Effect of the Concentration of Depleted Uranium in Soil on Its Uptake by Tomato Plant

  •  Ibrahim B. Razaq    
  •  Suad. A. Alsaedi    
  •  Hamed Sh. Mugheir    


Depleted Uranium (dU) is usually used in the weapon to increase its destruction power inflected to the target. Therefore, this study was conducted to detrmine the effect of of a range of dU concentration in the soil an incident of the desrruction of military tank in southern part of Iraq on radioisotope content in soil and in tomato plant grown in the area. The dU concentration in the incident spots located in Safwan destrict close to Jabel Sanam, north of Rumala oil field was 4000 mg Kg-1 in the soil. The soil also was found to contain a considerable level of 234Th, 226Ra and 40K. Tomato growth was reduced with the increase of dU concentration compared to those grown in same soil of no dU content. It even has failed to grow in the soil with high level of dU. Tomato plant uptake of 238U as determined by radioactivity of its direct daughter 234Th was found to increase with the increase of dU concentration in soil. The dU concentration higher than 500 mg kg-1 soil was lethal to tomato plant.

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