The concentration of radioactive materials in Iraqi soils, water and plants: A review
رشا صبيح أحمد
Authors : أ.م.د. رشا صبيح احمد
Evaluation of radionuclide concentration in our environment is beneficial in tracking health problems. In Iraq, several studies regarding the assessment of naturally occurring radionuclide concentration have been performed by many researchers around the country. Here we review the studies performed to evaluate the concentration of radionuclides in Iraqi cities in soil, water and plants. The findings show that the radon and radioactive elements in soil samples are below the international standard limits, except in Sulaimany, Al-Dura thermal power plant, and Basrah where elevated amounts of radioactive elements have been recorded. The total mean values of 238U and 232Th in soil were found to be lower than their values in other selected countries and lower than the world mean value suggested by UNSCEAR. Elevated levels of the mean values of potassium concentrations have been noticed. In water, the radionuclide concentrations were below the international standards in Iraqi cities except for Sulaimany, Karbala, Mosul and Najaf cities. The total mean radionuclides concentration in water was below the values recorded in other countries. Elevated radionuclide concentrations in plants have been recorded, especially for 137Cs. The results confirm the presence of environmental pollution from potassium in the soils of Iraq, as well as a high concentration of radionuclide in plants, especially the presence of the 137Cs in truffles. So, there is an urgent need to purify those regions from radioactive materials.

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