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What isotopes can be used for radioactive dating

Long-lived radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and potassium and any of their decay products, such as radium and radon are examples of NORM.These elements have always been present in the Earth's crust and atmosphere, and are concentrated in some places, such as uranium orebodies which may be mined.Material giving rise to these enhanced exposures has become known as naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM).NORM is the acronym for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material, which potentially includes all radioactive elements found in the environment.The acronym TENORM, or technologically enhanced NORM, is often used to refer to those materials where the amount of radioactivity has actually been increased or concentrated as a result of industrial processes.This paper addresses some of these industrial sources, and for simplicity the term NORM will be used throughout.

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The most important for the purposes of radiation protection are the radionuclides in the U-238 and Th-232 decay series.Exposure to naturally occurring radiation is responsible for the majority of an average person’s yearly radiation dose (see also Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects paper) and is therefore not usually considered of any special health or safety significance.However certain industries handle significant quantities of NORM, which usually ends up in their waste streams, or in the case of uranium mining, the tailings dam.This means that material which is considered radioactive waste in one context may not be considered so in another.Also, that which may constitute low-level waste in the nuclear industry might go entirely unregulated in another industry (see section below on recycling and NORM).Read More » Sweet Success with Nuclear: Malaysian Farmers to Grow Natural Sugar Substitute.Farmers in rural communities in East Malaysia will be able to grow a cash crop starting next year – thanks to nuclear science.A 70 kg person has 4400 Bq of K-40 – and 3000 Bq of carbon-14.) Cosmogenic NORM is formed as a result of interactions between certain gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and cosmic rays, and is only relevant to this paper due to flying being a common mode of transport.Since most cosmic radiation is deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field or absorbed by the atmosphere, very little reaches the Earth’s surface and cosmogenic radionuclides contribute more to dose at low altitudes than cosmic rays as such.It beta decays, mostly to calcium-40, and forms 0.012% of natural potassium which is otherwise made up of stable K-39 and K-41.Potassium is the seventh most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and K-40 averages 850 Bq/kg there.


  1. Radioactive dating uses the decay rates of. How is radioactive dating used to determine. Scientists know how quickly radioactive isotopes decay into.

  2. What is radiocarbon dating? By EarthSky in Earth. It can be used on objects as old as about 62,000 years. Radiocarbon dating uses isotopes of the element carbon.

  3. Radiometric dating can be compared to an hourglass. The waters of Noah's flood could have leached radioactive isotopes out of rocks, disturbing their ages.

  4. Start studying 6th Grade Science Chapter 10. Why can radioactive isotopes be used to date rocks. Name the 5 most useful radioactive isotopes for dating.

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