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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(12), 1180; doi:10.3390/ijerph13121180

Health Effects Due to Radionuclides Content of Solid Minerals within Port of Richards Bay, South Africa

1
Applied Physics and Engineering Mathematics Department, University of Johannesburg, P.O Box 17011, Doornfontein 2028, South Africa
2
South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), P.O Box 582, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
3
Department of Nuclear Physics, iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation, P.O Box 722, Somerset West 7129, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 14 August 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract

This study assessed the radiological health hazards to various body organs of workers working within Transnet Precinct in Richards Bay in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa due to radionuclide content of mineral ores often stored within the facility. Thirty samples were collected from five mineral ores (rock phosphate, rutile, zircon, coal and hematite) and analyzed for 238U, 234U, 226Ra, 210Pb, 235U, 232Th, 228Ra, 228Th and 40K using delayed neutron activation analysis and low energy gamma spectroscopy. Rutile was found to be the most radioactive mineral ore within the facility with 210Pb concentration of 759.00 ± 106.00 Bq·kg−1. Effective annual dose rate in (mSv·y−1) delivered to different organs of the body: testes, bone marrow, whole body, lungs and ovaries from mineral ores were such that dose from mineral ores decreased in the order coal > rutile > rock phosphate > hematite > zircon. The organs with the highest received dose rate were the testes and this received dose was from coal. However, all of the calculated absorbed dose rates to organs of the body were below the maximum permissible safety limits. View Full-Text
Keywords: geogenic; activity concentration; hazard index; mineral samples; cancer risk geogenic; activity concentration; hazard index; mineral samples; cancer risk
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MDPI and ACS Style

Masok, F.B.; Masiteng, P.L.; Mavunda, R.D.; Maleka, P.P. Health Effects Due to Radionuclides Content of Solid Minerals within Port of Richards Bay, South Africa. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1180.

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