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Solubility of uranium and thorium from a healing earth in synthetic gut fluids: A case study for use in dose assessments.

Sci. Total Environ. 408, 5794-5800 (2010)
Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
The aim of this case study was to estimate the bioaccessibility of uranium ((238)U) and thorium ((232)Th) from a healing earth by analysing the solubility of these radionuclides in synthetic gastric and intestinal fluids. An easy applicable in vitro test system was used to investigate the fractional mobilization of the soil contaminants being potentially available for absorption under human in vivo conditions. These findings provided the basis for a prospective dose assessment. The solubility experiments were performed using two different in vitro digestion methods. The concentrations of (238)U and (232)Th in the solutions extracted from the soil were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The dissolved fractions in the synthetic gastrointestinal fluid ranged in average from 10.3% to 13.8% for (238)U and from 0.3% to 1.6% for (232)Th, respectively, depending on the digestion method. Subsequently, the committed effective doses from intake of (238)U and (232)Th after ingestion of the healing earth during 1 year were evaluated for adult persons. Thereby ingestion dose coefficients calculated as a function of bioaccessibility were used. The dose assessments ranged between 4.3×10(-7)-1.9×10(-6) Sv y(-1) for (238)U and 5.6×10(-7)-3.3×10(-6) Sv y(-1) for (232)Th, respectively. On the basis of the assumptions and estimations made, the present work indicates a relatively low radiation risk due to (238)U and (232)Th after internal exposure of the healing earth.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Uranium; Thorium; Bioaccessibility; Soil; Ingestion; Dose assessments
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0048-9697
e-ISSN 1879-1026
Quellenangaben Volume: 408, Issue: 23, Pages: 5794-5800 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Elsevier
Reviewing status Peer reviewed