ASSESSMENT OF RADIATION EXPOSURE LEVEL IN BLACKSMITHING WORKSHOP IN GOMBE, GOMBE STATE
Keywords:background radiation exposure; blacksmithing; health risk; exposure and effective dose.
Measurement of terrestrial background ionizing radiation of blacksmith workshops of Gombe State, Nigeria was carried out using well-calibrated Geiger-Muller counter meters and a meter tape. The average exposure rate of two line-sections are 0.018±0.002 and 0.017±0.002 mRh-1 respectively. Estimated equivalent dose rates for the two line-sections are 1.50 and 1.45 mSvy-1. The average absorbed dose rates estimated in line-section one and line-section two are 154.94 and 149.97 nGyh-1 respectively. Annual effective dose equivalent (AEDE) for outdoor exposures are 0.24 mSvy-1 was obtained in line-sections one while in line-section two AEDE was 0.23 mSvy-1. The calculated mean excess lifetime cancer risk values for the blacksmith workshop sections are (0.83 and 0.80) x10-3 respectively. The obtained values for background ionizing radiation in the line-sections blacksmith workshop was above the recommended standard limits by ICRP while the absorbed dose (D) and AEDE calculated in two line-sections of blacksmithing workshops are not within safe values this implies that blacksmithing activities in these areas may not necessarily have impact on the background radiation level. The excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) estimated were higher than their world permissible values of 0.29x10-3 respectively. The calculated dose to organs showed that the testes have the highest organ dose of 0.153 mSvy-1while liver has the lowest organ dose of 0.086 mSvy-1. This result shows that exposure to background ionizing radiation levels in all line-sections of blacksmithing workshops contribute insignificantly to the radiation dose to these organs in adults and no case of symptoms referable to the radiation exposure
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