Many regulatory agencies require that all building materials and industrial waste be tested for their naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) concentrations before they can be used or thrown away. Usually the NORM concentrations of 40K, 232Th and 238U are measured by gamma-ray spectrometry using high-purity germanium or NaI(Tl) detectors. 40K is measured through its 1460.8 keV gamma line, which is mixed with 1459.2 keV line of 228Ac from the chain of 232Th. This fact ignored till now, requires a correction in the computation of 40K concentration. Although in many cases the error is <1%, there are cases where there have been higher errors. It should be emphasised that even if the correction in 40K concentration is large, the correction of the external dose index is negligible owing to the weighing factor being higher for 232Th than for 40K (by at least a factor of 10).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health