Estimation of internal radiation dose to the adult Asian population from the dietary intakes of two long-lived radionuclides

G. V. Iyengar, H. Kawamura, H. S. Dang, R. M. Parr, J. W. Wang, Perveen Akhter, S. Y. Cho, E. Natera, F. K. Miah, M. S. Nguyen

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Daily dietary intakes of two naturally occurring long-lived radionuclides, 232Th and 238U, were estimated for the adult population living in a number of Asian countries, using highly sensitive analytical methods such as instrumental and radiochemical neutron activation analysis (INAA and RNAA), and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The Asian countries that participated in the study were Bangladesh (BGD), China (CPR), India (IND), Japan (JPN), Pakistan (PAK), Philippines (PHI), Republic of Korea (ROK) and Vietnam (VIE). Altogether, these countries represent more than 50% of the world population. The median daily intakes of 232Th ranged between 0.6 and 14.4 mBq, the lowest being for Philippines and the highest for Bangladesh, and daily intakes of 238U ranged between 6.7 and 62.5 mBq, lowest and the highest being for India and China, respectively. The Asian median intakes were obtained as 4.2 mBq for 232Th and 12.7 mBq for 238U. Although the Asian intakes were lower than intakes of 12.3 mBq (3.0 ug) 232Th and 23.6 mBq (1.9 ug) 238U proposed by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) for the ICRP Reference Man, they were comparable to the global intake values of 4.6 mBq 232Th and 15.6 mBq 238U proposed by the United Nation Scientific Commission on Effects of Radiation (UNSCEAR). The annual committed effective doses to Asian population from the dietary intake of 232Th and 238U were calculated to be 0.34 and 0.20 μSv, respectively, which are three orders of magnitude lower than the global average annual radiation dose of 2400 μSv to man from the natural radiation sources as proposed by UNSCEAR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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