Transfer Rates of 238U and 232Th for E. globulus, A. mearnsii, H. filipendula and Hazardous Effects of the Usage of Medicinal Plants From Around Gold Mine Dump Environs
Tshivhase, Makondelele Victor
Njinga, Raymond Limen
Dlamini, Thulani Chriswell
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Medicinal plant consumption can be a source of human exposure to radioactive elements such as 238U and 232Th, which can lead to internal radiation doses. The uptake of 238U and 232Th from soils to the leaf samples of three different medicinal plant species (Eucalyptus globulus, Acacia mearnsii and Hyparrhenia filipendula) from the purlieu of the Princess gold mine dump, an abandoned contaminated tailings storage site (TSS), located at longitude 27°55′00″E and latitude 26°09′30″S in Davidsonville (Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, South Africa) was measured. This was done using ICP-MS spectrometry and substantial differences were observed in the soil-plant transfer factor (TF) values between these radionuclides. The plant species E. globulus exhibited the highest uptake of 238U, with an average TF of 3.97, while that of H. filipendula was 0.01 and the lowest TF of 0.15 × 10−2 was measured for A. mearnsii. However, in the case of 232Th, the highest average TF was observed for A. mearnsii (0.29), followed by E. globulus (0.10) and lowest was measured for H. filipendula (0.27 × 10−2). The ratio of TF average value i.e., 238U to 232Th in the soil-plant leaves was 38.05 for E. globulus, 0.01 for A. mearnsii and 4.38 for H. filipendula.