An Investigation on a Possible Correlation Between Skeletal Anomalies of Salmo trutta fario Samples and Internal and External Exposure to Ionizing Radiation
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In this article, a comprehensive study was carried out to quantify the specific activity of natural and anthropogenic radionuclides in Salmo trutta fario samples and in various environmental matrices, characteristic of the aquatic ecosystem where these fish live. All analyzed samples came from the Calabria region, southern Italy, and, in particular, from the Italian National Park of Aspromonte, a nature reserve in the district of Reggio Calabria. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible correlation between the skeletal anomalies of the analyzed trout specimens and a possible radioactive contamination of them (internal exposure) and of the surrounding environment (external exposure). With regard to the S. t. fario samples, a composite muscle specimen was analyzed in terms of 137Cs- and 40K-specific activity. In reference to the surrounding environmental matrices, for lichens, mosses (aquatic vegetation), and river sediments, 137Cs activity concentration was investigated; for surface water, also total alpha, total beta, and tritium-specific activity were detected. Obtained results exclude the presence of radioactivity and, therefore, suggest investigating other possible causes of these anomalies, such as the presence of heavy metals in the muscle and in the spine or a high parasitic charge in the fish themselves.
KeywordsRadioactivity Salmo trutta fario trout Environmental matrices Gamma spectrometry Liquid scintillation
The authors thank Prof. G. Bombino, Dr. A. Siclari, Dr. L. Pelle, and Dr. S. Santagati, of the Italian National Park of Aspromonte, for the useful technical support given to this work.
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