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Abstract  

The effect of industrial pollution on the behavior of plutonium and americium was evaluated in a pine forest in the vicinity of a Cu-Ni smelter in SW Finland. Soil and vegetation were sampled at distances of 0.5, 2, 4 and 8 km from the smelter. The vertical distribution of plutonium and americium was studied in litter, organic layer and mineral layers. The amount of Pu and Am in the litter layer increased and that in the organic layer decreased towards the smelter. Concentrations of plutonium and americium in different vegetation species decreased in the order mushrooms > lichens (Cladina spp., Cetraria islandica) > Empetrum nigrum > Vaccinium vitis-idaea.

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Abstract  

During the course of field work in the Chamonix-Argentière area of the Western Alps of France, low pH's (by field testing) were measured in soils of later Pleistocene and Holocene age. Subsequently, data derived from laboratory investigations showed high electrical conductivities (mainly from high SO 4 2– ) and pH values as low as 3.9 in epipedons of Inceptisols and Spodosols. Proximity to coal-fired electrical generating stations and industrial activity in le Fayet and Sallanches (20 km to Northwest) may generate considerable output of SO 4 2– ions which, along with arsenic, antimony and bromine, survive transport up valley by anabatic wind systems. Because the country rock in the Chamonix area is largely an acidic crystalline complex of granite and gneiss, the tendency for lower pH's in the surface soils may have a disastrous effect on the coniferous forests in the area.

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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  

Due to the significance of industrial waste water pollution, which creates severe health hazards in humans, this study concentrates over the reduction and determination of the amounts of toxic metals/pollution parameters in the effluents leached from different processes of the textile industry. The concentrations of metal ions were measured by using neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique. The values of toxic metals such as As (49.1 ± 1.8 mg/L), Cu (42.7 ± 1.5 mg/L), Ni (41.1 ± 3.3 mg/L), Mn (51.1 ± 0.7 mg/L), Sb (1.89 ± 0.04 mg/L), Se (0.41 ± 0.01 mg/L), Co (7.5 ± 0.3 mg/L), Cr (8.5 ± 0.5 mg/L) and Cd (1.21 ± 0.08 mg/L) were found very high in crude textile’s effluents as compared to their standard recommended limits. The immense variation observed among the injurious pollutants of the effluents i.e. pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, turbidity, biological oxygen demands, chemical oxygen demands, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, total solids etc. The toxic metals and injurious pollutants in the unprocessed effluents have been reduced in the post filtration effluents up to 98% and 96% respectively with the help of an ultra-filtration membrane therapy unit.

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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  

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  

The elemental microdistributions of peripheral and central parts of the lichen Flavoparmelia caperata exposed to industrial pollution were analysed, in order to better understand the elements distribution patterns in relation to the lichen constitution, thereby increasing our knowledge on uptake and release mechanisms. Nuclear microscopy techniques were used to visualize elemental distributions in sample transepts and associate their concentrations to sample morphology. The distribution data of the elements studied suggests there is biological regulation of internal concentrations. Considering thallus parts, element-specific internal translocation should be taken into account as one more factor affecting lichen “memory length”.

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Abstract  

The elemental composition of pine trees as a function of age was achieved by the tree-ring method. By using instrumental neutron activation analysis, trace elements were determined in individual rings ofPinus elliottii var.elliottii of 32, 14 and 9 years, from an implanted forest ofPinus sp., Buri, São Paulo, far away from industrial pollution. Different components of the system such as needles, pith, bark, soil and litter were also analyzed for 18 elements (As, Br, Ce, Co, Cs, Eu, Fe, Hf, K, La, Mn, Na, Rb, Sc, Sm, Yb, Zn, and Zr). Al, B, Ba, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, and P concentrations were determined by atomic absorption and/or emission spectrometry (AAS; ICP-AES). Some elements have showed similar radial distribution of the concentration for the three ages. Abrupt concentration changes in the pith and ring-bark boundary corresponding to the first and last growth rings were observed.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: K. Bunzl, M. Puhakainen, I. Riekkinnen, P. Karhu, W. Schimmack, T. Heikinnen, T. Jaakkola, V. Nikonov, V. Pavlov, T. Rahola, K. Rissanen, M. Suomela, M. Tillander, and M. Äyräs

Abstract  

The industrial pollution of an ecosystem, e.g., by heavy metals, might also affect the behavior of fallout radionuclides in the soils of these areas. To study such effects, we determined at various distances from the huge copper-nickel smelters at Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula (Russia) and at a reference site: (1) the vertical distribution of fallout 137Cs,90Sr and239+240Pu in the soil, (2) the corresponding residence half-times in different soil horizons, and (3) the resulting external gamma-dose rates at these sites in 1 m height due to 137Cs in the soil. The data show that the residence half-times and the partitioning of the fallout radionuclides among the various soil horizons depend significantly on the extent of the heavy metal pollution at the sites. The resulting external gamma-dose rate in 1 m height due to 137Cs in the soil is, however, rather similar at the various sites.

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Abstract  

This study is a one-year monitoring of the inhalable particulate matter (PM10) of Shanghai (from January 2006 to December 2006) to study PM10 pollution. Proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) was used to investigate the chemical elements in Shanghai PM10. The study finds seasonal variation in both mass concentration and of chemical elements in PM10. The results of the enrichment factor show that the chemical elements in the inhalable particles could be divided into two categories, soil elements from earth crust and anthropogenic pollution elements. The high enrichment factors suggest that anthropogenic activities were the dominant source for elements such as S, Cu, Cl, Zn, Pb and Br. Strong correlation of K, Ca, Fe and Ti, from factor analysis, indicates these elements coming from earth crust or soil, S, Zn and Pb from industrial pollution and/or traffic and Cl from coal combustion.

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