Monday, March 02, 2009

Radioactive Radium in Jordanian Waters

After reading this piece on Al-Arabiya, I looked up the article published on the Feb 19th the Environmental Science & Technology (first author:Avner Vengosh) . It was conducted by 12 researchers from Duke, Yale, Applied Science University, Al Quds University, Ben-Gurion University, and Soreq Nuclear research center in Israel.

The conclusion, is very concerning to say the least, I'm quoting from their abstract:

"High levels of naturally occurring and carcinogenic radium isotopes have been measured in low-saline and oxic groundwater from the Rum Group of the Disi sandstone aquifer in Jordan. The combined 228Ra and 226Ra activities are up to 2000% higher than international drinking water standards. Analyses of the host sandstone aquifer rocks show 228Ra and 226Ra activities and ratios that are consistent with previous reports of sandstone rocks from different parts of the world.
These findings raise concerns about the safety of this and similar nonrenewable groundwater reservoirs, exacerbating the already severe water crisis in the Middle East. "


"This study has revealed high levels of Ra in groundwater from the Disi sandstone aquifer, which is considered the future drinking water resource in Jordan and other countries in the region. The high Ra content largely exceeds the international drinking water standards and poses a health risk upon long-term utilization. "

In the Acknowledgments at the very end ,
"This study was supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development, by the Bureau for Global Programs, Field Support and Research, and by the Center for Economic Growth and Agriculture Development, The Middle East Regional Cooperation program (MERC Project M25-060). D.H. was partly supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. We thank Emily Klein for editing an earlier version of this manuscript. We also thank four anonymous reviewers for their informative and valuable comments that improved the quality of this paper. "

I've read hundreds of acknowledgements at the end of scientific (medical) papers, and this is the first time I read they had anonymous reviewers. There must have been a good reason why they wanted to stay quiet!

To read the abstract, click here .


Mohanned said...

Journal papers are always(well the respected ones) reviewed by anonymous reviewers, and the names of the researchers are also kept anonymous when being reviewed by the reviewers.

Hareega said...

then that can explain it here. In the medical journals I've never seen it even in the respected ones

Mohanned said...

bt9eer ba27san el3a2elat..Ento jama3et el 6eb mafia, kolha bt7ok lba3a9' :)

Anonymous said...

Check this out too..

Ali Dahmash said...

so where did the Radium come from?

Hareega said...

Mohannad, we're worse than what you think
London, thanks for the link

Ali, not sure. I'm waiting for the government to acknowledge it first before looking for an answer