Alpha Emitters in Water Samples for Some Marshes in Dhi-Qar Governorate, Iraq

IJEP 42(3): 294-301 : Vol. 42 Issue. 3 (March 2022)

Awsam Abdulsattar Marzaali1*, Mohammed A. Al-Shareefi1 and Ali Abid Abojassim2

1. University of Babylon, College of Science, Department of Physics, Babylon, Iraq
2. University of Kufa, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics, Al-Najaf, Iraq


Radon (222Rn), radium (226Ra) and uranium (238U) concentration have been measured using solid state nuclear track detector (SSNTD) (TASTRAK CR-39 plastic) technique together with evaluation of the risk of average internal effective dose (AED) with lifetime cancer risk due to ingestion of 222Rn and 226Ra in water samples collected from various places of marshes in Dhi-Qar governorate. The average values of 222Rn, 226Ra and 238U in water samples were found to be 288.92±34.10 Bq/m3, 0.46±0.05 Bq/L and 0.61±0.07 ppm, respectively. The average values of AED (mSv/y) due to ingestion of 222Rn and 226Ra in samples under study were found to be 0.019±0.002 and 0.094±0.01, respectively. The average of total AED and lifetime cancer risk were 0.11±0.01 mSv/y and (4.3±0.05)×10-4, respectively. The average value of 222Rn and 226Ra were found to be within the global average limitations (0.4 Bq/L) and (1 Bq/L) recommended by WHO, while the average of 238U concentrations was higher than that of global average limitations (0.566 ppm) recommended by EPA. Most results of AED due to 222Rn and 226Ra concentrations in samples under study were compared with the worldwide median value recommended by WHO. But, lifetime cancer risk in all samples of the present study were higher than the safety limit for  healthy drinking water. So, drinking from the water of marshes in the Dhi-Qar governorate, Iraq which is contaminated with alpha emitters, like 222Rn, 226Ra and 238U may lead to a considerable variation in the internal effective dose.


Alpha emitters, SSNTD, Water and marshes in Dhi-Qar


  1. L’annunzia, M.F. 2016. Radioactivity : Introduction and history, from the quantum to quarks (2nd edn). Elsevier.
  2. L’annunzia, M.F. 2012. Handbook of radioactivity analysis (3rd edn). Academic Press.
  3. Murray, R.L. 1981. Understanding radioactive waste. U.S. Department of Energy, Battelle Institute Memorial.
  4. Clark, R.B. 1989. Marine pollution. Oxford University Press, New York.
  5. Attix, F.H. 2008. Introduction to radiological physics and radiation dosimetry. John Wiley and Sons.
  6. Abojassim, A.A. and L.H. Rashead. 2019. Mapping of terrestrial gamma radiation in soil samples at Baghdad Governorate (Karakh side), using GIS technology. Nature Env. Poll. Tech., 18(4):1095-1106.
  7. Abojassim, A.A. and H.A.U. Mohammed. 2017. Comparing of the uranium concentration in tap water samples at Al-Manathera and Al-Herra regions of Al-Najaf, Iraq. Karbala Int. J. Modern Sci., 3(3):111-118.
  8. Abojassim, A.A., et al. 2019. Uranium isotopes concentration in surface water samples for Al-Manathera and Al-Heera regions of An-Najaf, Iraq. Env. Earth Sci., 78(5):132.
  9. Abbasi, A. and V. Bashiry. 2016. Measurement of radium-226 concentration and dose calculation of drinking water samples in Guilan province of Iran. Int. J. Radiation Res., 14(4):361-366.
  10. El-Taher, A.M., et al. 2020. Assessment of annual effective dose for different age groups based on radon concentrations in the groundwater of Qassim, Saudi Arabia. Iranian J. Medical Physics. 17(1):15-20.
  11. Jassim, S.Z. and J.C. Goff. 2006. Geology of Iraq (1st edn). Dolin, Prague and Moravian Museum, Brno.
  12. Brasington, J. 2002. Monitoring marshland degradation using multispectural remote sensed magery. In The Iraqi marshlands : A human and environmental study. Politico’s, London. pp 161-168.
  13. Alaboodi, A.S., et al. 2020. Radiological hazards due to natural radioactivity and radon concentrations in water samples at Al-Hurrah city, Iraq. Int. J. Radiation Res., 18(1):1-11.
  14. Abojassim, A.A., et al. 2017. Radiological parameters due to radon-222 in soil samples at Baghdad Governorate (Karakh), Iraq. Pakistan J. Sci. Ind. Res. Series A Phys. Sci., 60(2):72-78.
  15. Mayya, Y.S., K.P. Eappen and K.S.V. Nambi. 1998. Methodology for mixed field inhalation dosimetry in monazite areas using a twin-cup dosemeter with three track detectors. Radiation Prot. Dosimetry. 77(3):177-184.
  16. Mohammed, E.J. 2016. Radon concentrations in some soil and air samples of dwellings in Karbala city and influencing factors on lung cancers risks using CR-39. M.Sc. Thesis. College of Science, University of Karbala.
  17. Abojassim, A.A. 2013. Radon and thoron concentrations measurement in Al-Najaf and Al-Kufa area. Ph.D. Thesis. College of Science, Baghdad University.
  18. Alkhafaji, H.N., A.A. Abojassim and A.A. Alkufi. 2019. Effective radium activity, radon exhalation rate and uranium concentrationsin medicinal plants. J. Physics : Conference Series. 1234.
  19. Subber, A.R.H., et al. 2015. Constructasa simple radon chamber for measurement of radon detectors calibration factors. Adv. Appl. Sci. Res., 6(2):128-131.
  20. Elzain, A.E.A., et al. 2014. Measurement of radon-222 concentration levels in water samples in Sudan. Adv. Appl. Sci. Res., 5(2):229-234.
  21. Abojassim, A.A. and D.J. Lawi. 2018. Alpha particles emissions in some samples of medical drugs (capsule) derived from medical plants in Iraq. Plant Arch., 18(1):1137-7.
  22. Azam, A., A.H. Naqvi and D.S. Srivastava. 1995. Radium concentration and radon exhalation measurements using LR-115 type II plastic track detectors. NuGeo. 9(6):653-657.
  23. Abojassim, A.A. 2018. Alpha particles concentrations from soil samples of Al-Najaf, Iraq. Polish J. Soil Sci., 50(2):249.
  24. Mohsen, A.A.H. and A.A. Abojassim. 2019. Determination of alpha particles levels in blood samples of cancer patients at Karbala Governorate, Iraq. Irarian J. Medical Physics. 16(1):41-47.
  25. Sajo-Bohus, L., et al. 1997. Gross alpha radioactivity of drinking water in Venezuela. J. Env. Radioactivity. 35(3):305-312.
  26. UNSCEAR Report. 2000. Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. J. Env. Radiol. Prot., 21(1):83.
  27. Eckerman, K.F., A.B. Wolbarst and A.C. Richardson. 1988. Limiting values of radionuclide intake and air concentration and dose conversion factors for inhalation, submersion and ingestion. Federal guidance report no. 11. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
  28. ICRP. 1995. Age-dependent doses to members of the public from intake of radionuclides : Part 3. Ingestion dose coefficients. International Commission on Radiological Protection.
  29. Abojassim, A.A., et al. 2017. Estimation of the excess lifetime cancer risk from radon exposure in some buildings of Kufa Technical Institute, Iraq. Nuclear Physics Atomic Energy. 18(3):276-296.
  30. OECD. 2011. Evaluation of ICRP recommendations 1977, 1990 and 2007. Changes in underlying science and protection policy and case study of their impact on European and UK domestic regulation. Nuclear Energy Agency, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  31. Pfister, A.M. 2000. Guidelines for drinking water quality – Radiological aspects.
  32. WHO. 2008. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2008 : The MPOWER package. World Health Organization, Geneva.
  33. WHO. 2004. Guidelines for drinking water quality (3rd edn). vol 1. recommendations. World Health Organization, Geneva.
  34. Whish, R., et al. 2007. Drinking water with uranium below the USEPA water standard causes estrogen receptor-dependent responses to female mice. Env. Health Perspect., 115(12):1711-1716.
  35. Somlai, K., et al. 2007. 222Ra concentrations of water in the Balagton Highland and in the southern part of Hungary and the assessment of the resulting dose. Radiation Measurements. 42(3):491-495.
  36. Alomari, A.H., et al. 2019. Activity concentrations of 226Ra, 228Ra, 222Rn and their health impact in the groundwater of Jordan. J. Radioanal. Nuclear Chem., 322(2):305-318.