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Challenges 2015, 6(2), 244-257; doi:10.3390/challe6020244

Human Health Impact of Natural and Artificial Radioactivity Levels in the Sediments and Fish of Bonny Estuary, Niger Delta, Nigeria

1
Center for Marine Pollution Monitoring and Seafood Safety, IAEA-FGN RAF7008 TC project, Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Biological Science, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt 500072, Nigeria
2
Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt 500072, Nigeria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Palmiro Poltronieri
Received: 22 September 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 29 October 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
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Abstract

There is widespread contamination of the environment of the Niger Delta, which may include enhanced background levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) due to oil production and rapid urbanization activities. Sediments and seafood from the Bonny estuary, Niger Delta, were collected for the purpose of determining baseline data on artificial and natural radioactivity and estimation of effective doses for the public due to ingestion of seafood from the study area. The highest and lowest activity concentrations were reported for 40K and 137Cs in both sediments and fish samples of the Bonny estuary. There was some evidence of spatial variability in the 40K and 137Cs data, with the latter being the likely result of dredging. Other radionuclides were not significantly different between sites impacted by industrial activities or not. Activity of radionuclides measured in the sediments of the study area were higher than reported elsewhere in the Niger Delta and Nigeria and higher than reported global averages by UNSCEAR. The total highest activity concentration in all fish species of gamma emitting radionuclides was observed for 40K, followed by 238U, 232Th and 226Ra, respectively, while 137Cs had the lowest activity concentration. However, 210Po activities were the most important in terms of dose contribution. Consumption of molluscs at typical rates could result in doses exceeding 1 mSv·y−1. Although this baseline data may not be conclusive on prevailing trends in radioactivity in the study area, higher consumption rates of the species studied may have public health consequences due to effects of low dose ionising radiation. View Full-Text
Keywords: baseline radioactivity; sediment; seafood; bonny estuary; effective dose baseline radioactivity; sediment; seafood; bonny estuary; effective dose
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Babatunde, B.B.; Sikoki, F.D.; Hart, I. Human Health Impact of Natural and Artificial Radioactivity Levels in the Sediments and Fish of Bonny Estuary, Niger Delta, Nigeria. Challenges 2015, 6, 244-257.

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