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A Survey of 137Cs in Sediments of the Eastern Mediterranean Marine Environment from the Pre-Chernobyl Age to the Present

October 21, 2013

A survey of 137Cs in sediments from the eastern Mediterranean Sea (Aegean and Ionian Seas) during the period from 1984 to 2007 is presented. Data have been collected and analyzed in the framework of the monitoring system of Greece performed by the Environmental Radioactivity Laboratory (NCSR “Demokritos”) over the past 30 years. Sediment activities reflect the impact from the Chernobyl accident one year later (1987). It is evident that sediment acts as the final receptor of 137Cs, showing that fast depollution of the Mediterranean still remains a utopia. Radioactive “hot spots” were observed in the northern Aegean Sea and lower values in the southern Aegean Sea and Ionian Sea. Finally, an effort to evaluate the risk of ionizing radiation (from 137Cs) to the biota inhabiting sediments was made using ERICA. The respective dose rates for two reference organisms (benthic fish and mollusks) were estimated to be far below the screening dose, at which the radiological impact on the abundance of the population begins.

Evangeliou N, Florou H, Kritidis P, in press. A Survey of 137Cs in Sediments of the Eastern Mediterranean Marine Environment from the Pre-Chernobyl Age to the Present, ACS Publications, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 2013, doi:10.1021/ez400078t. Article.

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