Natural Radioactivity in Water and Its Potential Human Health Risk in the Vicinity of Mkuju River Uranium Project in Tanzania
International Journal of Environmental Protection and Policy
Volume 4, Issue 5, September 2016, Pages: 111-119
Received: Jul. 29, 2016; Accepted: Aug. 11, 2016; Published: Aug. 29, 2016
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Firmi P. Banzi, Department of Physics, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Peter K. Msaki, Department of Physics, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Najat K. Mohammed, Department of Physics, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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Consistent with best practices in uranium mining, the collection and use of site characterisation data are indispensable to ensure compliance with regulations. To comply with this requirement, two samples from each of the 47 locations were collected in an area of about 1300 km2 in the vicinity and concession area of the Mkuju River Project. The samples were analysed for radioactivity using alpha spectrometry. The activity concentrations were used to estimate health risks attributable to the consumption of drinking water containing radionuclides. The range of activity concentrations (mBqL-1) were much higher in groundwater collected from the concession area for 238U (79.89 to 87.06), 234U (79.44 to 88.38), 226Ra (41.61 to 59.07), 232Th (5.32 to 9.41), and 228Ra (3.98 to 8.59) than in groundwater for 238U (20.61 to 47.21), 234U (21.70 to 49.10), 226Ra (16.80 to 43.45), 232Th (0.12 to 2.80), and 228Ra (0.10 to 2.43), and surface water for 238U (17.33 to 27.24), 234U (21.06 to 34.43), 226Ra (15.00 to 25.61), 232Th (0.16 to 2.10), and 228Ra (0.12 to 1.99) collected in the vicinity of the project. The calculated annual effective doses and carcinogenic risks resulting from the activity concentrations in drinking water were relatively marginal, since the activity concentrations were lower than the WHO permissible limits for drinking water. These findings suggest that the water resources at MRP are safe. Thus, since this study was conducted before mining activities, these data can be used as a baseline for monitoring potential future water pollution around the Mkuju River Project.
Baseline, Radioactivity, Mkuju River Project, Water Pollution
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Firmi P. Banzi, Peter K. Msaki, Najat K. Mohammed, Natural Radioactivity in Water and Its Potential Human Health Risk in the Vicinity of Mkuju River Uranium Project in Tanzania, International Journal of Environmental Protection and Policy. Vol. 4, No. 5, 2016, pp. 111-119. doi: 10.11648/j.ijepp.20160405.11
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