Ambio

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 778–787 | Cite as

Radioecological impacts of tin mining

  • Abubakar Sadiq Aliyu
  • Timothy Alexander Mousseau
  • Ahmad Termizi Ramli
  • Yakubu Aliyu Bununu
Report

Abstract

The tin mining activities in the suburbs of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, have resulted in technical enhancement of the natural background radiation as well as higher activity concentrations of primordial radionuclides in the topsoil of mining sites and their environs. Several studies have considered the radiological human health risks of the mining activity; however, to our knowledge no documented study has investigated the radiological impacts on biota. Hence, an attempt is made to assess potential hazards using published data from the literature and the ERICA Tool. This paper considers the effects of mining and milling on terrestrial organisms like shrubs, large mammals, small burrowing mammals, birds (duck), arthropods (earth worm), grasses, and herbs. The dose rates and risk quotients to these organisms are computed using conservative values for activity concentrations of natural radionuclides reported in Bitsichi and Bukuru mining areas. The results suggest that grasses, herbs, lichens, bryophytes and shrubs receive total dose rates that are of potential concern. The effects of dose rates to specific indicator species of interest are highlighted and discussed. We conclude that further investigation and proper regulations should be set in place in order to reduce the risk posed by the tin mining activity on biota. This paper also presents a brief overview of the impact of mineral mining on biota based on documented literature for other countries.

Keywords

Tin mining Radioecology Biota Jos Dose rate 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Support for ASA has been through the Post-Doc Fellowship grant number (Q.J130000.21A2.01E98) of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and the Nasarawa State University Keffi, Nigeria. Support for TAM has been provided by the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust and the University of South Carolina College of Arts & Sciences.

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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsNasarawa State UniversityKeffiNigeria
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohorMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Biological Sciences and the Environment and Sustainability ProgramUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Urban and Regional PlanningUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohorMalaysia
  5. 5.Department of Urban and Regional PlanningAhmadu Bello UniversityZariaNigeria

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