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AN EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF THE CONTRIBUTION OF 224Ra AND 226Ra AND PROGENY TO THE GROSS ALPHA-PARTICLE ACTIVITY OF WATER SAMPLES

Arndt, Michael F.; West, Lynn E.*

doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000303107.20899.4a
Paper

The gross alpha-particle activity of water samples analyzed by EPA Method 900.0 is investigated as a function of residue mass and geometry, time between sample collection and analysis, and time between sample preparation and analysis for samples containing 224Ra, 212Pb, and 226Ra. It is shown that the gross alpha-particle activity due to 224Ra and its progeny can be up to 10 times the 224Ra activity at collection time and that due to 212Pb progeny can be up to 3 times the 212Pb activity at collection time. In samples with roughly equal activities of 224Ra and 226Ra analyzed soon after collection, it is shown that the gross alpha-particle activity is approximately constant with time because the decay of 224Ra and its progeny is offset by the ingrowth of 226Ra progeny.

* Environmental Health Division, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, 2601 Agriculture Drive, Madison, WI 53718.

For correspondence contact: M. F. Arndt at the above address, or email at arndtmf@mail.slh.wisc.edu.

(Manuscript accepted 28 November 2007)

©2008Health Physics Society