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Environ Monit Assess. 2012 Aug;184(8):5043-9. doi: 10.1007/s10661-011-2320-3. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Determination of radioactive elements and heavy metals in sediments and soil from domestic water sources in northern peninsular Malaysia.

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School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.


Soil serves as a major reservoir for contaminants as it posseses an ability to bind various chemicals together. To safeguard the members of the public from an unwanted exposure, studies were conducted on the sediments and soil from water bodies that form the major sources of domestic water supply in northern peninsular Malaysia for their trace element concentration levels. Neutron Activation Analysis, using Nigeria Research Reactor-1 (NIRR-1) located at the Centre for Energy Research and Training, Zaria, Nigeria was employed as the analytical tool. The elements identified in major quantities include Na, K, and Fe while As, Br, Cr, U, Th, Eu, Cs, Co, La, Sm, Yb, Sc, Zn, Rb, Ba, Lu, Hf, Ta, and Sb were also identified in trace quantities. Gamma spectroscopy was also employed to analyze some soil samples from the same area. The results indicated safe levels in terms of the radium equivalent activity, external hazard index as well as the mean external exposure dose rates from the soil. The overall screening of the domestic water sources with relatively high heavy metals concentration values in sediments and high activity concentration values in soil is strongly recommended as their accumulation overtime as a consequence of leaching into the water may be of health concern to the members of the public.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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