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Bioaccumulation of polonium ((210)Po) and uranium ((234)U, (238)U) in plants around phosphogypsum waste heap in Wislinka (northern Poland)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Borylo, A., Skwarzec B.
Journal:Radiochimica Acta
Volume:99
Pagination:719-731
Keywords:and (238)u, concentration, environmental-samples, menderes basin, natural radioactivity, nonnuclear industries, northern poland, phosphate fertilizers, phosphogypsum waste heap, Plants, polonium (210)po, ra-226, radionuclides, soils, southwestern spain, uranium (234)u, wet marshland
Abstract:

In the study the activities of polonium (210)Po and uranium (234)U, (238)U in plants, collected near phosphogypsum waste heap in Wislinka (northern Poland), were determined by using the alpha spectrometry. The obtained results revealed that the concentrations of (210)Po, (234)U, and (238)U in the analyzed plants were differentiated. In the analyzed flora organisms the highest amounts of polonium and uranium were found in ruderal plant samples as well as willow samples (Salix viminalis) from protection zone of phosphogypsum waste heap. The concentrations of (210)Po, (234)U and (238)U in the analyzed plants were higher in roots than in green parts of plants. The higher concentrations of (210)Po and (238)U radionuclides were estimated for hydrophyte (common sedge Carex nigra Reichard), the favourite habitat of which is particularly wet meadow and for plants collected in the vicinity of phosphogypsum waste heap. The major source of polonium and uranium in analyzed plants is root system. The values of (234)U/(238)U activity ratio in all analyzed plants are closed to one, what indicated that source of uranium in analyzed plants is phoosphogypsum. The highest uranium and polonium concentrations were characterized for plants, which are covered with tomentose. The comparability polonium and uranium contents were confirmed in edible plants, but higher accumulation was determined in ripe species than immature species of vegetables. The higher polonium and uranium concentrations were noticed in green parts of plant, the lower in roots. Polonium concentration in cultivated plants samples was not species diverse. Therefore, the significant source of polonium and uranium in analyzed plants is wet and dry atmospheric falls gathering the soil and air dust from phosphogypsum waste dump. The maximum (210)Po and (238)U radionuclides concentrations were found in green parts of red beet (Beta vulgaris esculenta), the minimum in garden radish (Raphanus radicula). That's interesting too, that both species have hypocotyls tubers, but tuber of red beet is large than garden radish. In our opinion these differences may be connected with turgidity because leaves and root of radish garden were withered.

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