An Investigation on a Possible Correlation Between Skeletal Anomalies of Salmo trutta fario Samples and Internal and External Exposure to Ionizing Radiation

  • Francesco CaridiEmail author
  • Alberto Belvedere
  • Maurizio D’Agostino
  • Santina Marguccio
  • Francesca Scopelliti
  • Carmelo Iaria
  • Giovanna Belmusto
Research paper


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.


Radioactivity 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.


  1. Advanced Gamma-Spectrometry Software (2018) Angle user guide, efficiency calculations for semiconductor and scintillation detectorsGoogle Scholar
  2. Baldini E, Bettoli MB, Tubertini O (1987) Measurements on Chernobyl fallout in forest vegetation. Inorg Chim Acta 140:331–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnthouse LW (1995) Effects of ionizing radiation on terrestrial plants and animals: a workshop report. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak RidgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Caridi F, D’Agostino M, Belvedere A, Marguccio S, Belmusto G (2016a) Radon radioactivity in groundwater from the Calabria region, south of Italy. J Instrum 11:P05012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Caridi F, Marguccio S, D’Agostino M, Belvedere A, Belmusto G (2016b) Natural radioactivity and metal contamination of river sediments in the Calabria region, south of Italy. Eur Phys J Plus 131:155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caridi F, D’Agostino M, Marguccio S, Belvedere A, Belmusto G, Marcianò G, Sabatino G, Mottese A (2016c) Radioactivity, granulometric and elemental analysis of river sediments samples from the coast of Calabria, South of Italy. Eur Phys J Plus 131:136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caridi F, Marguccio S, Belvedere A, Belmusto G, Marcianò G, Sabatino G, Mottese A (2016d) Natural radioactivity and elemental composition of beach sands in the Calabria region, south of Italy. Environ Earth Sci 75(7):1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Caridi F, D’Agostino M, Belvedere A, Marguccio S, Belmusto G, Gatto MF (2016e) Diagnostics techniques and dosimetric evaluations for environmental radioactivity investigations. J Instrum 11:C10012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Caridi F, D’Agostino M, Messina M, Marcianò G, Grioli L, Belvedere A, Marguccio S, Belmusto G (2017a) Lichens as environmental risk detectors. Eur Phys J Plus 132:189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Caridi F, Belvedere A, D’Agostino M, Marguccio S (2017b) 137Cs activity concentration in mosses in the Calabria region, south of Italy. J Instrum 12:P05001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Caridi F, Marguccio S, Belvedere A, D’Agostino M, Belmusto G (2018) The natural radioactivity in food: a comparison between different feeding regimes. Curr Nutr Food Sci (in press)Google Scholar
  12. Cirrincione R, Fazio E, Fiannacca P, Ortolano G, Pezzino A, Punturo R, Romano V, Sacco V (2012) 86th National Congress of the Italian Geology Society. Arcavacata di Rende, CosenzaGoogle Scholar
  13. Eisler R (1988) Arsenic hazard to fish, wildlife and invertebrates: a synoptic review. Patuxent Wildlife Research center, Biological Report n. 12Google Scholar
  14. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (1992) Effects of ionizing radiation on plants and animals at levels implied by current radiation protection standards, Technical Reports Series No. 332Google Scholar
  15. Iurian AR, Hofmann W, Lettner H, Turk R, Cosma C (2010) Long term study of Cs-137 concentrations in lichens and mosses. Environ Phys 13:983–992Google Scholar
  16. Jungwirth M, Winkler H (1984) The temperature dependence of embryonic development of grayling (Thymallus thymallus), Danube salmon (Hucho hucho), Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and brown trout (Salmo trutta fario). Aquaculture 38(4):315–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ortec Gamma Vision-32 v. 6 (2010)Google Scholar
  18. Svalastog D (1991) A note on maximum age of brown trout, Salmo trutta L. J Fish Biol. 38(6):967–968CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© University of Tehran 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Protection Agency of Calabria, Italy (ARPACal), Department of Reggio CalabriaReggio CalabriaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed AmbientaliUniversità di MessinaMessinaItaly

Personalised recommendations