Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 314, Issue 2, pp 1367–1373 | Cite as

Study of uranium toxicity using low-background gamma-ray spectrometry

  • A. Srivastava
  • V. Chahar
  • V. Sharma
  • Y. Sun
  • R. Bol
  • F. Knolle
  • E. Schnug
  • F. Hoyler
  • N. Naskar
  • S. Lahiri
  • R. Patnaik


The natural activity of 238U, 232Th and 40K present in soil, fertilizer and palaeosols besides animal fossils was determined using low background gamma ray spectrometry. The highest uranium activity level were found in animal fossils of geogenic origin compared to palaeosols, soils and fertilizers, a result of post-mortem uranium assimilation in these fossils via diagenetic processes. Hence, geogenic mobilization is likely a major cause of elevated uranium levels in Malwa region of Punjab, also known for higher than normal cancer incidence.


Uranium Animal fossils Gamma-ray spectrometry Cancer Diagenetic processes 



The authors are grateful to Prof. M. Caffee, Director, Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement (PRIME) Laboratory, Purdue University, USA and Prof. S. Good, Biological and Ecological Engineering Department, Oregon State University, USA for their valuable suggestions to obtain more meaningful information from the data collected. Alok Srivastava is thankful to Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany for providing fund to carry part of the research work in Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Juelich, Germany. Vikash Chahar is grateful to UGC for Junior Research Fellowship. Rajeev Patnaik was supported by MOES project (MoES/P.O. (Geoscience)/46/2015). The gamma ray spectrometric experimental facility provided through UGC-CAS funding to Department of Chemistry, Panjab University, Chandigarh used for initial screening of the samples is also thankfully acknowledged. The support from Department of Atomic Energy through TULIP program to SINP is also gratefully acknowledged. N. Naskar is thankful to UGC for providing Research Fellowship. The contribution of Mr. S. Mohr from Harz National Park, Goslar, Germany in the form of drawing the figures is also gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Srivastava
    • 1
  • V. Chahar
    • 1
  • V. Sharma
    • 1
  • Y. Sun
    • 2
  • R. Bol
    • 2
  • F. Knolle
    • 3
  • E. Schnug
    • 4
  • F. Hoyler
    • 5
  • N. Naskar
    • 6
    • 7
  • S. Lahiri
    • 6
    • 7
  • R. Patnaik
    • 8
  1. 1.Chemistry Department, Centre for Advance StudiesPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, IBG-3 AgrosphereForschungzentrum JuelichJülichGermany
  3. 3.Geo Park Harz, Braunschweiger Land, Ostfalen NetworkGoslarGermany
  4. 4.Department of life SciencesTechnical University of BraunschweigBrunswickGermany
  5. 5.Nuclear Science DivisionAachen University of Applied SciencesJülichGermany
  6. 6.Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  7. 7.Chemical Sciences DivisionSaha Institute of Nuclear PhysicsKolkataIndia
  8. 8.Geology DepartmentPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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