Neutron Induced Fission Track Estimation of Uranium Concentration and Its Associated Health Hazards in Drinking Water of the Faisalabad Industrial City

DOI: 10.4236/wjnst.2013.32009   PDF   HTML   XML   3,506 Downloads   6,409 Views   Citations


Drinking water plays a major role regarding quality of human life because polluted water is the main cause of many types of diseases. Besides other pollutants, high concentration of uranium above a certain level in drinking water is also hazardous. As water and food are the main sources of uranium intake, it is absolutely imperative that their level of concentrations is monitored regularly for safety of the general public. In this regard, trace amount of uranium in drinking water samples collected from different locations of Faisalabadcity has been carried out using Neutron Induced Fission Track Technique. The water samples along with the standard of known uranium concentration were poured and dried over Lexan track detectors and then irradiated with thermal neutrons in Reactor. After etching, the tracks produced in the detectors as a result of 235U (n, f) reaction were counted under an optical microscope. The uranium concentration was determined by counting and comparing the observed fission track density in the samples and the standard. The observed uranium concentration in the studied water samples varied from (1.04 ± 0.30) μg·L-1 to (21.08 ± 2. 95) μg·L-1 with an average value of (7.39 ± 1.30) μg·L-1 and is found to be within safe limits as far as uranium related health hazards are concerned.

Share and Cite:

M. Akram, M. Nazar, A. Ghaffar, F. Malik, N. Ali, S. Mujahid, M. Rajput and M.  , "Neutron Induced Fission Track Estimation of Uranium Concentration and Its Associated Health Hazards in Drinking Water of the Faisalabad Industrial City," World Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 51-58. doi: 10.4236/wjnst.2013.32009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] C. R. Cothern and W. L. Lappenbusch “Occurrence of Uranium in Drinking in the US,” Health Physic, Vol. 45, No. 1, 1983, pp. 89-99. doi:10.1097/00004032-198307000-00009
[2] P. Singh, N. P. S. Rana, A. Azam, A. H. Naqvi and D. S. Srivastava, “Levels of Uranium in Waters from Some Indian Cities Determined by Fission Track Analysis,” Radiation Measurements, Vol. 26, No. 5, 1996, pp. 683-687. doi:10.1016/S1350-4487(97)82882-X
[3] M. Akram, N. U. Khattak, A. A. Qureshi, A. Iqbal, M. Shafique, M. Tufail and I. E. Qureshi, “Fission Track Estimation of Uranium Concentrations in Drinking Water from Azad Kashmir Pakistan,” Health Physics, Vol. 863, 2004, pp. 296-302. doi:10.1097/00004032-200403000-00006
[4] D. R. Dreesen, J. M. Williams, M. L. Marple, E. S. Gladney and D. R. Perrin, “Mobility and Bioavailability of Uranium Mill Tailings Constituents,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 16, No. 10, 1982, pp. 702-709. doi:10.1021/es00104a013
[5] R. W. Leggett, “The Behavior and Chemical Toxicity of Uranium in the Kidney: A Reassessment,” Health Physics, Vol. 57, No. 3, 1989, pp. 365-383. doi:10.1097/00004032-198909000-00001
[6] C. K. McDonald-Taylor, M. K. Bhatnagar and A. Gilman, “Uranyl Nitrate-Induced Glomerular Basement Membrane Alterations in Rabbits: A Quantitative Analysis,” Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 48, No. 3, 1992, pp. 367-373. doi:10.1007/BF00195634
[7] S. C. Morris and A. F. Meinhold, “Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Nephrotoxic Effect of Uranium in Drinking Water,” Health Physics, Vol. 69, No. 6, 1995, pp. 897908. doi:10.1097/00004032-199512000-00003
[8] A. P. Gilman, D. C. Villeneuve and V. E. Secours, “Uranyl Nitrate: 28-Day and 91-Day Toxicity Studies in the Sprague-Dawley Rat,” Toxicological Sciences, Vol. 41, No. 1, 1998, pp. 117-128.
[9] P. Kurttio, A. Auvinen, L. Salonen, H. Saha, J. Pekkanen, I. Makelainen, S. B. Vaisanen, I. M. Penttila and H. Komulainen, “Renal Effects of Uranium in Drinking Water,” Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 110, No. 1, 2002, pp. 337-342. doi:10.1289/ehp.02110337
[10] “Australian Drinking Water Guidelines,” National Health and Medical Research Council, 1996.
[11] USEPA (US Environmental Protection Agency), “National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Radionuclides; Final Rules,” Federal Register, Vol. 65, No. 236, 2000, pp. 76708-76753.
[12] Health Canada, “Summary of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality,” Health Canada, Ottawa, 2002.
[13] WHO, “Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality,” 3rd Edition, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2003.
[14] R. L. Fleischer, P. B. Price and R. M. Walker, “Nuclear Tracks in Solids,” University of California Press, Berkeley, 1975, p. 489.
[15] A. A. Qureshi, N. U. Khattak, M. Sardar, M. Tufail, M. Akram, T. Iqbal and H. A. Khan, “Determination of Uranium Contents in Rock Samples from Kakul Phosphate Deposit Abbotabad Pakistan Using Fission Track Technique,” Radiation Measurement, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2001, pp. 355-359. doi:10.1016/S1350-4487(01)00185-8
[16] K. Ullah, N. U. Khattak, A. A. Qureshi, M. Akram, H. A. Khan and A. Nisar, “Search for Uranium Source in Warcha Sandstone, Salt Range, Pakistan, Using SSNTD Technique,” Radiation Measurements, Vol. 40, No. 2-6, 2005, pp. 491-495.
[17] M. Iqbal, S. Baig, N. U. Khattak, M. Akram, Z. Ahmad and A. A. Qureshi, “Fission-Track Uranium Determination, Geological Investigation and Health Hazards Related to Aggregates Used as Building Materials in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Northwest Himalaya, Pakistan,” European Journal of Scientific Research, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2007, pp. 405-411.
[18] M. Akram, N. U. Khattak, I. Ullah and M. Tufail, “Fission Track Estimation of Uranium Concentrations in Liquid Homeopathic Medicine Samples,” Radiation Measurement, Vol. 43, 2008, pp. S527-S531. doi:10.1016/j.radmeas.2008.03.011
[19] A. I. Selden, C. Lundholm, B. Edlund, C. Hogdahl, B. M. Ek, B. E. Bergstrom and C. G. Ohlson, “Nephrotoxicity of Uranium in Drinking Water from Private Drilled Wells,” Environmental Research, Vol. 109, No. 4, 2009, pp. 486-494. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2009.02.002
[20] F. Malik, Matiullah, M. Akram and U. Rajput, “Measurement of Natural Radioactivity in Sand Samples Collected along the Bank of Rivers Indus and Kabul in Northern Pakistan,” Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Vol. 143, No. 1, 2011, pp. 97-105. doi:10.1093/rpd/ncq356
[21] S. N. Husaini, J. Zaidi, Matiullah and M. Akram, “Comprehensive Evaluation of the Effluents Eluted from Different Processes of the Textile Industry and Its Immobilization to Trim Down the Environmental Pollution,” Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Vol. 288, No. 3, 2011, pp. 903-910. doi:10.1007/s10967-011-1024-z
[22] S. N. Husaini, J. Zaidi, Matiullah and M. Akram, “Evaluation of Toxic Metals in the Industrial Effluents and Their Segregation through Peanut Husk Fence for Pollution Abatement,” Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Vol. 289, No. 1, 2011, pp. 203-211. doi:10.1007/s10967-011-1062-6
[23] S. N. Husaini, J. H. Zaidi, Matiullah, M. Arif and M. Akram, “Evaluation of Toxicity Level of the Polluted Eco-System for an Industrial City of Pakistan,” Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Vol. 290, No. 2, 2011, pp. 459-468. doi:10.1007/s10967-011-1217-5
[24] S. N. Husaini, J. H. Zaidi, Matiullah, K. Naeem and M. Akram, “Metal Poisoning and Human Health Hazards Due to Contaminated Salad Vegetables,” Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Vol. 287, No. 2, 2011, pp. 543-550. doi:10.1007/s10967-010-0757-4
[25] S. K. Chakarvarti, N. Lal and K. K. Nagpaul, “Uranium Trace Analysis of Some Materials Using Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors. The Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors,” Oxford Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1980, pp. 701715.
[26] A. Bansal, P. Rawat, J. Jojo and R. Prasad, “Analyzing Uranium Concentrations in Drinking Water Samples in India Using the Fission Track Technique,” Health Physics, Vol. 62, No. 3, 1992, pp. 257-259. doi:10.1097/00004032-199203000-00008
[27] R. L. Fleischer and D. B. Lovett, “Uranium and Boron Content of Water by Particle Tracking Etching,” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 32, No. 10, 1968, pp. 1126-1128. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(68)90112-9
[28] S. A. Durrani and R. K. Bull, “Solid State Nuclear Track Detection: Principles, Methods and Applications,” Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1987.
[29] ICRP-30 (International Commission on Radiological Protection), “Limits for the Intake of Radionuclides by Workers,” Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1979.
[30] WHO, “Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality; Addendum to Volume 2,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 1998.
[31] EFSA, “Uranium in Foodstuffs, in Particular Mineral Water. Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain,” The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Journal, Vol. 1018, 2009, pp. 1-59.
[32] J. S. Drury, S. P. Reynolds, T. Owen, R. H. Ross and J. T. Ensminger, “EPA Report by Health and Environmental Studies Program,” Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, ORNl Report No. EPA 570/9-81-001, 1981.
[33] Province of British Columbia, “Variation in Uranium and Radioactivity Levels in Surface and Ground Water at Selected Sites in British Columbia April 1980—March 1981,” B.C. Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources and B.C. Ministry of Health Victoria, 1981.
[34] M. A. Moss, “Chronic Low Level Uranium Exposure via Drinking Water—Clinical Investigations in Nova Scotia,” M.Sc. Thesis Dalhousie University, Halifax, 1985.
[35] R. N. Betcher, M. Gascoyne and D. Brown, “Uranium in Ground Waters of Southeastern Manitoba, Canada,” Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 25, 1988, pp. 20892103. doi:10.1139/e88-193
[36] S. K. Sahoo, S. Mohapatra, A. Chakrabarty, C. G. Sumesh, V. N. Jha, R. M. Tripathi and V. D. Puranik, “Distribution of Uranium in Drinking Water and Associated AgeDependent Radiation Dose in India,” Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Vol. 136, No. 2, 2009, pp. 108-113. doi:10.1093/rpd/ncp147
[37] ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), “Toxicological Profile for Uranium—An Update,” US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Atlanta, 2011.
[38] USGS, “History of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation. Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance Program,” US Geological Survey, 2006.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.