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Title: Radioactivity measurement of 222Rn, 226Ra and 238U in pharmaceuticals and evaluation of cancer risk

Authors: Saleh Al-Omari

Addresses: Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, The Hashemite University, Zarqa 13115, Jordan

Abstract: The concentrations of 222Rn, 226Ra, and 238U were measured in 16 pharmaceuticals derived from medicinal plants using a solid-state nuclear track detector (CR-39). The radon levels in the airspace above the samples ranged between 0.04 and 20 Bq/m³ with an average value of 5.82 Bq/m³, while the uranium concentration ranged from 0.04 to 25.62 mppm with an average value of 7.34 mppm. The activity concentrations for radon, radium, and uranium were 0.53-344.4 mBq/kg, 0.05-30.63 mBq/kg, and 0.53-344.4 μBq/kg, respectively. The maximum annual average internal effective dose from radon, radium, and uranium due to a twice-daily ingestion of 500-mg tablet for one of the investigated medicines was 11.18 nSv/y. This value is much smaller than the UNSCEAR recommended safety limit for public, which is 290,000 nSv/y for the ingestion exposure caused by natural sources. Therefore, the intake of the studied pharmaceuticals does not lead to substantial changes in the internal effective dose.

Keywords: radon; radium; uranium; solid-state nuclear track detectors; CR-39; pharmaceuticals; internal effective dose; cancer risk assessment; low radiation; medicinal plants.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLR.2015.071765

International Journal of Low Radiation, 2015 Vol.10 No.1, pp.61 - 73

Received: 01 Jun 2015
Accepted: 12 Jul 2015

Published online: 17 Sep 2015 *

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