An incident study about acute and chronic human exposure to uranium by high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HR-ICPMS)

Petra Krystek*, Rob Ritsema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

From the year 2003 to 2005 around 1700 Dutch soldiers made a part of the international stabilisation force in Iraq. An incident happened as a group of four Dutch soldiers found a 30 mm bullet identified as containing depleted uranium (DU). The main pathway of the acute exposure is via inhalation of small uranium containing particles, e.g. from a bullet during its explosion. To develop a method for acute exposure investigations were carried out about finding an efficient and suitable way to sample nasal mucus as medium of inhalation. Generally, in human exposure studies with regard to natural uranium (NU) or DU, urine is the matrix for analysis. Uranium concentrations in urine are based on daily ingestion depending on the composition of drinking water and food. A second possibility is the acute exposure to uranium after an incident, either through inhalation or impact. Nevertheless, the results deliver only interpretations in respect to chronic/long-term exposure. For the acute exposure procedures like sniffling out into cleansing tissues and rinsing the nose were tested with real-life samples from four soldiers involved in an incident with possibly acute exposure to uranium. For the quantification of uranium high-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HR-ICPMS) was applied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of hygiene and environmental health
Volume212
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2008

Keywords

  • High-resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • Human exposure
  • Nasal mucus
  • Uranium
  • Urine

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