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Low level measurements of radioactive residuals as spin-offs from high energy and particle physics to the medicine and nutrition quality control service.

As a result of nuclear power plant accidents, large areas receive radioactive inputs of Cs-137. Some quantity of radioactive elements can penetrate into the soil and be accumulated by herbs. In fact, such radioactive contamination can farther appear in herbal medicines and nutrition. Even modest concentration of such radioactive contamination, if presented in medical products and nutrition, can cause severe human diseases. To ensure high quality of medical products, the Quality Control Service should be capable to measure low level radiation in products. After the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Ukraine), such studies had been done by Ukrainian scientists, Yu. Gubin, O. Dzyubak, S. Dzyubak, et al. ( Reviews6_e.htm). According to the standards of Health Ministry of Ukraine, the Cs-137 specific activity of medicinal plants must be less than 600 Bq/kg. The factory-assembled devices have insufficient sensitivity therefore the gamma-detector from Institute for Single Crystals (Ukraine) was used. Using unique hardware and software designed in interdisciplinary collaboration with Experimental Nuclear Physics, Solid State Physics, and Medical Chemistry groups, it had been studied the transfer of Cs-137 from contaminated medical raw materials such as Digitalis grandiflora and Convallaria majalis to medicines. It had been found that the extraction of Cs-137 depends strongly on the hydrophilicity of the solvent. For example 96.5% ethyl alcohol extracts less Cs-137 (11.6%) than 40% ethyl alcohol in pure water (66.2%). The solubility of the cardiac glycosides is inverse to the solubility of cesium, which may be of the use in the technological processes for manufacturing ecologically pure herbal medicines and nutrition. Such studies are an excellent example of the spin-offs form Nuclear Physics to Medicine.
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Author:Dzyubak, O.; Dzyubak, S.
Publication:Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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