ABSTRACT This work was carried out to measure the radioactivity level in the coastal areas of Nigeria by gamma counting of river sediment samples and assess the radiological impact associated with the use of the river sediments as building material. The method of gamma spectrometry with a 7.6 cm by 7.6 cm NaI(Tl) detector was employed in determining 40K, 238U and 232Th levels in 95 and 38 sediment samples respectively collected from representative sites in the oil producing and non oil producing coastal areas of Nigeria. Results of the samples assayed showed that the radioactivity concentrations of 40K, 226Ra and 228Ra in the sediment samples of oil producing areas range from 95.4 to 160.0; 7.6 to 31.0 and 9.5 to 41.6 Bq kg–1, respectively. The respective means were calculated as 122.39 ± 47.49; 18.93 ± 12.53 and 29.31 ± 18.67 Bq kg–1. In the sediment samples from the non oil producing areas, the respective mean values are 88.48 ± 8.22, 14.87 ± 3.51 and 16.37 ± 3.87 Bq kg–1. Statistical analysis of the results showed that there is no significant difference between the radionuclide concentration of the sediment samples from different rivers in the oil producing and non oil producing coastal areas, except for 40K. The values of the natural radionuclide concentrations however translate to the determina-tion of the radiological impact assessment values. The values of the radiological assessment indices obtained were ob-served to be lower than limits internationally reported and recommended for building materials. It could therefore be reported that the operations of the oil companies in the coastline, involving use of radioactive materials have not
contributed adversely to the radioactivity level of the river sediments and that the use of river sediments as building mate-rial in the coastal areas of Nigeria poses no radiological risk.
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