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Radioecology and Substance Interaction with Nature

  • Arnab Banerjee
  • Manoj Kumar Jhariya
  • Dhiraj Kumar Yadav
  • Abhishek Raj
  • Ram Swaroop Meena
Chapter

Abstract

Radioactive substances have their origin since the inception of earth. The warming of earth surface still takes place through radioactive disintegration of radionuclides (Rn). Rn may often pose danger to human civilization due to their environmental fate. Proper knowledge regarding the origin, distribution, exposure and impact of radioactive substances has become the need of the hour in the form of radioecology. Among the 340 atoms of different naturally occurring nuclides, 70 species are radioactive substances. These substances are found throughout the environment including the human body. Human and other living organisms are often exposed to various levels of Rn through background concentration as well as through artificial radioactivity. It was observed that the growth of science and technology has made living organisms more vulnerable towards environmental radioactivity. Various historic events have taken place which created the urgency to have knowledge in radioecology. After the incidence of Chernobyl in 1986, an area of more than 4500 km2 was contaminated through various Rn. The impact of Rn was visualized at various levels and types of ecosystem as revealed from the Fukushima and Chernobyl disaster incidence. Hazards of radiation have necessitated to generate a baseline data of radioecological impacts on ecosystem. As per Spiers radium-226 is the most prevalent radioactive particle, and its value was 2.6–2.7, 0.2–0.3, 0.8–1.6, 1.3–1.7, 2.4–3.3, 0.8, 3.1–3.7, 0.9 and 0.6–0.9 picocuries per kilogram in various food commodities such as bread, milk, potato (Solanum tuberosum), vegetables, root vegetables, rice (Oryza sativa), eggs, fish and fresh meat. Originally, mobilization of Rn along with their impacts on various components of the environment becomes the central theme of radioecological studies. For safety and risk reduction, proper management of natural and artificial radioactivity is the essential prerequisite. For effective management, data should be procured through field-level studies as was revealed from Fukushima and Chernobyl incidents. Policy formulation and strategy buildup are required to address the issues of radiation hazards, and their adaptive measures through reducing the risk of exposure and overall public awareness are the most important aspect. Future research should be promoted in order to propagate the knowledge built within radioecological perspectives.

Keywords

Food chain Radionuclides Radioecology Trophic level 

Abbreviations

C

Carbon

CS

Caesium

CF

Concentration factor

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

K

Potassium

NPP

Nuclear power plant

OPRI

Office de protection contre les rayonnements ionisants

RC

Radiocaesium

Rn

Radionuclides

Sr

Strontium

TF

Transfer factor

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnab Banerjee
    • 1
  • Manoj Kumar Jhariya
    • 2
  • Dhiraj Kumar Yadav
    • 2
  • Abhishek Raj
    • 3
  • Ram Swaroop Meena
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceSarguja UniversityAmbikapurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Farm ForestrySarguja UniversityAmbikapurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Forestry, College of AgricultureIndira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (I.G.K.V.)RaipurIndia
  4. 4.Department of Agronomy, Institute of Agricultural SciencesBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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