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Home > Archives > Volume 20, No 11 (2022) > Article

DOI: 10.14704/nq.2022.20.11.NQ66207

Measurement of the Natural Radioactivity of the Local Fish of the Marshes of Southern Iraq (Al-Hamar, Al-Masahab, Middle and Al-Hawizeh) and Assessing the Radioactive Doses and their Risks for Consumers

Muhannad Kh. Mohammed, Rahim Jaafar Aziz, Nabeel H. Ameen, Huda N. Karkosh


In Iraq, potential marshes radiological contamination is a local problem and has a particular concern. Effluents from different sources directly enters marshes of the region may contain radioactive materials and may pose a serious potential threat to the local community, in addition to aquatic ecosystems. Using gamma-ray spectrometry system, a comprehensive study was carried out on the radioactivity of 238U, 232Th, 40K, and 137Cs in fish samples collected from Al-Hawizeh, Al-Hamar, Central and Al-Masahab marshes. The radiometric analysis showed a noticeable variety in the levels of natural and artificial radionuclides in the fish samples. Activity concentrations were found to be ranged from 4.33 to 20.65 Bq/kg for 238U, 2.42 to 20.98 Bq/kg for 232Th, 1.32 to 9.42 Bq/kg for 137Cs, and 66.78 to 235.78 Bq/kg for 40K. Anthropogenic radionuclide (137Cs) was detected in the fish samples at lowest levels, which indicates aquatic biota are potentially subjected to radiological pollution. The estimated total effective dose and radiation-derived risk were calculated and compared with the corresponding permissible safety limits. The estimated radiation doses resulting from fish consumption were found to be vary widely depending on the concentrations of radioactive nuclides in the fish products, ranged from 2.76×10-5 Sv/y at Al-Hawizeh marsh, to 5.13×10-5 Sv/y at Al-Masahab marsh. Fish consumption would contribute a potential radiation risk range from 1×10-4 to 2×10-4. These risk values are only a small fraction of the corresponding risk limit (10-3). It was found that consuming the fish from the investigated Iraqi marshes may not cause adverse health impacts. Accordingly, the consumption of the studied fish species should be considered safe for human health


Iraqi marshes, radioactive doses, radiation risks.

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