex at Babylon Government, Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 24(7), 2196-2203.
11.     Thabayneh, KN, 2016, Determination of Alpha Particles Concentration in Some Soil Samples and the Extent of Their Impact on Health. Sains Malaysiana, 45(5), 699-707. 
12.     Harb S. R., 2004, On the human radiation exposure as derived from the analysis of natural and man-made radionuclides in soil, Ph.D. thesis, Hanover University, Germany.
13.     Beretka J and Mathew P J. 1985, Natural radioactivity of Australian building materials, industrial wastes and by products. Health phys., 48, 87-95.
14.     Krieger, R., 1981, Radioactivity of Construction Materials. Betonwerk und Fertigteil-Technik/Concrete Precasting Plant and Technology, 47, 468-446.
15.     Venturini, L. and Nisti, M.B., 1997, Natural Radioactivity of Some Brazilian Building Materials. Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 71, 227-229.
16.     UNSCEAR, 2000, Report to General Assembly, with Scientific Annexes, Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation, United Nations, New York.
17.     UNSCEAR, 1993, Effects and Risks of Ionizing Radiation. United Nations, New York.
18.     Ali Abid Abojassim, Mohanad H. Oleiwi and Mohammad Hassan, 2016, natural radioactivity and radiological effects in soil samples of the main electrical station at Babylon governorate, Nuclear physics and atomic energy, 17(3), 308-315.
19.     Wiegand, J., 2001, A guideline for the evaluation of the soil radon potential based on geogenic and Anthropogenic Parameters, Environmental Geology, 40(8), 949-963.
20.      Heiyam, N. H., Ali, A. A., Zahrah, B. M., 2016, Study of radon levels in fruits samples using LR-115 type II detector. Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 9, 446-451.
21.     Somogyi G., Paripas B. and Varga Zs., 1984, Measurement of radon, radon daughters and thoron concentrations by multi-detector devices, Nuclear Tracks and Radiation Measurements, 8, 1-4, 423-427.
22.     Misdaq M. A., Moustaaidine H., Satif C. and Charik R., 1997, A new method for evaluating the influence of building materials on radon emanation in Marrakechi dwellings, Appl. Radiat. Isot., 48, 1, 111-115.
23.     Klein D., Pautov V., Chambaudet A. and Barenboim G., 1995, Radon emanation measurement using French and Russian track detectors, 25, 1-4, 601- 602.
24.     Fahad M., 2001, Calibration of LR-115 for uranium estimation and radon measurements from phosphate and coal, Phys. Chem. News, 2, 63-65.
25.     Almayahi B. A., Tajuddin A. A., Jaafar M. S., 2014, Calibration technique for a CR-39 detector for soil and water radon exhalation rate measurements, Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 301(1), 133–140.
26.     Ramola R.C., Rawat R.B.S., Kandari M.S., Ramachandran T.V., Eappen K.P., Subba Ramu M.C., 1996, Calibration of LR-115 Plastic Track Detectors for Environmental Radon Measurements, Indoor and Built Environment, 5(6), 364-366.
27.     Sonkawade RG., Kant K., Muralithar S., Kumar R., Ramola RC., 2008, Atmospheric Environment, 42, 2254.
28.     Amrani D. and Cherouati D.E., 1999, Radon exhalation rate in building materials using plastic track detectors, Journal of Radio analytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 242 (2), 269–271.
29.     Mahur, A.K., Kumar, R., Sengupta, D. & Prasad, R., 2009, Radon exhalation rate in Chhatrapur beach sand samples of high background radiation area and estimation of its radiological implications. Indian J. Phys., 83(7), 1011-1018.
30.     UNSCEAR, 2008, Report to General Assembly. Annex B: Report to General Assembly with Scientific Annexes. Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation. United Nations Sales Publications No. E.10.Xi.3 Volume I. United Nations, New York, 1220.
31.     Taskin, H., Karavus, M., Ay, P., Topuzoglu, A., Hidiroglu, S. and Karahan, G., 2009, Radionuclide concentration in soil and lifetime cancer risk due to the gamma radioactivity in Kirklareli, Turkey. Journal of environmental radioactivity, 100, 49-53.
32.     European Commission, 1999, Radiological Protection Principle concerning the Natural Radioactivity of Building Materials, Brussels, Radiation Protection, 112-120.
33.     Goddard, C.C., 2002, Measurment of outdoor of terrestrial gamma radiation in the sultanate of Oman". Health Physics Society, 82(6), 869-74.
34.     Bou-Rabee, F., 1997, Soil Radioactivity Atlas of Kuwait. PERGAMON, 23(1), 5-15.
35.     Al-Hamarneh, I.F., 2009, Soil radioactivity levels and radiation hazard assessment in the highlands of northern Jordan, Radiation Measurements, 44(1), 102-110.
36.     Gabriele B., Adalisa T. and Giovanni F., 2007, Mapping Soil Gas Radon Concentration: A Comparative Study of Geostatistical Methods, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 131(1), 135-151.
37.     Sudhir M. , Asha R. and Rohit M., 2015, Estimation of radon concentration in soil and groundwater samples of Northern Rajasthan, India, Journal of Radiation Research and Applied Sciences, 83, 25 -26.
38.     Farid S. M., 2014, Indoor radon in dwellings of Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia and its correlations with the radium and radon exhalation rates from soil", Indoor and Built Environment, 25(1),1-10.
39.     Korany K. A., Shata A. E., Hassan S. F. and Nagdy M. S. E., 2013, Depth and Seasonal Variations for the Soil Radon-Gas Concentration Levels at Wadi Naseib Area, Southwestern Sinai, Egypt, J. Phys. Chem. Biophys, 3(4), 1-6.
40.     Abd-Elmoniem A. E., Yousif Sh. M., Kh. Sh. Mohammed and Sumaia S. M., 2014, Radium and Radon Exhalation Studies in Some Soil Samples from Singa and Rabak Towns, Sudan using CR-39", International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), 3(11), 632- 637.
41.     Ali M. M., 2011, Measurement of Radon-222 Concentration in Soil Samples of some Sulfuric Spring in Hit City Using CR-39 Detector,  Baghdad Science Journal, 8(4), 972-975.
42.     Tabar E., Kumru M. N., İçhedef M. and Saç M. M., 2013, Radioactivity level and the measurement of soil gas radon concentration in Dikili geothermal area, Turkey, International Journal of Radiation Research, 11(4), 253-261.