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Concentration of 210Po and 210Pb in macroalgae from the northern Gulf

Uddin, S., Bebhehani, M., Sajid, S., Karam, Q.
Marine pollution bulletin 2019
Sargassum, Ulva prolifera, lead, macroalgae, polonium, seawater, water pollution
This baseline study highlights the 210Po and 210Pb concentration in seven macroalgae species from the northern Gulf that are frequently washed ashore during the bloom season from February to April. The highest concentrations of 210Po and 210Pb were 2.947 ± 0.032 and 1.057 ± 0.145 Bq kg−1 wwt, respectively, in brown algae Sargassum boveanum, and the lowest in green algae Ulva prolifera with 1.533 ± 0.058 and 0.170 ± 0.069 Bq kg−1 wwt, respectively. A 210Po enrichment was observed in both brown and green algae species, with the 210Po/210Pb ratio being >1 for all the samples. The mean concentration of 210Po in all species was an order of magnitude higher than 210Pb, and the difference in mean concentration is statistically significant (p < 0.001). At the same time, the mean concentration of dissolved 210Po and 210Pb in seawater was 0.28 and 0.52 Bq m−3 with a 210Po/210Pb ratio of 0.54 indicating that 210Po was absorbed from water and more concentrated by macroalgae. The measured concentration factor (CF) for 210Po in these macroalgae for the northern Gulf varied between 5 × 103–1 × 104, higher than the IAEA recommended value of 1 × 103 which suggests that a revision of that value may be needed. The field derived CFs for 210Pb vary between 3 × 102–1.8 × 103, comparable to the ICRP recommended value of 2 × 103.