Health Risk Assessment Associated with Abandoned Copper and Uranium Mine Tailings

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the dose rate and pollution level of Ciudanovita, Lisava, Anina, and Moldova Noua mining tailing dumps. In order to accomplish this, soil samples were collected according to LUCAS 2009/2012, in the summer of 2017. To start with, these samples were measured in situ for dose rate and revealed some interesting aspects, following this, they were investigated in the laboratory using different physico-chemical methods for more complex data. Therefore, two techniques have been used for structural investigation that revealed some particularities in terms of morphology, color and shape (optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy) and, two for chemical composition (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry), which provided the qualitative confirmation of chemical groups involved in soil composition along with the heavy and radioactive metals presence (i.e. Pb, U, Cu, Cr, Cd, Ni, Zn, and Mn), expressed also by contamination factor.

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Correspondence to Cristiana Radulescu.

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Pehoiu, G., Radulescu, C., Murarescu, O. et al. Health Risk Assessment Associated with Abandoned Copper and Uranium Mine Tailings. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 102, 504–510 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-019-02570-9

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Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • Tailings dumps
  • Dose rate
  • SEM
  • FTIR
  • ICP–MS