Investigations on chemical composition and natural radioactivity levels from salt water and peloid used in pelotherapy from the Techirghiol Lake, Romania

Authors: Calin MR (1) , Radulescu I (1) , Ion AC (2) , Capra L (3,4) , Almasan ER (5)
(1) "Horia Hulubei" National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering - IFIN HH (2) Department of Analytical Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, University Polytechnic (3) National Research and Development Institute for Chemistry and Petrochemistry ICECHIM (4) Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Material Science, University Polytechnic (5) Techirghiol Balnear and Rehabilitation Sanatorium
Source: Environ Geochem Health. 2020 Feb;42(2):513-529
DOI: 10.1007/s10653-019-00382-8 Publication date: 2020 Feb E-Publication date: June 30, 2019 Availability: abstract Copyright: © 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Language: English Countries: Romania Location: Techirghiol Lake Correspondence address:


Article abstract

The work presents the historical evolution, objectives, goals, concepts, chemical and radiometric methods, results and conclusions for salt waters and natural peloids used in pelotherapy. This study assesses chemical composition, natural radioactivity concentrations and the radiological hazard in peloid and salt water samples, from ten places in the Techirghiol Lake from Romania. Pelotherapy is a very important procedure, and thus, the materials used for this purpose must be well characterized to guaranty safety use. Concentrations of elements such as Sr, Ba, Mn, Fe, Sb, Zn, Cu, Pb, Ti, Ni, Cr, As have been measured using ICP-OES analytical technique. The natural radionuclides such as 238U, 226Ra, 232Th and 40K have been determined by gamma-ray spectrometry. The average activity concentrations were of 0.48 ± 0.10 Bq/kg for 238U, 0.60 ± 0.10 Bq/kg for 226Ra, 0.30 ± 0.08 Bq/kg for 232Th and 17.5 ± 1.3 Bq/kg for 40K for salt water samples. Also, the mean activity concentrations for peloids were: 5.70 ± 1.00 Bq/kg for 238U, 6.85 ± 1.60 Bq/kg for 232Th, 15.3 ± 3.7 Bq/kg for 226Ra and 95.8 ± 5.5 Bq/kg for 40K. The results from this study contribute to the identification of possible contaminants in the salt water and peloid, and their association with the potential ecological and human health risk. In this context, of using salt water and peloid in a relatively long treatment period, several radiological indices have been calculated, to determine if the radionuclide's content can be also harmful to human health. The assessment indicates that humans are not exposed to concentrations of metal contaminants higher than the international recommended values.

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