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Authors: Catalano, R.* 
Immé, G.* 
Mangano, G.* 
Morelli, D.* 
Giammanco, S.* 
Title: Natural tritium determination in groundwater on Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy)
Issue Date: 2014
Series/Report no.: /299(2014)
DOI: 10.1007/s10967-013-2710-9
Keywords: Tritium
Tritiated water
Liquid scintillation
Mt. Etna
Drinking water
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.07. Radioactivity and isotopes 
Abstract: Tritium is a naturally occurring radionuclide, due to interactions of cosmic-rays with the upper layers of the atmosphere; but its presence in the environment is mainly due to residual fallout from nuclear weapons atmosphere tests, carried out from 1952 till 1980. Tritium reaches the Earth’s surface mainly in the form of precipitation, becoming part of the hydrological cycle, then the interest of tritium content analysis in drinking water is both for dosimetry and health-risk and for using tritium as a natural tracer in the groundwater circulation system. This paper presents results from a survey carried out in the Mt. Etna area (east and west flanks) and in the southern side of Nebrodi in Sicily (Italy), in order to determine tritium activity concentrations in water samples by using liquid scintillation counter. The investigated areas show quite low tritium concentrations, much below the Italian limit of 100 Bq L-1 for drinking water and even comparable with the minimum detectable activity value. The effective dose due to tritium for public drinking water consumption was also evaluated.
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