137Cs Uptake and Translocation in Leafy Vegetable: a Study with Lactuca Sativa L. Grown Under Hydroponic Conditions

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A hydroponic study involving lettuce plants (Lactuca sativa L.) as a leafy vegetable was conducted to evaluate the 137Cs uptake and translocation in plant tissues in dependence on the presence or absence of K+ or/and NH4+ ions in cultivation media according to Hoagland (HM) during 8 d plants growth under hydroponic conditions. Significant increase of the 137Cs+ uptake by lettuce plants and the decrease of 137Cs+ translocation efficiency from roots to leaves were observed in 50 % HM deficient in K+ and NH4+ ions. Speciation analysis using Visual MINTEQ program showed that at micromolar concentration of CsCl (5 μmol/dm3) in 50 % HM at pH 6.0 and 25 °C, cesium was occurred practically only in the free cationic Cs+ form − 98.8 %, with minor proportions of other cesium species: CsCl − 0.4 %, CsNO3 − 0.4 %, and CsSO4 - − 0.4 %. Surplus of Cl-, NO3- and SO42- ions in HM causes the increase of proportions of the cesium species CsCl, CsNO3 and CsSO4-, respectively at the expense of bioavailable Cs+ form. Radiocesium 137Cs taken up via roots was removed from lettuce leaves with high efficiency by boiling in diluted NaCl solution. At ambient temperature the extraction of 137Cs with diluted acetic acid was concentration and time dependent process, and was succeeded by leakage of tissue components absorbing at 260 nm. These findings are important for the risk assessment of radiocesium entry into the food chain via contaminated leafy vegetable.

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