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Environ Pollut. 2003;125(2):277-80.

Lichens as biomonitors of uranium in the Balkan area.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Science, University of Siena, Italy.


The contribution of the conflict of 1999 to the environmental levels of uranium in the Balkan area was evaluated by means of lichens used as biomonitors. The average U concentration found in lichens in the present study was in line with the values reported for lichens from other countries and well below the levels found in lichens collected in areas with natural or anthropogenic sources of U. Measurement of isotopic ratios 235U/238U allowed to exclude the presence of depleted uranium. According to these results, we could not detect widespread environmental contamination by depleted uranium in the Balkan area.

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