Anthropogenically enhanced naturally occurring radionuclides 238U, 232Th and 40K present in the tar-sand soil samples were measured by gamma ray spectrometer using a highly shielded NaI (TI) detector with the aim of evaluating the environmental radiological hazards. Mineralogical analysis and characterization was carried out using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. The results obtained showed that the average activity concentrations of 238U, 232Th and 40K ranges from BDL↔76.00 ± 12.00, BDL↔204.48 ± 13.02 and BDL↔755.6 ± 40.15 Bqkg−1 respectively. Eleven other radiological and hazard parameters were estimated to know the complete hazardous nature of the samples. The values obtained for radionuclides and all its associated radiological and health hazard parameters were all higher than the world's average set by UNSCEAR. Five different minerals were identified and characterized as major and minor minerals. The mean radionuclides activity concentrations, radium equivalent and dose rate of measured radionuclides were compared with other literature values. RESRAD computer code was used to calculate the probability of excess lifetime cancer incurred by dwellers of the tar-sand deposit site, the level of which was determined to be 2.3 × 10−3 . Spatial distribution of natural radionuclides in the study area was also investigated for radioactivity disequilibrium. Multivariate statistics were applied to establish the effect of mineralogy on radionuclides activity. Therefore, the tar-sand soil samples are considered to pose serious radiological hazard and cancer risk to human through the multiple routes of exposure and significant soil remediation action need to be taken for future use of the soils.
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|Published - 18 Feb 2018