In this article, an investigation of the natural radioactivity content of pyroclastic products from Mt. Etna, eastern Sicily, Southern Italy, was carried out. In particular, the assessment of the average activity concentration of the investigated radionuclides, related to the mineralogical phase composition of the analyzed samples, and the radiological health risk for the population, was performed. High Purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometry was employed in order to quantify the average specific activity of Ra-226, Th-232, and K-40 natural radioisotopes. The absorbed gamma dose rate (D), the radium equivalent activity (Ra-eq), the hazard indices (H-in and H-ex), the annual effective dose equivalent outdoor (AEDE(out)), and the excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) were also estimated in order to assess any possible radiological hazard for the population. In our case, they were found to be lower than the maximum recommended values for the population members, thus reasonably excluding radiological hazard effects. Moreover, the identification of the source of the aforementioned naturally occurring radionuclides was attempted by X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Micro-Raman Scattering (MRS), thereby recognizing the main radioisotope-bearing minerals present in the investigated pyroclastic products. Finally, Pearson correlation, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) were performed by processing observed radioactivity and radiological parameters in order to determine their correlation with the sampling locations.

Multivariate Statistics, Mineralogy, and Radiological Hazards Assessment Due to the Natural Radioactivity Content in Pyroclastic Products from Mt. Etna, Sicily, Southern Italy

Faggio, Giuliana;Messina, Giacomo;Barreca, Francesco;
2022

Abstract

In this article, an investigation of the natural radioactivity content of pyroclastic products from Mt. Etna, eastern Sicily, Southern Italy, was carried out. In particular, the assessment of the average activity concentration of the investigated radionuclides, related to the mineralogical phase composition of the analyzed samples, and the radiological health risk for the population, was performed. High Purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometry was employed in order to quantify the average specific activity of Ra-226, Th-232, and K-40 natural radioisotopes. The absorbed gamma dose rate (D), the radium equivalent activity (Ra-eq), the hazard indices (H-in and H-ex), the annual effective dose equivalent outdoor (AEDE(out)), and the excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) were also estimated in order to assess any possible radiological hazard for the population. In our case, they were found to be lower than the maximum recommended values for the population members, thus reasonably excluding radiological hazard effects. Moreover, the identification of the source of the aforementioned naturally occurring radionuclides was attempted by X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Micro-Raman Scattering (MRS), thereby recognizing the main radioisotope-bearing minerals present in the investigated pyroclastic products. Finally, Pearson correlation, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) were performed by processing observed radioactivity and radiological parameters in order to determine their correlation with the sampling locations.
mineralogy
multivariate statistics
pyroclastic products
radioactivity
radiological risk
Potassium Radioisotopes
Radioisotopes
Sicily
Spectrometry, Gamma
Thorium
Radiation Monitoring
Radioactivity
Radium
Soil Pollutants, Radioactive
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/130707
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