The method of electron spin resonance (ESR) dosimetry has been applied to human tooth enamel, to obtain individual absorbed doses of residents of settlements in vicinity of Ust-Kamenogorsk city, Kazakhstan (located about 400 km to the east from the epicenter of explosion at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, SNTS). This region developed as a major mining and metallurgical center during the Soviet period (uranium production). Most of the investigated settlements (Ust-Kamenogorsk city, Glubokoe, Tavriya, Gagarino) are located near the central axis of the radioactive fallout trace that originated from the surface nuclear test on 24 August 1956, while the Kokpekty settlement (located 400 km to the Southeast from SNTS) was chosen as a control because it was not subjected to any radioactive contamination. In total, 44 samples were measured. It was found that the excess doses obtained after subtraction of natural background radiation ranged up to about 114 mGy for residents of Ust-Kamenogorsk city, whose tooth enamel was formed before 1956. For residents of Gagarino, excess doses did not exceed 47 mGy for all ages. For residents of Tavriya, the maximum excess dose was 54 mGy, while for residents of Glubokoe it was about 58 mGy. For the population of the Shemonaikha settlements located at a distance of about 70 km from the central axis of the radioactive fallout trace, highest excess doses were 110 mGy. These high doses may be due to the influence of uranium enterprises located in that region, but probably not due to dental X-ray irradiation. For a final conclusion on the radiological situation in this region, the number of samples was too small and, therefore, more work is required to obtain representative results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)