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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 32 No. 4, p. 1262-1268
    Received: Apr 12, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): jmabril@us.es
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Phosphogypsum Amendment Effect on Radionuclide Content in Drainage Water and Marsh Soils from Southwestern Spain

  1. Rachid El-Mrabeta,
  2. José-María Abril *a,
  3. Raúl Periáñeza,
  4. Guillermo Manjónb,
  5. Rafael García-Tenoriob,
  6. Antonio Delgadoc and
  7. Luis Andreuc
  1. a Dpto. Física Aplicada I, Univ. de Sevilla, EUITA, Ctra Utrera Km 1, 41013 Seville, Spain
    b Dpto. Física Aplicada II, Univ. de Sevilla, ETSA, Avda. Reina Mercedes s/n, 41012 Seville, Spain
    c Dpto. Ciencias Agroforestales, Univ. de Sevilla, EUITA, Ctra Utrera Km 1, 41013, Sevilla, Spain


Phosphogypsum (PG) is a residue of the phosphate fertilizer industry that has relatively high concentrations of 226Ra and other radionuclides. Thus, it is interesting to study the effect of PG applied as a Ca amendment on the levels and behavior of radionuclides in agricultural soils. A study involving treatments with 13 and 26 Mg ha−1 of PG and 30 Mg ha−1 of manure was performed, measuring 226Ra and U isotopes in drainage water, soil, and plant samples. The PG used in the treatment had 510 ± 40 Bq kg−1 of 226Ra. The 226Ra concentrations in drainage waters from PG-amended plots were similar (between 2.6 and 7.2 mBq L−1) to that reported for noncontaminated waters. Although no significant effect due to PG was observed, the U concentrations in drainage waters (200 mBq L−1 for 238U) were one order of magnitude higher than those described in noncontaminated waters. This high content in U can be ascribed to desorption processes mainly related to the natural adsorbed pool in soil (25 Bq kg−1 of 238U). This is supported by the 234U to 238U isotopic ratio of 1.16 in drainage waters versus secular equilibrium in PG and P fertilizers. The progressive enrichment in 226Ra concentration in soils due to PG treatment cannot be concluded from our present data. This PG treatment does not determine any significant difference in 226Ra concentration in drainage waters or in plant material [cotton (Gossipium hirsutum L.) leaves]. No significant levels of radionuclides except 40K were found in the vegetal tissues.

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Copyright © 2003. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.32:1262–1268.