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Radiological hazard associated with amang processing industry in Peninsular Malaysia and its environmental impacts

Sanusi, M. S. M. and Ramli, A. T. and Hashim, S. and Lee, M. H. (2021) Radiological hazard associated with amang processing industry in Peninsular Malaysia and its environmental impacts. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 208 . p. 111727. ISSN 0147-6513

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111727


Continuous depletion in tin productions has led to a newly emerging industry that is a tin by-product (amang) processing industry to harness mega tons of tin by-products produced in the past. Amang composed of profitable multi-heavy minerals and rare-earth elements. With poorly established safety and health practices in operating plant, amang poses extremely high radioactivity problem associated with high occupational ionizing radiation exposures to workers and continuously impacting the local environment with radioactive contamination from industrial effluent and solid waste into lithosphere and water bodies. The radioactivity level of 238U and 232Th series in the mineral varies from few hundreds up to - 200,000 and - 400,000 Bq kg–1 respectively and are potential to yield more than ~ 30,000 nGy h–1 of gamma (?) radiation exposure to plant workers. The study found out that for 8 h of work time, a worker is estimated to receive an average effective dose of 0.1 mSv per day from external ? radiation source with a maximum up to 2 mSv per day for extreme exposure situation. Interferences of different exposure routes for examples inhalation of equivalent equilibrium concentration (ECC) of 222Rn and 220Rn progenies and airborne long-lived a particles from the dusty working environment could pose a higher total effective dose as much as 5 mSv per day and 115 mSv per year. The value is 5 times higher than the annual dose limit for designated radiation worker (20 mSv) in Peninsular Malaysia. The study found that 41% of the total received an effective dose received by a worker is contributed by 222Rn, 32% of airborne particulates and dust, 23% from external ? exposure and 4% from 220Rn. Based on radioecological risk assessment, the study found out that the aquatic environment is the highly exposed group to ionizing radiation from industrial effluent discharge and sand residues. With the impotent establishment of radiation protection in the industry, plus the country newly introduced long-term plan to revive tin mining as well as its accessory amang mineral, it is necessary for the government to harmonize current regulation to improve the worker safety and health as well as sustaining local environment.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Airborne particulates, Occupational exposure
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
ID Code:94718
Deposited By: Haslinda Sabari
Deposited On:19 May 2022 09:51
Last Modified:31 May 2022 20:37

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