Radionuclide Content of Sands Used for Construction in Kakamega County, Kenya and Associated Indoor Radon Diffusion Fluxes

Shikali Collins, Munji Mathew, Ambusso Willis


Studies have been carried out to determine the natural radioactivity in construction sand and their associated radiation hazard in the old gold mining belt of Kakamega County, Kenya. The radioactivity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were measured using a gamma ray spectrometer with a NaI(Tl) detector. The results of concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides were as follows: 226Ra ranged from 36.79±8.89 to 185.21±5.89 Bqkg-1, 232Th ranged from 322.38±2.56 to 158.92±7.95 Bqkg-1and 40K ranged from 322.38±16.12 to 960.53±48.03 Bgkg-1. The radium equivalent activities and the radiation hazard index associated with the natural radionuclides were calculated. A computer program was developed and applied to estimate the diffused indoor radon concentration by solving a simple transport equation. The indoor radon was assumed to originate from the walls of a room constructed from sands rich in uranium minerals found in this region.

Keywords: Radioactivity; Radium; Thorium; Potassium; Building sand; Indoor radon

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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