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Comparative Study of Radon Concentration with Two Techniques and Elemental Analysis in Drinking Water Samples of the Jammu District, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Kumar, Ajay*; Kaur, Manpreet; Mehra, Rohit; Sharma, Dinesh Kumar; Mishra, Rosaline§

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000644
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The level of radon concentration has been assessed using the Advanced SMART RnDuo technique in 30 drinking water samples from Jammu district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The water samples were collected from wells, hand pumps, submersible pumps, and stored waters. The randomly obtained 14 values of radon concentration in water sources using the SMART RnDuo technique have been compared and cross checked by a RAD7 device. A good positive correlation (R2 = 0.88) has been observed between the two techniques. The overall value of radon concentration in various water sources has ranged from 2.45 to 18.43 Bq L−1, with a mean value of 8.24 ± 4.04 Bq L−1, and it agreed well with the recommended limit suggested by the European Commission and UNSCEAR. However, the higher activity of mean radon concentration was found in groundwater drawn from well, hand and submersible pumps as compared to stored water. The total annual effective dose due to radon inhalation and ingestion ranged from 6.69 to 50.31 μSv y−1 with a mean value of 22.48 ± 11.03 μSv y−1. The total annual effective dose was found to lie within the safe limit (100 μSv y−1) suggested by WHO. Heavy metal analysis was also carried out in various water sources by using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS), and the highest value of heavy metals was found mostly in groundwater samples. The obtained results were compared with Indian and International organizations like WHO and the EU Council. Among all the samples, the elemental analysis is not on the exceeding side of the permissible limit.

*Department of Physics, DAV College, Amritsar 143001, Punjab, India; †Department of Physics, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar 144001, Punjab, India; ‡Departments of Physics, Government College Chowari, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India; §Radiological Physics & Advisory Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, 400085, India.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Ajay Kumar, Department of Physics, DAV College, Amritsar 143001, Punjab, India, or email at ajay782dav86@gmail.com.

(Manuscript accepted 12 November 2016)

© 2017 by the Health Physics Society