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Radioactivity in building materials
Authors Telloli C, Salvi S, Rizzo A, Taddei F, De Maria A, Marrocchino E, Vaccaro C  Year 2022
Pubblication type Paper International Conference with referee
Abstract All building materials have a small but not negligible amount of natural radioactivity; since they
come from the earth’s crust, this radioactivity is due to the radioactive families of Uranium (U-238),
Thorium (Th-232), and Potassium (K-40), in varying concentrations depending on the type and
origin of the original rocks.
Some granites and some tuffs can sometimes record significant concentrations of radioisotopes,
while in marbles and carbonate stones radioactivity is rarely present unless they are settled in
lagoon environments (i.e., Lecce, Italy limestones). Also building products fabricated with naturally
occurring radioactive materials (NORM) can exhibit residual radioactivity, such as in various types
of sand, ceramics, or cements.
The radioactive content in the materials used to build is therefore of a certain importance because
it can significantly affect the annual effective dose equivalent absorbed due to the long residence
time of people inside the buildings.
In Italy the reference regulatory device in the field of work activities involving the presence of
natural sources is Legislative Decree 230/95 (including subsequent amendments and additions),
while the radioactive content of construction materials is regulated by the Legislative Decree
In order to avoid excessive alarms or, on the contrary, to underestimate the problem, a cognitive
investigation was carried out on the radioactivity content in ornamental and structural building
materials, in order to possibly identify critical radioactivity concentration. The natural stones
analyzed are granite rocks sampled in Sardinia (Ornamental Stones District of Gallura).
Reference EGU22-6887
WEB Reference
Research unit RADEC
LastUpdate 25/05/2022
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