Assessment of the Heavy Metals and Natural Radioactivity in Phosphate Mines and Occupational health effects at some Egyptian Regions


In this work the specific activities of natural radionuclides namely (238U series, 232Th series and 40K) has been measured in collected sedimentary phosphate deposits samples from El-Hamraween, El-Quser and Safaga phosphate mines in Egypt. HPGe γ-spectrometry were used. This study was undertaken to estimate the radiation hazard indices in phosphate mining at the studied mines on their occupational workers, and to establish correlation relationships between the some measured heavy metals such as As, Cd and Pb in blood workers and their concentration in phosphate rock ores. As well as determination the biomarkers in the blood workers such as malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD). The phosphate mine sample of El-Hamrawein has the lowest activity concentration of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K in compared to the phosphate mine samples of El-Quseir and Safaga (El-Hamrawein<El-Quseir<Safaga). The activity concentrations of all analyzed investigated radionuclides considerably fluctuated; for 226Ra activity concentrations varied from 222.4 to 255.8 Bq kg1, 122.4 to 188.3Bq kg1and 115.4 to 165.8Bq kg1 for Safaga,El-Quseir and El-Hamrawein, respectively. For 232Th activity concentrations varied from 135.6 to 212.3 Bq kg1, 112.8 to 167.4Bq kg1and 132.8 to 188.6 Bq kg1 for Safaga, El-Quseir and El-Hamrawein, respectively. For 40K activity concentrations varied from 225.2 to 312.8 Bq kg1, 168.7 to 268.9Bq kg1and 95.2 to 155.8Bq kg1 for Safaga, El-Quseir and El-Hamrawein, respectively. The workers of old ages have higher concentration of the investigated heavy metals than young ages. There is a good relation between the concentration of the investigated metals in phosphate mine samples and their concentration in blood of the occupational workers in these mines.


Keywords: Heavy Metals, Malondialdehyde, Natural radionuclides, occupational workers. Health effects, phosphate, superoxide dismutase

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 47-57 (Download PDF)

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