Exploring phenomena that affect the fate and impact of radioactive materials in the blue mussel
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Current protection of the marine environment from radiation is based largely on measuring, estimating and modelling accumulation and impact(s) of radionuclides in a few marine species. Using a relevant marine organism, this thesis focusses on investigating some poorly described phenomena that could cause deviations from predicted measurements.
Paper I investigated the biological transformation of tritium (radioactive hydrogen) into an organic compound. The resulting organically bound tritium (OBT) showed increased accumulation in mussels, unique incorporation into a key biological molecule (DNA), extended persistence in tissues, and greater toxicity than the inorganic form. Paper II demonstrated significant disparity in OBT accumulation between functionally similar microalgae species and that OBT in algae is readily transferred to a consumer.
Highly radioactive particles are a complex issue in radioecology due to their concentrated dose geometry, potentially inducing very different impacts in organisms, compared to external irradiation. Paper III developed a method to introduce radioactive particles that would facilitate their recovery, improve dose-calculation, and aid the measurement of toxicological endpoints. It also showed that such particles can be incorporated into mussel tissues, causing significant effects.
In Paper IV, hypoxia – another major ecological hazard in the marine environment – was expected to reduce radiosensitivity. The minimal observable effect from radiation prevented identification of such an interaction, and indicates drawbacks in the (otherwise sensitive) endpoints used. It appears that stressors like hypoxia may be more of a health hazard to marine organisms than environmental levels of ionising radiation.
By understanding such causes of variation in accumulation and impact, it is possible to improve risk assessment, providing more justification for regulations chosen and minimising conservatism in setting environmental standards.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University , 2013. , 93 p.
Radioecology, ionising radiation, environmental protection, Mytilus edulis, bioaccumulation, dose-response, ecotoxicology, tritium, particle, hypoxia
Research subject Marine Ecotoxicology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83404ISBN: 978-91-7447-616-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-83404DiVA: diva2:575585
2013-01-18, DeGeersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Turner, Andrew, PhD
Bradshaw, Clare, PhD
At the time of doctoral defense, the following papers were not published and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.2012-12-272012-12-102013-01-02Bibliographically approved
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