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Evolution of persistent anthropogenic radioactivity in Antarctic ecosystems
Triulzi, C.; Giuliani, S.; Jia, G.; Vaghi, M. (2004). Evolution of persistent anthropogenic radioactivity in Antarctic ecosystems. Int. J. Environ. Anal. Chem. 84(6-7): 505-512. hdl.handle.net/10.1080/03067310310001659979
In: International journal of environmental and analytical chemistry. Taylor & Francis: Amsterdam. ISSN 0306-7319, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Plutonium; Pollution; Radioecology; Marine
Author keywords
    137Cs; 241Am

Authors  Top 
  • Triulzi, C.
  • Giuliani, S.
  • Jia, G.
  • Vaghi, M.

Abstract
    The primary objective of this study was to observe the evolution of anthropogenic radioactivity contamination in the Antarctic continent throughout the period 1997–1999. Moreover, results have been compared with those obtained for previous expeditions, starting from 1987. As far as 137Cs is concerned, interesting considerations could be made due to the great amount of available data. On the whole, radioactive contamination seems to be higher in continental than in marine environments. For lake algae, contamination seems to decrease gradually in the order: Tarn Flat, Edmondson Point, Carezza Lake. Focusing on 137Cs activity data, a clear temporal decreasing trend was observed in all samples: for sea water, values decreased from mean values of 0.9?Bq/m3 in 1987 to 0.5?Bq/m3 in 1999, a 56% decrease (20% of the total is due to natural decay of 137Cs). For lake waters and lake algae, the decreases are higher (80 and 30%, respectively) and the same can be assessed for sediments and soils, even if the resulting distributions are more complicated. The highest values for all radionuclides analysed were detected in terrestrial organisms (mosses, lake algae, and lichens). As a consequence, these matrices appear to be good bioindicators of radioactive contamination. Finally, although the Antarctic continent is affected by some degree by anthropogenic radioactive pollution, our results for 137Cs show that we are facing a progressive decrease. Moreover, contamination in other parts of the world is much higher: from 6–10 times in the Mediterranean Sea and 20–50 times in the North Sea and Black Sea.

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