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Natural levels of 210Po in human urine

AutorDíaz-Francés, Inmaculada ; Manjón, Guillermo; Mantero, Juan; García-Tenorio, R.
Fecha de publicación2014
CitaciónICRER 2014
ResumenSince the secret agent Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in 2006 by a 210Po lethal dose, presumably ingested, there is renovated interest on the toxicity of this radionuclide in humans. 210Po is a radioactive isotope naturally found in nature, mainly incorporated by humans via food and water ingestion, as well as inhaled through its progenitor, the 222Rn. The total amount of natural 210Po in the human body can vary from person to person depending on their lifestyle: dietary habits, drinking water source, place of residence (associated with exposure to 222Rn), etc- and therefore in the concentrations of this element to be found in urine. To analyze the influence of dietary habits on the amount of 210Po excreted in urine, two volunteers in Seville had a well-defined and time-varying diet for a month, following a daily collection of their urine and determination of the concentrations therein of this radionuclide. The results obtained and the conclusions derived from them form the core of this communication. 210Po determinations were performed daily in 200 ml aliquots of urine using the technique of high resolution alpha spectrometry. This has involved the application of a single radiochemical method for the concentration and isolation 210Po, followed by its auto-deposition on copper planchets for proper measure. Daily 210Po activity concentrations in voluntary urine analyzed during the month of study show high variability with a difference of up to an order of magnitude between maximum and minimum values obtained, and a clear dependence on the diet type followed in the various stages of the experiment. The lowest concentrations obtained are associated with a diet rich in carbohydrates and proteins 'terrestrial' (pork, beef,...), while the highest concentrations were obtained in the final phase of the experiment when the diet was enriched with presence of marine products in fair correspondence with the highest 210Po content in recent products. The use of urine to monitor a population critical group after a hypothetical terrorist act that involving possible 210Po making inadvertent ingestion or inhalation requires in practice the choice of a reference threshold that allows discrimination between the existing natural 210Po in urine under study and the possible contribution of 210Po anthropogenic. The high variability observed by us naturally 210Po concentrations in urine makes it not far from trivial to set that threshold value, being moreover obvious that its value should not be set based on the choice made in other countries because their dietary habits and lifestyle can be very different. We consider it essential to create a database nationwide 210Po activity concentration in urine associated information in each case on donor diets and lifestyle. This database must contain a statistically representative number of data enough to get them the information necessary for an appropriate choice of the threshold mentioned regional or national scale in possible emergency cases.
DescripciónResumen del póster presentado a la "3rd International Conference on Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity" celebrada en Barcelona (España) del 7 al 12 de septiembre de 2014.
Aparece en las colecciones: (CNA) Comunicaciones congresos
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