, Volume 295, Issue 2, pp 1097-1105

Elemental analysis of fertilizers using X-ray fluorescence and their impact on alpha radioactivity of plants

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Abstract

The fertilizers used for plantation contain different elements including some natural radionuclides with their daughter decay products. The radiological impact of the use of fertilizers may be due to internal irradiation of the lung by the alpha particles, short lived radon-thoron progeny and the external irradiation of the body by gamma ray emitted from the radionuclides. The aim of this study was to estimate the enhanced alpha radioactivity in different parts of plants due to fertilizers and to measure the concentration of different elements present in the fertilizers. A control study was carried out on round gourd plants using different fertilizers. Fertilizers were added to the soil just before the plantation of seeds in the pots. For the measurement of alpha track densities in different parts of plants we used α-sensitive LR-115 type II plastic track detectors. The alpha-track density (T cm−2 days−1) was measured in leaves of plants at different interval of time. The variation in alpha track densities was also observed in root, stem leaf and grain parts of the plants. In case of the plants grown using some phosphate fertilizers the alpha radioactivity was found to be more compared with others. A positive correlation between alpha track densities and mass exhalation rates of radon from different fertilizers has been observed. The concentration of major elements (Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K) along with other elements present in fertilizer samples was measured by X-ray fluorescence analysis.