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210Po and 210Pb in the tissues of the deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus from the Menez Gwen field (Mid-Atlantic Ridge)

Science of the total environment / Volume 409, Issue 4, 15 January 2011, Pages 771-777

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/DEI/SESURE/LERCM

Authors > CHARMASSON Sabine, LE FAOUDER Antoine, LOYEN Jeanne, COSSON Richard, SARRADIN Pierre-Marie

Publication Date > 15/01/2011

Summary

The hydrothermal deep-sea vent fauna is naturally exposed to a highly specific environment enriched in potentially toxic species such as sulfides, metals and natural radionuclides due to the convective seawater circulation inside the oceanic crust and its interaction with basaltic or ultramafic host rocks. However, data on radionuclides in biota from such environment are very limited. An investigation was carried out on tissue partitioning of 210Po and 210Pb, two natural radionuclides within the 238U decay chain, in Bathymodiolus azoricus specimens from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Menez Gwen field). These two elements showed different distributions with high 210Pb levels in gills and high 210Po levels in both gills and especially in the remaining parts of the body tissue (including the digestive gland). Various factors that may explain such partitioning are discussed. However, 210Po levels encountered in B. azoricus were not exceptionally high, leading to weighted internal dose rate in the range 3 to 4 μGy h− 1. These levels are slightly higher than levels characterizing coastal mussels (~ 1 μGy h− 1).


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