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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2012 Apr;149(3):321-6. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncr233. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Natural radioactivity in granite stones used as building materials in Iran.

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Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, AEOI, PO Box 11365-3486, Tehran, Iran.


Due to increasing concern about environmental radiological protection, specific radioactivity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in different types of commonly used granite stone samples collected from the Tehran city of Iran have been determined by means of a high-resolution HPGe gamma-spectroscopy system. The activity concentrations of (232)Th, (226)Ra and (40)K in the selected granite samples ranged from 18 to 178, 6 to 160 and 556 to 1539 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The radium equivalent activities (Ra(eq)) are lower than the limit of 370 Bq kg(-1) set by NEA-OECD [Nuclear Energy Agency. Exposure to radiation from natural radioactivity in building materials. Report by NEA Group of Experts. OECD (1979)], except in two samples. The internal hazard indexes have been found well below the acceptable limit in most of the samples. Five samples of investigated commercial granite stones do not satisfy the safety criterion illustrated by UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. Exposure from natural sources of radiation. Report to the General Assembly (1993). Applying dose criteria recently recommended by the EC [European Commission Report on Radiological Protection Principles Concerning the Natural Radioactivity of Building Materials. Radiation Protection 112 (1999)] for superficial materials, all investigated samples meet the exemption dose limit of 0.3 mSv y(-1).

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