Tag Archives: radionuclides

Protective Action and Planning Guidance for Radiological Incidents



Oxidatively Modified Carbon (OMC) Removes Radioactive Elements

Artur Khannanov, Vadim V. Nekljudov, Airat Kiiamov, Ayrat M. Dimiev. Oxidatively modified carbon as efficient material for removing radionuclides from water. Carbon, Volume 115, May 2017, Pages 394–401http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2017.01.025

There is a constant need to develop advantageous materials for removing radioactive waste from aqueous systems. Here we propose a new carbon-based material prepared by oxidative treatment of various natural carbon sources. The as-prepared oxidatively modified carbon (OMC) has an oxygen-rich surface, and retains its particulate granular texture. It has relatively low cost and can be used in traditional filtration columns. The sorption ability of OMC toward several metal cations is demonstrated. It is especially efficient toward Cs+ cations, the species that are among the most difficult to remove from the waters at the Fukushima nuclear plant. 

Polonium-210 in Drinking Water

Seiler R. 210Po in drinking water, its potential health effects, and inadequacy of the gross alpha activity MCL. The Science of the Total Environment. 2016 Jun 28. pii: S0048-9697(16)30974-3. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.044.

Polonium-210 (210Po) is a naturally-occurring, carcinogenic member of the 238U decay series and the granddaughter of 210Pb. It has a half life of 138.4days and is rarely found in drinking water at levels exceeding 5mBq/L because it strongly binds to aquifer sediment. When the current US Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) covering 210Po was promulgated in December 2000, very little was known about its occurrence and the processes responsible for mobilizing it. More is now known about the processes that mobilize 210Po from sediments and a review of recent occurrence data show that it may not be as rare in the US as the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) thought in 2000. Worldwide, only about 2200 analyses for 210Po in drinking water were identified, with activities exceeding 500mBq/L being found only in Finland, India, Sweden, and the US. The median of 400 210Po analyses from the US is 4.75mBq/L and >10% of the samples exceed 500mBq/L. Current compliance-monitoring regulations in the US essentially guarantee that210Po contamination will not be detected except in very contaminated wells. Major problems with the US Gross Alpha Activity MCL include the volatility of 210Po and extended holding times and sample-compositing methods that can allow the majority of 210Po in a sample bottle to decay before analysis. In light of new information, the radionuclide rule should be changed and direct measurements of210Po should be made in all public-water supply wells to rule out its presence. Much of the important biological and toxicological research on 210Po is more than four decades old and new laboratory research using modern tools is needed. Biological and epidemiological investigations of known contaminated areas are needed to assess the effect 210Po exposure is having on animals and humans consuming the water.

Uranium and Thorium in Drinking Water, Rajasthan, India


The concentrations of238U and232Th have been determined in drinking water samples collected from the Sikar district of Rajasthan State, India. The samples have been analysed by using high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.238U content in water samples ranged from 8.20 to 202.63 µg l-1and232Th content ranged from 0.57 to 1.46 µg l-1 The measured238U content in 25 % of the analysed samples exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Environmental Protection Agency drinking water guidelines of 30 µg l-1and 12.5 % of the samples exceeded the 60 µg l-1Indian maximum acceptable concentration recommended by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, India. The annual effective doses (µSv y-1) due to ingestion of238U and232Th for different age groups were also calculated. The results compared with the recommended value reported by the WHO.

Immune System Effects of Strontium-90

Synhaeve N, Musilli S, Stefani J, Nicolas N, Delissen O, Dublineau I, Bertho JM. Immune System Modifications Induced in a Mouse Model of Chronic Exposure to 90Sr. Radiation research. 2016 Mar 1.

Strontium 90 (90Sr) remains in the environment long after a major nuclear disaster occurs. As a result, populations living on contaminated land are potentially exposed to daily ingesting of low quantities of 90Sr. The potential long-term health effects of such chronic contamination are unknown. In this study, we used a mouse model to evaluate the effects of 90Sr ingestion on the immune system, the animals were chronically exposed to 90Sr indrinking water at a concentration of 20 kBq/l-1, for a daily ingestion of 80-100 Bq/day-1. This resulted in a reduced number of CD19+ B lymphocytes in the bone marrow and spleen in steady-state conditions. In contrast, the results from a vaccine experiment performed as a functional test of the immune system showed that in response to T-dependent antigens, there was a reduction in IgG specific to tetanus toxin (TT), a balanced Th1/Th2 response inducer antigen, but not to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), a strong Th2 response inducer antigen. This was accompanied by a reduction in Th1 cells in the spleen, consistent with the observed reduction in specific IgG concentration. The precise mechanisms by which 90Sr acts on the immune system remain to be elucidated. However, our results suggest that 90Sr ingestion may be responsible for some of the reported effects of internal contamination on the immune system in civilian populations exposed to the Chernobyl fallout.

Uranium in Small Water Systems in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Ostendorp G.[Uranium Concentration in Drinking Water from Small-scale Water Supplies in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.] Gesundheitswesen. 2014 Oct 30. [Article in German]

In this study the drinking water of 212 small-scale water supplies, mainly situated in areas with intensive agriculture or fruit-growing, was analysed for uranium. The median uranium concentration amounted to 0.04 µg/lL, the 95th percentile was 2.5 µg/L. The maximum level was 14 µg/L. This sample exceeded the guideline value for uranium in drinking water. The uranium concentration in small-scale water supplies was found to be slightly higher than that in central water works in Schleswig-Holstein. Water containing more than 10 mg/L nitrate showed significantly higher uranium contents. The results indicate that the uranium burden in drinking water from small wells is mainly determined by geological factors. An additional anthropogenic effect of soil management cannot be excluded. Overall uranium concentrations were low and not causing health concerns. However, in specific cases higher concentrations may occur.

Click here for paper (fee).

Toxicity of X Material, 1943

Ferry, J.L. The toxicity of X material. 1943 A–1341 DOI: 10.2172/150708

This report addresses toxicity (largely chemical) of Manhattan Project materials from the point of worker protection. Known chemical toxicities of X material (uranium), nitrous fumes, fluorine, vanadium, magnesium, and lime are described followed by safe exposure levels, symptoms of exposure, and treatment recommendations. The report closes with an overview of general policy in a question and answer format.

Report is here.