Different cement samples commonly used in building construction in Turkey have been analyzed for natural radioactivity using gamma-ray spectrometry. The mean activity concentrations observed in the cement samples were 52, 40 and 324 Bq kg(-1) for Ra-226, Th-232 and K-40, respectively. The measured activity concentrations for these radionuclides were compared with the reported data of other countries and world average limits. The radiological hazard parameters such as radium equivalent activities (Ra-eq), gamma index (I-gamma) and alpha index (I-alpha) indices as well as terrestrial absorbed dose and annual effective dose rate were calculated and compared with the international data. The Ra-eq values of cement are lower than the limit of 370 Bq kg(-1), equivalent to a gamma dose of 1.5 mSv y(-1). Moreover, the mass attenuation coefficients were determined experimentally and calculated theoretically using XCOM in some cement samples. Also, chemical compositions analyses of the cement samples were investigated. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.