Regional characteristics of 40 elements in water around Chornobyl nuclear power plant after some decades since the accident

Atsuko Shinohara, Takehisa Matsukawa, Shinzo Kimura, Kazuhito Yokoyama, Momoko Chiba
Received: April 21, 2023
Accepted: August 4, 2023
Released online: August 28, 2023


Concentrations of 40 kinds of elements in water samples collected around Chornobyl nuclear power plant (CNPP) in September 2017 were determined using ICP-MS to investigate possible adverse effects on residents’ health. Regional characteristics of elements of Chornobyl and Narodychi district, which suffered high radioactivity due to the accident on 1986, were compared with those of other cities in Ukraine, Belarus, and Japan. The concentrations of toxic elements such as As, Cd, Pb, and Se in Chornobyl and Narodychi were lower than regulation values of WHO guidelines for drinking-water quality, and not particularly higher than those of other cities. Among three well water samples of Chornobyl, one or two contained much higher concentrations of Mn, Zn or La than tap water or hand washing water. Three well water and one tap water samples of Chornobyl were also collected in April 2018, August 2019, and January 2020 in order to know the yearly change of elements. Changes in concentrations of alkali and alkaline earth elements were relatively small, and those of transition elements were large. Pb concentrations of most of samples were lower than 0.3 μg/L, but an extremely high value of 340 μg/L was observed temporarily in one well water sample in 2019, although the source of Pb was not clear. These results did not suggest notable health problems associated with elements in the water of Chornobyl.

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