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Spatial distribution mapping and radiological hazard assessment of groundwater and soil gas radon in Ekiti State, Southwest Nigeria {Errata: v/. 77 no 16 2018, p. 563}

Ajiboye, Y., Isinkaye, M. O., Khanderkar, M. U.
Environmental earth sciences 2018 v.77 no.14 pp. 545
World Health Organization, air, breathing, construction materials, drinking, drinking water, groundwater, groundwater contamination, hazard characterization, lung neoplasms, radionuclides, radon, risk, soil air, Nigeria
Groundwater constitutes the major source of utility water in Ekiti State with the majority of the population depending on groundwater for drinking and other household uses. Soil in the area is commonly used as a component of building materials, which may produce radon in the indoor environment. Excessive concentrations of radon in water and soil can cause radiological health risks to human as witnessed by the increased cases of lung cancer among non-smokers in Nigeria, which may be traceable to the ingestion and inhalation ²²²Rn in drinking water and indoor air. In the present study, comparative in situ measurements of radon in groundwater and soil gas were carried out at one hundred selected locations across the Ekiti State in southwest Nigeria, using a RAD7 radon detector to generate a radon distribution map and to estimate radiation hazards due to radon. The concentrations of radon in groundwater ranged from 0.9 to 472 Bq L⁻¹ with a mean of 34.7 ± 4.4 Bq L⁻¹, while those of soil gas ranged from 0.1 to 315 kBq L⁻¹ with a mean of 38.9 ± 1.4 kBq L⁻¹. The total annual effective dose due to inhalation and ingestion of radon in groundwater amounted to 94.7 µSv year⁻¹, which is lower than the reference dose of 100 µSv year⁻¹ recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The radon map generated for groundwater and soil gas identified three distinct areas with radon levels ranging from low to high. The results of this study show that some locations (Emure, Gbonyin, Ijero and Ikole) show mean total annual effective doses which are higher than the recommended limit. It can then be inferred that the groundwater samples pose significant radiological hazards to the population and that the noticed increase in lung cancer cases may be attributed to the consumption of groundwater in the area.