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United States : Living Organisms Take Up Uranium from their Environment.

USGS scientists found that living organisms can take up uranium into their tissues under a broad variety of water quality conditions. This knowledge may help regulators better safeguard the environment for conservation and resource extraction purposes.

In order to understand the risk of uranium toxicity to living organisms, scientists need to understand how or if uranium compounds are taken up by aquatic organisms whether through diet, or directly from the waters they live in, and which uranium compounds are most available to living organisms under different environmental conditions, said USGS biologist and lead author of the study, Marie-Nole Croteau.

In a laboratory study using snails, USGS scientists investigated the pathways for how uranium could end up in the tissues of living organisms, and learned that the bioavailability of dissolved uranium is less with increasing alkalinity, increasing water hardness, or when dissolved organic matter is present. Once accumulated in an organism, the loss of uranium from tissues is slow, which typically causes the accumulation of metals to rise to high levels over the life span of the organism.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Aug 5, 2016
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