Jakarta (ANTARA) - Environmental and health studies on the impact of radiation exposure on people living in areas of high natural radiation, such as Mamuju, West Sulawesi, are necessary, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has said.

A researcher from BRIN’s Research Center for Metrology Safety Technology and Nuclear Quality, Eka Djatnika Nugraha, said that in some places in Indonesia, such as Mamuju, people have been exposed to natural radiation that is several times higher than the global average at around 2.4 millisieverts per year.

"This situation may pose a health risk to the public due to chronic external and internal exposure," Nugraha said in a statement received on Friday.

Mamuju is an area of high natural background radiation due to the high concentration of uranium and thorium in the rocks and soil, he observed.

Thus, studies on the health of people living in such areas could serve as a potential source of information about the effects of chronic low-dose exposure, he added.

In order to obtain scientific evidence on the effects of chronic low-dose radiation exposure on health, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive environmental assessment of the exposure situation in areas of high natural radiation, he elaborated.

Meanwhile, head of BRIN’s Nuclear Energy Research Organization, Rohadi Awaludin, said that it is important to know and understand the safety and protection measures against nuclear radiation technology, especially for everyone involved or in contact with it.

"Nuclear radiation technology, including ionization, has been used and applied to various aspects, including industry and health, food, and others. This technology is the answer to the problems we have, but there are also risks that (one) must be (aware of) from this technology," he added.

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Translator: Martha H S, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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