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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015 Sep;22(17):13127-36. doi: 10.1007/s11356-015-4577-5. Epub 2015 May 1.

Evaluation of radiological risks due to natural radioactivity around Lynas Advanced Material Plant environment, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 50603, Malaysia.


Understanding the public awareness concerning the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (LAMP), an Australian rare earths processing plant located in Malaysia, a radiological study in soil and water samples collected at random surrounding the LAMP environment was undertaken using HPGe gamma-ray spectrometry. The mean soil activities for (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K were found to be 6.56 ± 0.20, 10.62 ± 0.42, and 41.02 ± 0.67 Bq/kg, respectively, while for water samples were 0.33 ± 0.05, 0.18 ± 0.04, and 4.72 ± 0.29 Bq/l, respectively. The studied areas show typical local level of radioactivity from natural background radiation. The mean gamma absorbed dose rate in soils at 1 m above the ground was found to be 11.16 nGy/h. Assuming a 20 % outdoor occupancy factor, the corresponding annual effective dose showed a mean value of 0.014 mSv year(-1), significantly lower than the worldwide average value of 0.07 mSv year(-1) for the annual outdoor effective dose as reported by UNSCEAR (2000). Some other representative radiation indices such as activity utilization index (AUI), H ex, H in, excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR), and annual gonadal dose equivalent (AGDE) were derived and also compared with the world average values. Statistical analysis performed on the obtained data showed a strong positive correlation between the radiological variables and (226)Ra and (232)Th.

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