Human health risk assessment of environmental and dietary exposure to natural radionuclides in the Catalan stretch of the Ebro River, Spain

Martí Nadal, Núria Casacuberta, Jordi Garcia-Orellana, Núria Ferré-Huguet, Pere Masqué, Marta Schuhmacher, José L. Domingo

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study was aimed at assessing the levels of 210Pb and 210Po concentrations as well as gross alpha and beta activities in environmental monitors from the Catalan stretch of the Ebro River (Spain), potentially influenced by the presence of sediments with high concentrations of 238U and its decay chain daughters in the Flix reservoir. The chronic daily intake of 210Pb and 210Po through ingestion and inhalation of soils was evaluated, and the derived non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks were characterized. The low concentration of radioisotopes in soils resulted in a negligible annual effective dose. The levels of 210Pb and 210Po were determined in various groups of highly consumed food (fish and seafood, vegetables, fruits, and rice), and their dietary intake was calculated. The annual effective dose for the adult people from food intake was estimated in 3.3 × 10-2 mSv, mostly due to 210Po. Overall, the current radioactivity levels in the Catalan stretch of the Ebro River should not mean any additional health risk for the population living nearby. However, an integral assessment of the risks derived from exposure to other pollutants (e.g., metals and organochlorine compounds) jointly with radionuclides could be of great interest. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-468
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume175
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Ebro River (Catalonia, Spain)
  • Food
  • Human health risks
  • Radioactivity
  • Soil
  • Water

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