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Environmental Health

, 3:5

First Online: 06 May 2004Received: 17 December 2003Accepted: 06 May 2004DOI: 10.1186-1476-069X-3-5

Cite this article as: Cazzola, P., Cena, A., Ghignone, S. et al. Environ Health 2004 3: 5. doi:10.1186-1476-069X-3-5


BackgroundRadioisotopes are introduced into the environment following nuclear power plant accidents or nuclear weapons tests. The immobility of these radioactive elements in uppermost soil layers represents a problem for human health, since they can easily be incorporated in the food chain. Preventing their assimilation by plants may be a first step towards the total recovery of contaminated areas.

MethodsThe possibility of displacing radionuclides from the most superficial soil layers and their subsequent stabilisation at lower levels were investigated in laboratory trials. An experimental system reproducing the environmental conditions of contaminated areas was designed in plastic columns. A radiopolluted soil sample was treated with solutions containing ions normally used in fertilisation NO3, NH4, PO4 and K.

ResultsContaminated soils treated with an acid solution of ions NO3, PO4 and K, undergo a reduction of radioactivity up to 35%, after a series of washes which simulate one year-s rainfall. The capacity of the deepest soil layers to immobilize the radionuclides percolated from the superficial layers was also confirmed.

ConclusionThe migration of radionuclides towards deeper soil layers, following chemical treatments, and their subsequent stabilization reduces bioavailability in the uppermost soil horizon, preventing at the same time their transfer into the water-bearing stratum.

List of abbreviationsDPMDisintegrations Per Minute

mmHgmillimeters of mercury

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1476-069X-3-5 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Pietro Cazzola - Agostino Cena - Stefano Ghignone - Maria C Abete - Sergio Andruetto

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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