Geographical distribution of radon and associated health risks in drinking water samples collected from the Mulazai area of Peshawar, Pakistan

Syed Samran Ali Shah, Abdul Rahim Asif, Manzoor Ilahi, Haseeb Haroon, Ihtisham Islam, Adnan Qadir, Irfan Nisar, Malik Muhammad Usman Sani, Rashid Iqbal, Muhammed Habib ur Rahman, Muhammad Arslan, Mona S. Alwahibi, Mohamed S. Elshikh, Allah Ditta

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Geospatial methods, such as GIS and remote sensing, map radon levels, pinpoint high-risk areas and connect geological traits to radon presence. These findings direct health planning, focusing tests, mitigation, and policies where radon levels are high. Overall, geospatial analyses offer vital insights, shaping interventions and policies to reduce health risks from radon exposure. There is a formidable threat to human well-being posed by the naturally occurring carcinogenic radon (222Rn) gas due to high solubility in water. Under the current scenario, it is crucial to assess the extent of 222Rn pollution in our drinking water sources across various regions and thoroughly investigate the potential health hazards it poses. In this regard, the present study was conducted to investigate the concentration of 222Rn in groundwater samples collected from handpumps and wells and to estimate health risks associated with the consumption of 222Rn-contaminated water. For this purpose, groundwater samples (n = 30) were collected from handpumps, and wells located in the Mulazai area, District Peshawar. The RAD7 radon detector was used as per international standards to assess the concentration of 222Rn in the collected water samples. The results unveiled that the levels of 222Rn in the collected samples exceeded the acceptable thresholds set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA) of 11.1 Bq L−1. Nevertheless, it was determined that the average annual dose was below the recommended limit of 0.1 mSv per year, as advised by both the European Union Council and the World Health Organization. In order to avoid the harmful effects of such excessive 222Rn concentrations on human health, proper ventilation and storage of water in storage reservoirs for a long time before use is recommended to lower the 222Rn concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6042
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2024


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