Preliminary screening assessment of the potential impact of the phosphate industry on wildlife

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Abstract

The activities of the phosphate industry may lead to enhanced levels of naturally occurring radioactivity in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. We here perform a preliminary environmental risk assessment (ERA) of the activities of the phosphate industry (phosphate ore mining, phosphate fertilizer factories, phosphate export platforms). We evaluated the environmental impact of 5 phosphate fertilizer plants and one phosphate-mine and phosphate-export platforms in the harbour. The ERICA non-human biota assessment tool was used to predict radiation dose rates to the reference organisms and associated risks. Reference organisms were those assigned as default by the ERICA Tool. Potential impact is expressed as a risk quotient (RQ) based on a radiation screening value of 10 µGy h-1. If RQ≤1, the environment is unlikely at risk. For all the cases assessed, RQ exceeded 1 for at least one of the reference organisms. 226Ra or 210Po were generally the highest contributors to the dose.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEU-NORM: 1st International Symposium
Place of PublicationTallinn, Estonia
Pages68-79
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
EventEU-NORM I - Environmenal Board, Thallin, Estonia
Duration: 5 Jun 20125 Jun 2012

Conference

ConferenceEU-NORM I
CountryEstonia
CityThallin
Period2012-06-052012-06-05

Keywords

  • Environmental impact assessment, wildlife, natural radioactivity, phosphate industry

ID: 310013