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Abstract  

The concentrations of extractable organohalogens (EOX) and extractable persistent organohalogens (EPOX) in placenta, umbilical cord and hair of mothers delivering disabled or normal newborns as well as the compositions of EPOCl in three analyzed matrices were determined by a combination of NAA, gas chromatography and chemical separation. The results indicated that both EOX and EPOX decreased in the order: hair > umbilical cord > placenta. Organochlorines were the major fraction of organohalogens. More than 77% of EPOCl were unidentified. High organohalogens exposure may induce adverse health effects, and hair, as a biomonitor for organohalogens assessment, is more recommendable.

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Abstract  

In this study, Canoparmelia texana lichenized fungi species was used as a passive biomonitor of the atmospheric pollution from the industrial city of São Mateus do Sul, PR, Brazil. Lichen samples collected from tree barks were cleaned, freeze-dried and analyzed by neutron activation analysis. Comparisons were made between the element concentrations obtained in lichens from this city and that from a clean area of Atlantic Forest in Intervales Park, SP. The high concentrations of elements As, Ca, Co, Cr, Fe, Hf, Sb, and Th found in lichens could be attributed to the emissions from a ceramic and an oil shale plants.

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Summary  

Lichens as biomonitors and neutron activation analysis as analytical technique have been employed to evaluate the trace element atmospheric pollution in the metropolitan area of the city of Pavia (Northern Italy). Transplanted lichens (Parmelia sulcata and Usnea gr. hirta) and air particulate matter have been monthly collected and analyzed during the winter 2001-2002. INAA and ET-AAS have been used for the determination of 28 elements in air particulate matter and 25 elements in lichens. Trace metals concentrations as well as the corresponding enrichment factors were evaluated and compared.

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Abstract  

Neutron activation analysis was applied to the determination of theelements Al, As, Ba, Br, Cl, Co, Cr, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc, Ti,Th, V, Zn, and the rare earths La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Tb and Yb in the epiphyticbromeliad Tillandsia usneoides. The samples were collected at an unpollutedarea and exposed in different sites of the city of So Paulo, Brazil,and in a control site outside So Paulo. The results obtained showedan accumulation of Al, As, Cr, Fe, Mo, Sb, Ti, V and Zn elements in Tillandsiausneoides exposed in polluted sites, indicating a promising potential of thisspecies as a biomonitor of air pollution in So Paulo.

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Abstract  

Hair analysis is extensively used in forensic sciences, assessment of occupational or environmental exposure and in some cases also for clinical and nutritional studies. Hair has a series of advantages in relation to other biomonitors, like blood and urine, since it is very easy to collect, very stable at room temperature and it represents not only instantaneous concentrations, but it can reveal the exposure along a given period of time. The assessment of environmental or occupational exposure to uranium is generally done by means of urine analysis, although a few papers have described attempts to use hair as a biomonitor. In the present work, epithermal neutron activation analysis has been used to establish base-line concentrations for a Brazilian populational group, living in Sao Paulo and not exposed to uranium, either environmentally or occupationally. For quality control, the reference materials Pine Needles NIST 1575 and Basalt USGS BCR-1 were used. The concentrations obtained for the control population studied up to now varied from about 2 to 50 ng·g−1.

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Abstract  

Participation in inter-comparison programs is an important process to enhance the accuracy and precision of the analytical techniques. The Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis laboratory (INAA) at Egypt Second Research Reactor (ETRR-2), ETRR-2 INAA Laboratory, was participated in three inter-comparison tests organized by AFRA Research Reactor Project for Socio-economic development. AFRAIV-12 Inter-laboratory Analysis Test 2007 is the third inter-laboratory analysis test within that project. The laboratories were asked to analyze for 43 essential and toxic elements using nuclear and related analytical techniques, with neutron activation analysis as the common technique. Five materials were distributed to the participants representing foodstuff, medicinal plants and aquatic biomonitors according to the focus of the AFRA IV-12 2006–2010 project. In this paper the ETRR-2 INAA Laboratory results is evaluated.

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Abstract  

Capabilities of black poplar-tree (Populus nigra L.) bark as a biomonitor of atmospheric air pollution by chemical elements were tested against epiphytic lichens Xanthoria parietina (L.) and Physcia adscendens (Fr.). Concentrations of 40 macro and trace elements were determined using epicadmium and instrumental NAA. The data obtained were processed using non-parametric tests. A good correlation was found between concentrations of majority of elements in bark and lichens. On the accumulation capability bark turned out to be competitive with both lichens examined. The main inorganic components of black poplar-tree bark were revealed. A substrate influence on the concentrations of some elements in epiphytic lichens was established. An optimized procedure of bark pre-irradiation treatment was suggested.

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Abstract  

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been promoting studies on air pollution since 1992. During the period 1992–1999 there have been six major co-ordinated research and regional technical co-operation projects in which 77 counterparts from 40 Member States actively participated. The studies supported by the IAEA have included ambient and workplace airborne particulate matter, the use of appropriate plant biomonitors and a series of laboratory intercomparison exercises in support to these projects. Recent and current IAEA projects in this field are reviewed in the light of the application of neutron activation analysis, which has been used as a major analytical technique by more than two thirds of the counterparts, and contributed also approximately two thirds of all analytical results for the intercomparison exercises.

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Abstract  

The increased pollution in the aquatic ecosystem has led to the investigation of toxic elements in sea water by using marine organisms to assess marine pollution from human activities. Among these organisms, the mollusks bivalves have been used as biomonitors since they can accumulate trace elements and other substances, without the occurrence of their death. In this study, Perna perna mussels were transplanted from a mussel farm (reference region) to four sites located in coastal regions of São Paulo State, Brazil, close to anthropic discharge areas. Vanadium was determined in mussel tissues by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Quality control of V analysis was checked by analyzing biological reference materials and the results obtained were precise and in good agreement with the certified values. Comparisons between the V concentrations obtained in transplanted mussels indicated that those from São Sebastião region, close to an oil terminal presented the highest concentration of this element, during spring.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: B. Markert, O. Wappelhorst, V. Weckert, U. Herpin, U. Siewers, K. Friese, and G. Breulmann

Abstract  

Biomonitoring is a method of observing the impact of external factors on ecosystems and their development over a long period, or of ascertaining differences between one location and another. A monitor suitable for the subject of the investigation must be chosen, and the comparability of the element concentrations thus determined (both within the investigation and with other studies) must be ensured by adhering to precise sampling guidelines. In addition to the small amount of equipment required, the advantages of biomonitoring lie in the ecosystem approach that permits conclusions going beyond the biomonitor itself. Attention has to be given to the factors that may affect element concentrations and which can lead to incorrect statements if ignored.

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