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  • Author or Editor: M. Arif x
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Abstract  

Pakistan is an agricultural country, yet it is facing a serious threat due to the shortage of water resources and degradation of the agricultural land by the pollution of industrial effluents. A limited number of the current industries are equipped with proper operating treatment plants. Generally, the untreated effluents are disposed off to the open environment which is used for irrigation purposes. Therefore, vegetables and crops grown around the industrial areas is a major potential source of metal poisoning which pose a serious risk to the general public. Hence, study of the toxicity level in vegetables and crops is highly desirable. In this regard, systematic studies have been carried out to determine concentration levels of toxic elements in the samples of vegetables, crops, effluents and soil collected from the industrial areas of the Faisalabad. After processing, these samples were analyzed using neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption spectrometric techniques. The highest concentrations of toxic metals were observed for As (2.73 ± 0.34) in cabbage, Cd (1.5 ± 0.1), Ni (5.1 ± 0.9) and Pb (4.3 ± 0.2) in corn, Co (0.65 ± 0.02), and Sb (0.09 ± 0.01) in carrot, Cr (9.63 ± 1.3), Mn (46.5 ± 4.2) and Se (1.03 ± 0.1) in millet, Cu (11.3 ± 1.1) in tomato vegetables and crop samples. Although, the observed toxicity levels in vegetables and crop samples were higher than those grown in non-industrial areas, yet these toxicity levels are within the safe recommended limits.

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Abstract  

Due to the inadequate water sources, usually sewerage water and industrial effluents are being use for irrigation of the agricultural land around the industrial areas in Pakistan wherein crops and vegetables are cultivated. As untreated effluents contain heavy elements, toxic metals and organic pollutants that may find its way through food chain to general public and may cause health hazards. It is, therefore, mandatory to assess the toxic metals in such crops and vegetables. In this regard, samples of corn, millet, cabbage, spinach and potato were collected within the vicinity of industrial areas of the Faisalabad and Gujranwala regions. The food samples were analyzed using neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique. The highest concentration values of Arsenic (1.9 ± 0.1 μg/g) and Cobalt (0.85 ± 0.01 μg/g) were found in cabbage whereas Manganese (91.6 ± 0.2 μg/g), Antimony (0.15 ± 0.03 μg/g) and Selenium (1.1 ± 0.1 μg/g) were observed in spinach and Chromium (9.63 ± 1.3 μg/g) was found in millet crop. The observed concentrations of all the toxic and heavy metals in crops and vegetables are higher than those reported in the literature.

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Abstract  

The synthesis of 188Re-MAG3 is described using 188Re, which was obtained from the alumina based 188W/188Re generator. Dependence of the radiolabeling yields of 188Re-MAG3 on reducing agent concentration, Bz-MAG3 concentration, pH, temperature and incubation time was examined. In the case of optimum conditions the yield of 188Re-MAG3 was 98%. TLC and HPLC techniques were employed to monitor the different species formed. Biodistribution study of 188Re-MAG3 was carried out in rats and compared with behavior of 99mTc-MAG3.

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Abstract  

Hydroxyapatite (HA), a natural constituent of bone, was synthesized. HA particles were radiolabeled with 188Re. Radiolabeling efficiency was 95%. In vitro studies showed 5% loss of activity from particles in normal saline over a period of 2 days, whereas a dissociation rate of 9% was observed in human serum albumin.

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Abstract  

The k 0 method has been introduced at the 30 kW miniaturized neutron source reactor (MNSR) at the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology (PINSTECH). It involved the full energy peak efficiency calibration of the HPGe detector for different counting geometries and the characterization of the neutron flux at four inner irradiation channels. The latter involved the determination of the thermal to the epithermal flux ratio, epithermal flux shape factor, the modified spectral index, Westcott’s g-factor, the Maxwellian neutron temperature and the fast flux. The method was validated by analyzing IAEA-SL1 (Lake Sediment) and NIST-SRM-1572 (Citrus Leaves) reference materials. All calculations were performed in Excel, including the optimization step. The results revealed that most of the elements were estimated with less than 10% relative deviation from the certified value.

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Abstract  

Size fractionated PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 airborne particulates collected from the airport housing society site in Rawalpindi were characterized using the non destructive ion beam analysis method. Proton induced X-ray emission and Proton induced gamma ray emission were employed to quantify 28 trace elements in fine and coarse filter samples. The average PM2.5 and PM2.5–10 masses were found to be 15.7 and 144 μg/m3, respectively which, when combined exceed the Pakistani limit for PM10 of 100 μg/m3. The average black carbon (BC) content was found to be 3.49 and 5.95 μg/m3 corresponding to 23.8 and 4.30% of the fine and coarse masses, respectively. The reconstructed mass (RCM) was calculated for both particle modes using 5 pseudo sources, namely soil, sulfate, smoke, sea salt and BC. It was found that 5 sources could account for 80.6 and 49.0% of the fine and coarse masses, respectively. The low value of RCM for the coarse mode may imply a much higher organic content. The major sources contributing to the fine mode were soil, sulfate and BC. Similarly for the coarse mass fraction it was found that soil was the major source whereas the sulfate and BC sources did not contribute as much.

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Abstract  

The indiscriminate discharge of untreated industrial effluents and solid wastes into the open environment poses a serious threat to the ecosystem. Gujranwala is an industrial city of Pakistan wherein a large number of different industries are situated and majority of them are not equipped with proper recycling or effluent treatment plants. Unfortunately, untreated industrial effluents are locally used for the irrigation purposes which may result in higher concentrations of toxic metals in the crops and vegetables. Therefore, prime objective of the present study was to determine concentrations of toxic metals in the polluted soils, vegetables and crops grown in the vicinity of industrial areas using neutron activation analysis technique. The results obtained showed higher values of toxic metals in the studied samples. The observed highest concentration of As (0.94 ± 0.06) in spinach, Br (69 ± 9) in turnip, Co (0.83 ± 0.01) in millet, Cr (51.7 ± 4.2) in wheat, Mn (76.2 ± 7.3) in tomato, Sb (0.5 ± 0.06) in rice, Cl (31698 ± 3921) and Se (3.4 ± 0.4) in carrot. These values are higher than those reported in the literature.

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Abstract  

The thermal behavior of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) was studied in the presence of AlBr3 using TG-DTA-DTG, IR and Py-GC-MS techniques. Degradation products were identified. It was found that PMMA started degrading at a lower temperature due to the generation of free radicals (Br), being the product of decomposition of AlBr3. Despite early destabilization of the system, stabilization zone was also highlighted. Flammability test was conducted to check the affectivity of AlBr3. Degradation mechanism has been proposed. Pyrolysis of the system (PMMA–AlBr3) was also monitored by heating it at different temperatures.

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Abstract  

Neutron activation analysis was used for the determination of 29 trace impurities is high-purity semiconductor grade Ge and Si. In order to determine very low contents of uranium and thorium,239Np and233Pa activation products were separated using anion exchange and LaF3 coprecipitation methods. The impurity contents were found to be very low, and therefore their adverse effects would be negligible.

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Abstract  

IAEA and NBS biological certified reference materials have been analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis and concentration of 17 elements was determined. The elements determined were either completely missing or their certified values were not given in the original compilations. For quality assurance of our work, a comparison of data on missing trace elements in some of the CRMs has been presented. It seems that second round of analysis for the certification of these elements would be useful.

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