Natural Radioactivity along Red Sea Coastline, Egypt: Radiological Impact & Heavy Metals of Sediment Samples, Measurement


Hesham Mahmoud Hamed Mohammed
Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Assiut Branch, Egypt


It is necessary to characterize the radioactive components in marine sediments to understand the dynamics of radionuclides in natural ecosystems. This information also provides important information needed for assessment of public health risk from ingestion, inhalation, and external exposure. Studies and surveys of natural radiation and radioactivity in Upper Egypt conducted since 1990 included monitoring of the concentration of natural radionuclides in environmental samples. Eighty-four samples of sediment have been collected from Red Sea coastline. Samples collection was considered the locations throughout four cities (Quseir, Safaga, Hurghada, Ras Ghareb,) in Red sea governorate, Egypt, 27 samples have been collected from three region in Qusier city named (El Edua area (south town), Qusier Harbour (Middle town), North Flaminko villager (North town)). 18 samples have been collected from three regions on Safaga city named (Km 17 Mangrove area, Abu Tartour Harbor and Touristic Harbor) from south to north respectively. 21 samples have been collected from three regions on Hurghada City (North Safier Hotel, Hurghada Harbor and NIOF area) also from south to north. 18 samples have been collected from three regions of Ras Ghareb City named (El Sakala area, General Beach and General Company of petroleum) with an aim of evaluating the environmental radioactivity and radiation hazard.

The activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K have been measured by NaI (Tl) detector connected to Multichannel Analyzer (MCA), with Genie 2000 software from Canberra (USA). The present status of grain size analysis, total organic matter, organic carbon, carbonate and heavy metals were assessed to study its correlation with concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in sediment accumulation, to identify sediment source in the area, and to evaluate their concentrations with respect to anthropogenic activities and natural impact. Also, the results of analysis for physical parameters (pH, Temp., salinity, TDS, and conductivity), of surface water samples are used as fingerprint to identify pollution sources, their amounts, and their effect on sediments and marine water in the areas under study to help managers to identify anthropogenic impacts, and better assessing the needs for remediation by detecting any changes, from the existing level expected with operation of future activity.

The average activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K  in deffrent  areas under investigation are :

  • Qusier city, equal 26±2, 21±2 and 287±32 BqKg-1, respectively.
  • Safaga city are 22±3, 19±2 and 478±44 BqKg-1 respectively.
  • Hurghada city, have 19±3, 15±2, and 432±57 BqKg-1
  • Ras Ghareb City, 28±2, 24±3 and 381±25 BqKg-1

The radiation hazard index [radium equivalent (BqKg-1), absorbed dose rate (nGyh-1), Internal radiation hazard (Hin), External radiation hazard (Hex), Gamma index (I?), Annual gonadal dose equivalent (AGDE), annual effective dose rate µSvy-1, and excess lifetime cancer risk] to which tourest were calculated.


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June 30, 2018

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ISBN-13 (15)