Assessment of temporal variations of natural radionuclides Beryllium-7 and Lead-212 in surface air in Tanay, Philippines.J Environ Radioact 2019; 208-209:105989JE
Detection of radionuclides in surface air allows researchers to gain further insight on the behavior of radionuclides that may affect human radiation exposure especially in the event of a nuclear emergency. In this study, activity concentrations of naturally-occurring radionuclides Beryllium-7 (7Be) and Lead-212 (212Pb) in surface air and meteorological data collected in Tanay, Philippines from January 2012 to December 2017 were evaluated to determine the impact of atmospheric conditions and processes to airborne radioactivity. Surface air concentrations of 7Be and 212Pb were found to range from 0.00779 ± 0.00188 to 11.2 ± 0.116 mBq/m3 and from 1.371 ± 0.036 to 106.6 ± 1.075 mBq/m3, respectively. 7Be and 212Pb show distinct annual trends, suggesting that atmospheric conditions affect both radionuclides differently and independently. 7Be shows two peak concentrations annually, with the first peak occurring between January to April and the second lower peak occurring between October and November. 212Pb, on the other hand, shows annual peak concentrations occurring between April and June. Ambient temperature showed strong positive correlation with 212Pb concentration in surface air and a weak negative correlation with 7Be; relative humidity and precipitation showed varying degrees of negative correlation with radionuclide concentrations in surface air. Source locations for the unusually high 212Pb activity concentrations detected on 11-13 May 2013 and 19-31 May 2015 determined using WEB-GRAPE and HYSPLIT atmospheric transport models are presented as a case study. The data and findings of this study shall serve as basis for further studies on local and regional atmospheric transport and radiological impact assessment for the implementation of an effective nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response system in the country.