Radiological Protection in Industries Involving NORM: A (Graded) Methodological Approach to Characterize the Exposure Situations
2. Italian Legislative Framework
3. Material and Methods
3.1. Overview and Inventory of NORM Sites and Exposure Scenarios in Italy
3.2. The Approach Adopted to Elaborate a General Methodology for the Characterization of the Exposure Sources for Workers and Population from NORM Involving Industries
- What are the NORM matrices of radiological concern to be analysed in laboratory and the radionuclide activity concentration to be measured?
- What are the most suitable analysis methods to be used?
- Are simplified methods available to assess the exposure of workers and members of the public?
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Inventory of Italian Industries Involving NORM
- Extraction of rare earths from monazite;
- Extraction of tin, lead and copper;
- Extraction of iron-niobium from pyrochlore;
- Niobite/tantalite processing;
- Production of thorium compounds and manufacture of thorium-containing products.
4.2. Description of General Methodology
4.2.1. Phase 1
4.2.2. Phase 2
5. Conclusions and Perspectives
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Natural Radionuclides||ELs and CLs|
|Radionuclides from 238U and 232Th series in secular equilibrium||all radionuclides||1 kBq/kg|
|210Pb and 210Po (when 238U and 232Th series are not in secular equilibrium)||5 kBq/kg|
|Oil sludge||U-nat, 230Th, 232Th, 210Pb, 210Po||100 kBq/kg||100 kBq/kg|
|228Ra||10 kBq/kg||10 kBq/kg|
|For all radionuclides of the 238U and 232Th series||5 kBq/kg||5 kBq/kg|
|40K||50 kBq/kg||50 kBq/kg|
|Disposal in landfill or reuse for road construction||238U and 232Th series||0.5 kBq/kg|
|210Pb and 210Po||2.5 kBq/kg|
|Incineration||Dose assessment for members of the public|
|Disposal of residues or effluents with potential impact on drinking water sources||Dose assessment for members of the public|
|Members of the public||0.3 mSv/year|
in case of potential impact on drinking water sources
|Industrial Sector||Class of Practice or Critical Exposure Scenarios|
|Coal-fired power plants||Maintenance of boilers|
|Mining of ores other than uranium ore||Extraction of granitoids, such as granites, orthogneiss, tuff, pozzolana, basalt, porphyry and lava|
|Zircon and zirconium industry||Processing of zircon sands|
Production of refractories, ceramics and tiles
Production of zirconium oxide and metallic zirconium
|Mineral processing and primary iron production||Extraction of rare earths from monazite|
Extraction of tin, lead and copper
Processing of iron/niobium from pyrochlore ore
Extraction of aluminum from bauxite
Processing of iron/tantalum
Use of potassium chloride as additive in metals extraction by fusion
|TiO2 pigment production||Management and maintenance of titanium dioxide production plants|
|Processing of phosphate and potassium minerals||Thermal phosphorus production|
Phosphoric acid production
Production and wholesale of phosphate and potassium fertilisers
Production and wholesale of potassium chloride
|Cement production||Maintenance of clinker ovens|
|Production of thorium compounds and manufacture of thorium-containing products||Production of thorium compounds and manufacture, management and conservation of thorium-containing products, in particular welding electrodes with thorium, optical components with thorium and nets for gas lamps|
|Geothermal energy production||Maintenance of high or medium-enthalpy geothermal energy systems|
|Oil and gas production||Oil extraction and refining, gas extraction, in particular for the presence of muds and scales in pipes and oil containers|
|Industries equipped with groundwater filtration facilities||Management and maintenance of facilities|
|Cutting and sandblasting processing||Plants using abrasive sands or minerals|
|Industrial Sector||N. of Plants|
|Total: 81||Total: 54|
|Geothermal energy production:|
high and medium enthalpy
|Zircon sands industry:|
Sanitary ware prod
Ceramic glazes and dyes prod
|Coal-fired power plants||13||6|
|Titanium dioxide production||1||1|
|Oil & gas production:|
Oil production plants
Gas production plants
1581 wells (25 plants)
|Processing of phosphate and potassic ores|
|Industrial Sector||Raw Materials||Residues||Ref.|
|Activity Conc. (Bq/g)|
|Cement production:||Scales |
210Pb: 0.05–0.14; 210Po: 0.05–0.3
|Tower sludge, Scales deposits, Exhausted sand, Sand blasting dust, Adsorbent, Filtering material|
All nuclides < 1, but some scales have 210Po and 210Pb > 1
|Zircon sands industry:||Zircon sand |
|Tile hydrated lime|
Fusion furnace dust:
210Pb: 21, 210Po: 35
238U: 1.2, 210Po: 1.3
238U: 1.7, 210Pb and 210Po: 1.2
|Coal-fired power plants||Fly ash|
238U: 0.08, 232Th: 0.08, 210Po: 0.09, 210Po: 0.08
238U: 0.14, 232Th: 0.14, 210Po: 0.03, 210Po: 0.05
|Titanium dioxide production||Filtering clothes: |
232Th series: 1.5
|Steel production:||Blast furnace dust |
210Pb and 210Po: 0.5–1.6
210Pb: 47.3, 210Po: 42.9
|Oil & gas production:||Sludge|
|Aluminum production||Red mud|
238U: 0.10, 232Th: 0.12, 226Ra:0.09
|Processing of phosphate and potassic ores||Phosphorite |
238U: 1.8–3.6, 226Ra:1.1–1.6
|Solid Matrix||Analytical Method||Radionuclides|
|Raw material of |
|Gamma spectrometry||40K, series of 238U|
|Raw material from industrial process||Gamma spectrometry||40K, chain segments of 238U and 232Th|
|Residue||Dried Residue 1|
(e.g., from refractory
|40K, chain segments of 238U, 232Th and 210Po|
|Dried Residue 2|
(e.g., from cement
|Gamma spectrometry||40K, chain segments of 238U and 232Th|
|Wet residue |
(e.g., oil sludge)
|Gamma spectrometry||40K, chain segments of 238U and 232Th|
|Raw materials||Storage–Large quantity; transport; management||Transport|
|Residues||Management (collection, loading, unloading, etc.)||Disposal (landfill, recycle, reuse, etc.); transport|
|Final products||Finishing processes; packaging; transport||-|
|Liquid effluents||-||Release of wastewater: exposure of members of the public to liquid effluents|
|-||Release of gaseous effluents from chimneys: exposure of members of the public living near the industrial plant|
|Specific Exposure |
|Exposure to heap, |
|Raw material of natural origin||External exposure, inhalation, radon exposure|
|Raw material from industrial process||External exposure, inhalation, radon exposure|
|Management of residues|
(Collection, loading, unloading, etc.)
|Dried Residue 1||External exposure, inhalation, radon exposure|
|Dried Residue 2||External exposure, inhalation, radon exposure|
|Wet residue (sludge)||External exposure,|
|Final product||External exposure,|
|Specific Exposure |
|Transport||Raw materials||External exposure, inhalation, radon exposure|
|Release from chimney||Gaseous effluent||External exposure, inhalation, secondary ingestion *|
|Release to water body or sewage system||Liquid effluent||External exposure, inhalation, secondary ingestion *|
|Exposure to residue with activity conc.> CLs||Sludge, grinding waste, dust from abatement plant, etc.||External exposure, inhalation, radon exposure|
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Trevisi, R.; Ampollini, M.; Bogi, A.; Bucci, S.; Caldognetto, E.; La Verde, G.; Leonardi, F.; Luzzi, L.; Nuccetelli, C.; Peroni, I.; Picciolo, F.; Pratesi, G.; Trotti, F.; Ugolini, R.; Venoso, G.; Pugliese, M. Radiological Protection in Industries Involving NORM: A (Graded) Methodological Approach to Characterize the Exposure Situations. Atmosphere 2023, 14, 635. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14040635
Trevisi R, Ampollini M, Bogi A, Bucci S, Caldognetto E, La Verde G, Leonardi F, Luzzi L, Nuccetelli C, Peroni I, Picciolo F, Pratesi G, Trotti F, Ugolini R, Venoso G, Pugliese M. Radiological Protection in Industries Involving NORM: A (Graded) Methodological Approach to Characterize the Exposure Situations. Atmosphere. 2023; 14(4):635. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14040635Chicago/Turabian Style
Trevisi, Rosabianca, Marco Ampollini, Andrea Bogi, Silvia Bucci, Elena Caldognetto, Giuseppe La Verde, Federica Leonardi, Laura Luzzi, Cristina Nuccetelli, Ilaria Peroni, Francesco Picciolo, Gabriele Pratesi, Flavio Trotti, Raffaella Ugolini, Gennaro Venoso, and Mariagabriella Pugliese. 2023. "Radiological Protection in Industries Involving NORM: A (Graded) Methodological Approach to Characterize the Exposure Situations" Atmosphere 14, no. 4: 635. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14040635