Radiation dose from coal slag used as building material in the Transdanubian region of Hungary

J. Somlai, V. Jobbágy, C. Németh, Z. Gorjáńcz, N. Kávási, T. Kovács

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Coals mined in the Transdanubian region in Hungary have an elevated concentration of 226Ra, which becomes enriched in the slag after burning. This slag has been used as filling and/or insulating material in building works. The aim of this study was to investigate the radiological situation in this territory in terms of the possible impact of this residual material from coal. Flats in three towns with a coal mine and a coal-fired power plant operating in their neighbourhood were examined. The radionuclide contents (including 226Ra, 232Th and 40K) of the slag used for building were determined, and the slags were categorised according to the international standards and recommendations. The external gamma dose rate and the radon concentration in the sites were measured, and based on these data dose assessments were made. The 226Ra concentration of the slag was 160-2893 Bq kg-1; the indoor gamma dose rates were 82-633 nGy h-1; the radon concentration measured with a nuclear track detector varied from 29 to 1310 Bq m-3; the assessed dose contributions in the three towns were 0.65-1.57 mSv y-1 due to gamma radiation and 2.2-15.2 mSv y-1 due to radon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalRadiation protection dosimetry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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