Elements of natural radioactive decay series in Iranian drinking water and cigarettes.

Arhiv za higijenu rada i toksikologiju

PubMedID: 20587398

Mohammadi S. Elements of natural radioactive decay series in Iranian drinking water and cigarettes. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2010;61(2):235-9.
The uranium (238U) decay series provides the most important isotopes of elements radium (226Ra), radon (222Rn), and polonium (210Po) with half-lives of about 1600 years, 3.8 days, and 140 days, respectively. Although the chemical structure of radium is very similar to calcium, the fact that it produces a radioactive gas (radon) complicates its handling in the laboratory and natural environment. In this study, we used the average concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclide 226Ra in drinking water at different parts of Iran to estimate the annual effective dose. In the other part of the study, we measured the concentrations of 210Po in Iranian cigarettes to estimate the internal intake of this radionuclide and its concentration in the lung tissues of smokers. The results indicate that the average concentration of 226Ra in Iranian drinking water was below the 100 mBq L(-1) recommended by the World Health Organization while the average concentration of 210Po and 210Pb in Iranian cigarettes was relatively high in comparison with other cigarettes found on the market.