Radiation Doses Due to Smoking Different Types of Tobacco Leaves Grown in Turkey

Ağgez G., Ganioğlu Nutku E., Sahin L., Hafızoğlu N.

RADIATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL BIOPHYSICS, vol.1, no.1, pp.1-10, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00411-022-00995-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-10



The activity concentrations of 238U, 232Th, 40 K and 137Cs radionuclides in 25 samples of tobacco leaves grown in Turkey

have been measured using a high purity co-axial germanium detector. The measured activity concentrations for 238U ranged

from 3.6 to 22.5 Bq kg−

1 with an average of 9.8 Bq kg−

1, for 232Th from 0.8 to 11.0 Bq kg−

1 with an average of 2.4 Bq kg−


and for 40 K from 360.3 to 1,479.5 Bq kg−

1 with an average of 810.0 Bq kg−

1. The concentrations of 137Cs, the residue of

fallout from the Chernobyl reactor accident, were found to range from 0.2 to 2.1 Bq kg−

1 with an average of 0.5 Bq kg−

1. The

results indicate that the average activity concentrations of 238U and 232Th lie within the range of measured values worldwide,

whereas for 40 K the average was found to be higher. The average annual effective radiation doses from the inhalation of the

corresponding tobacco smoke by an adult smoking 20 cigarettes per day was deduced to be 93.3 μSv y−

1 for 238U, 193.2 μSv


1 for 232Th, 5.6 μSv y−

1 for 40 K, and 292.1 μSv y−

1 in total. The average annual effective dose from 137Cs was calculated

to be 8.5 nSv y−

1. The resulting average annual effective radiation doses of 0.3 mSv due to the inhalation of natural radiation

sources in tobacco were compared with studies worldwide and found much smaller than the worldwide average effective dose

of 1.26 mSv. It is concluded that smoking may contribute a non-negligible fraction to the annual effective dose depending

on cigarette consumption and activity concentration in tobacco. This study is the first in which natural and anthropogenic

radioactivity in tobacco in Turkey was measured. Therefore, it is considered as a baseline study. Further studies are needed

to investigate the role of tobacco refinement in the observed reduction of 238U concentration of refined tobacco.