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Geographical origin of bivalve molluscs in coastal areas using natural radioactivity fingerprinting and multivariate statistical analyses: Andalusian coast as case of study

Hurtado-Bermúdez, Santiago, Jurado-González, José Antonio, Santos, Juan Luis, Díaz-Amigo, Carlos Francisco, Aparicio, Irene, Más, José Luis, Alonso, Esteban
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.367 pp. 706-714
Bivalvia, coasts, detection limit, gamma radiation, lead, marine environment, multivariate analysis, polonium, provenance, radioactivity, radionuclides, spectroscopy, thorium, Mediterranean region, Spain
The presence of natural and artificial radionuclides in the marine environment produces the accumulation of radionuclides in bivalve molluscs consumed by humans, and therefore it could result in a radiological hazard. In this study, the activity concentrations of 210Po, 40K, 210Pb and 234Th were determined in different types of bivalve molluscs sampled during the period of May 2014–June 2015, along coastal areas from the Andalusian region (South of Spain), through alpha-particle spectrometry and low-level gamma-ray spectrometry.The activity concentrations of 210Po; 40K; 210Pb and 234Th varied between 40 ± 2 and 515 ± 9 Bq kg−1 dry weight (d.w.); 121 ± 7 and 674 ± 34 Bq kg−1 d.w.; ND (lower than limit of detection) and 73 ± 10 Bq kg−1 d.w.; and ND and 126 ± 27 Bq kg−1 d.w., respectively. The committed effective dose to humans was calculated to range from 41 to 479 μSv year−1. Both activity concentrations and dose levels were comparable to previous studies from other countries. Finally, a multivariate statistical analysis of natural radioactivity content allowed the discrimination between bivalve molluscs from Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.