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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 616430, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/616430
Research Article

Uranium in the Surrounding of San Marcos-Sacramento River Environment (Chihuahua, Mexico)

1Advanced Material Research Center, CIMAV, Miguel de Cervantes 120, 31109 Chihuahua, CHIH, Mexico
2Facultad de Ingenieria, Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Nuevo Campus, 31000 Chihuahua, CHIH, Mexico
3Applied Nuclear Physics Group, Departamento de Física Aplicada, ETS Arquitectura, University of Seville, Avenida Reina Mercedes s/n, 41012 Seville, Spain

Received 5 October 2011; Accepted 2 November 2011

Academic Editors: R. Barra and K. Kannan

Copyright © 2012 Marusia Rentería-Villalobos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The main interest of this study is to assess whether uranium deposits located in the San Marcos outcrops (NW of Chihuahua City, Mexico) could be considered as a source of U-isotopes in its surrounding environment. Uranium activity concentrations were determined in biota, ground, and surface water by either alpha or liquid scintillation spectrometries. Major ions were analyzed by ICP-OES in surface water and its suspended matter. For determining uranium activity in biota, samples were divided in parts. The results have shown a possible lixiviation and infiltration of uranium from geological substrate into the ground and surface water, and consequently, a transfer to biota. Calculated annual effective doses by ingestion suggest that U-isotopes in biota could not negligibly contribute to the neighboring population dose. By all these considerations, it is concluded that in this zone there is natural enhancement of uranium in all environmental samples analyzed in the present work.