Absorbed Radiation Dose from Radon to the Sand Martin Riparia riparia During Breeding at the Sand Mines in Eastern Poland

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 State School of Higher Education in Chelm, Poland

2 Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Poland


Animals that breed in ground holes can be exposed to higher doses of radiation from natural radioactive isotopes, including radon and its daughters, present in soil air. One of such species is the Sand Martin Riparia riparia. Examination of natural burrows in sand mines revealed radon levels of 2.82-1320 Bq/m3 in the examined soil horizon where martins dug their burrows. It was shown that adult males whose colonial breeding took place in sand mines received the following average annual doses, respectively: 4.7 mGy (during the care for one brood) and 8.8 mGy (two broods). The doses for females were, respectively: 4.7 mGy (one brood) and 8.7 mGy (two broods). At the same time, the average dose to chicks from these colonies was 6.4 mGy. The results indicate that, apart from radon concentrations in the soil, also breeding behaviour – rearing either one or two broods – significantly affects the annual absorbed radiation dose to adult birds.