Concentrations of TENORMs in the petroleum industry and their environmental and health effects
Crude oil and its products and wastes are among the significant sources of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs). These materials may be enhanced to high levels due to technological and human activities, which are called technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORMs). Thus, the average radioactivity of these radionuclides sometimes exceeds the exemption level of 10 000 Bq kg−1, which is recommended by the IAEA's safety standards. TENORMs in the oil and gas industry may generate greater radioactivity levels, which eventually represents potential environmental and health risks. This will require continuous attention by monitoring and surveillance during routine processes in the petroleum industry. In this paper, a comprehensive review of the published literature is conducted to evaluate the TENORM concentrations in the oil and gas industry. Moreover, their environmental and health hazards in different regions of the world are discussed.