Journal of Agriculture & Life Sciences

ISSN 2375-4214 (Print), 2375-4222 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jals

Estimation of Radioactivity Levels in Biochar Amended Soilless Growth Media Collected from Agricultural Research Site in Quincy, Florida
George Osei, Michael Abazinge, Charles Jagoe, Marcia Owens, Lucy Ngatia, Alejandro Bolques, Jermiah Billa

Many organisms on earth are exposed to radiation, both natural and anthropogenic. Research to date indicates varying levels of radionuclides in agroecosystems, particularly in soil, plants and water bodies. Soil amended with biochar has been proposed to enhance long-term atmospheric carbon sequestration and plant productivity. However, little is known about possible radionuclides (natural and anthropogenic) in soilless media with biochar amendments. Soilless media amended with different levels of biochar were sampled from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Research and Extension Center (FAMU-REC) in Quincy, Florida, to assess possible radionuclides activities using gamma spectrometry. The mean activity concentration values for 235U, 226Ra, 23 2Th, 40K, and 137Cs found in the samples were 0.92±0.02, 3.32±0.19, 1.35±0.46, 22.1±053 and 0.36±0.04 Bq kg-1, respectively. The estimated external (Hex) and internal (Hin) radiation hazard mean values were 0.02 and 0.03, respectively. The results are within estimated safe radiological limits for plant growing media.

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