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Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) consist of radioactive material that comes out of the earth’s crust and mantle.  Human activity results in increased radiological exposure.  Industries, excluding uranium mining and all associated fuel cycle activities, are known to have NORM issues, include coal mining and combustion, oil and gas production, metal mining and smelting, mineral (rare earth, titanium and zirconium), fertilizer (phosphate), building and recycling.

Actlabs provides NORM radiological testing to determine whether materials meet the safe limits for handling, disposal and transportation. The following radionuclides are usually regulated under the NORM guidelines: Uranium238 series, Thorium230, Radium226, Lead210, Thorium232, Radium228, Thorium228 and Potassium40.

Solids and waters are analyzed using a Gamma Spectroscopy method for the NORM radioactive elements.

Code E14 - Radionuclides Test Packages

The following radiochemical tests are offered for environmental materials.
Nuclide                Method               Water - Detection LimitSolid - Detection Limit
Ra226Alpha Spectrometry 0.005 Bq/L           0.01 Bq/g
Gross α, Gross β L/B Alpha, Beta Counting α = 0.05 Bq/L; β = 0.15 Bq/Lα = 0.05 Bq/g; β = 0.15 Bq/g
Pb210      L/B Alpha, Beta Counting 0.01 Bq/L 0.1 Bq/g
Po210Alpha Spectrometry 0.01 Bq/L 0.01 Bq/g
Th230 and Th232Alpha Spectrometry 0.01 Bq/L 0.01 Bq/g
Ra228Beta Counting 0.01 Bq/L 0.04 Bq/g

Code E15 - Gamma Scan
Method: Gamma Spectrometry

Nuclide                Detection Limit
Pb2100.1 Bq/g
Ra2260.1 Bq/g
Pb2120.05 Bq/g
Pb2140.1 Bq/g
Tl2080.03 Bq/g
Bi2120.05 Bq/g
Bi2140.1 Bq/g
Ac2280.1 Bq/g
K401.0 Bq/g

Many different radioactive elements can be determined by gamma scan in different types of materials.  

















U238 and Th232 are analyzed by HR-ICP-MS.

Code E16A - Equivalent Uranium (eU)
Method: Gamma Spectrometry

NuclideDetection Limit
K401.0 Bq/g
U2380.01 Bq/g
Th2320.01 Bq/g

Code E16B - Uranium Isotopes



Water - Detection Limit

Solid – Detection Limit

Uranium Isotopes

Alpha Spectrometry

0.01 Bq/L

0.01 Bq/g


0.01 Bq/L

0.01 Bq/g


Code E17 - Equilibrium Studies
The most abundant naturally occurring radioactive elements are potassium (K) uranium (U) and thorium (Th). K, eU and eTh are determined by gamma spectrometry from daughter products of the uranium and thorium series. The method assumes that the decay series are in radioactive equilibrium. The samples are sealed and stored for a minimum of 28 days before analysis. When total U, Th and K are determined, it is possible to determine if the samples are in equilibrium with their natural environment or if components have been leached out.

Activation Laboratories Ltd. | 41 Bittern Street, Ancaster, Ontario, L9G 4V5, Canada | TF: +1.888.228.5227
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