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Associative Journal of Health Sciences

Radionuclides: A synopsis of Distribution, Epidemiology, Importance, Public Health Significance and Control Measures

  • Open or CloseOchuko Orakpoghenor1*, Talatu Patience Markus2, Meshack Inotu Osagie3 and Paul Terkende Hambesha4

    1Department of Veterinary Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

    2Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

    3Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

    4Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria

    *Corresponding author: Ochuko Orakpoghenor, Department of Veterinary Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Submission: January 18, 2023;Published: February 21, 2023


Radionuclides are atoms which possess excess energy emitted in the form of radiation (gamma), particles (alpha or beta) or conversion electrons. They are being discharged into large water bodies and are absorbed by aquatic organisms which form part of the food chain. These contaminated waters and aquatic organisms are further consumed by higher organisms leading to the accumulation of these radionuclides. Radionuclides have shown application in biology, nuclear medicine, food preservation, industries, aeronautics and ecology. Despite these applications, they tend to produce harmful effects in humans and animals following uncontrolled exposure. These effects depend on dose and elapsed time after exposure, and include skin redness, hair loss, radiation burns and acute radiation syndrome. However, prolonged exposure can lead to cell destructions and consequential cancer develops. Hence in this article, radionuclides are discussed with a focus on their distribution, epidemiology, importance, public health significance and prevention/control measures.

Keywords: Radionuclides, water, effects, exposure, public health

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