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Science Assignment, Reaction Paper Example

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Words: 1472

Reaction Paper

Introduction

I will explore the effects of radiation on fish and crawfish of the St. James Parish River Parish area and determine if consumption of the species have a direct effect on human species. Further I will determine if the amount of radiation consumed is comparable to the amount of radiation discharged into the Mississippi River through regular discharges into the river from local chemical and petrochemical plants. The reader will gain useful insight to environmental radiation issues of the area and useful consumption data. Since much of the population in the area consumes both fish and crawfish as part of their weekly diet this data will be quite useful to know.

This research project has useful application to ecosystems and the environment because it illustrates the natural habitat of the fish which is water and the natural habitat of the crawfish which is murky muds of the Mississippi River and adjacent rivers. These rivers consume much of the drinking water that supplies the humans in the St. James Parish area. Of course there is a filtering water system that refines the water but there is little assistance to remove the radiation from the waters. If the humans were told they had to cease consuming fish and crawfish this would stipend their daily routines because they are southerners and this is a traditional diet for these people. “Further it should be determined if there are any effects from large disposal waste areas on radiation in the area.” (Hunt, 1991).

Scientific Method

Fish and crawfish were exposed to two sources of radiation and dissected to determine the amount of assimilation in each organ. Instrumentation used was a scintillation counter. Data from the National Environmental Centre was used to compare the amount of radiation assimilated by the species to the amount of radiation that is safe for a human to consume. “Method and research design were used to facilitate the data collection and methods of analysis for this project.” (“Method and Research Design”).

Hypothesis

Before commencing this research study it was hypothesized that the heart of the species might assimilate much of the radiation because of its pumping mechanism. It was assumed the liver might assume some of the major radiation due to its ability to function as a filter along with the kidney. I was mainly concerned with the assimilation of the muscle due to consumption issues and the impact of the environment and habitat on the radiation levels.

Procedure

  1. Obtain ten (10) species of Perca P. Flavescent from the Mississippi River region area of St. James Parish, Louisiana.
  2. Obtain ten (10) crawfish species of Cambarus C. Virilus from the Mississippi by-waters of the St. James Parish, Louisiana.
  3. Obtain four 20 gallon aquarium tanks and prepare them with freshwater from the water areas. Add some food and algae to the fish tank and mud to the crawfish tank.
  4. Add 10 ul of 32P to one (1) of the fish tanks and one (1) of the crawfish tanks.
  5. Add 10 ul of 131 I to one (1) of the fish tanks and one (1) of the crawfish tanks.
  6. Add five (5) five fish to each of two (2) tanks and five (5) crawfish to each of two (2) tanks.
  7. Allow both species to assimilate the beta and gamma radiation sources for twenty-four (24) hours.
  8. After twenty-four (24) hours place 500 ml of chloroform in each of the four (4) tanks to exterminate the species.
  9. Wife the species off with a Kim wipe after rinsing with DI H2O.
  10. Dissect each of the twenty (20) species.
  11. Weigh each organ on a laboratory scale and record.
  12. Place each organ on a scintillation counter to determine radiation count.
  13. Divide radiation count/weight of organ and multiply by 100 for weight per gram.

Reliability, Variables, Replications, Controls, Data and Theories

Assuming there has been no change in the conditions whilst testing, the organs were weighed three times and averaged and the organs were tested three times each on the scintillation counter for reliability and validity. Internal consistency was considered by testing the instrument for background noise and testing the instrument with a control sample. Validity of the results is shown through asking the question whether our procedures had any influence on the increase of the data found. The answer was “no” thus our procedures are valid hence our results are valid. I used a control sample to test the results. The control was a fish and crawfish not exposed to radiation and it was found to be at a level of 3 ppm of exposure which was subtracted from the original value counted on the scintillation counter. “Replications are used to maximize the validity of results. At least three are recommended in order to gain an average.” (“Validity and Reliability”). It is theorized that there is slight radiation already in the waters of the Mississippi River. This was found to be true. There was an additional source of airborne radiation found. The results of this finding were 5 ppm. Hence a total of 8 ppm of radiation was already found in the water and air before any radiation was distributed to the two species. Hence a total of 8 ppm was subtracted from results achieved on the scintillation counter.

32 P        PPM                                                              131 I       PPM

Fish 1      67                                                                  Fish 1           67

Fish 2      66                                                                  Fish 2           77

Fish 3      89                                                                  Fish 3           88

Fish 4      87                                                                  Fish 4           89

Fish 5      65                                                                  Fish 5           68

Avg.        74.8                                                                Avg.        77.8

Crawfish 1            56                                                      Crawfish 1    56

Crawfish 2            65                                                      Crawfish 2    65

Crawfish 3            76                                                      Crawfish 3    65

Crawfish 4            67                                                      Crawfish 4    78

Crawfish 5            65                                                      Crawfish 5    87

Avg.                  65.8                                                      Avg.        70.2

These are the results after weighted averages are taken into consideration.

Formula used: count/weight=PPM/g.

 

Results and Findings

Average if (5) Fish Exposed to 32P                  Average of (5) Crawfish Exposed to 32 P                                                    32 P

Heart      2.67                                            2.76                                 

Lungs     .67                                             .54

Stomach  .78                                             .89

Intestines 1.21                                            1.11             

Gills        .65                                             .66

Muscle    .34                                             .39

 

Average of (5) Fish Exposed to 131 I     Average of (5) Crawfish Exposed to 131 I                                                          131 I

Heart      1.67                                            1.21                                 

Lungs     .76                                             .77

Stomach  .54                                             .59

Intestines .99                                             1.01             

Gills        .44                                             .42

Muscle    .22                                             .20

 

These findings represent that the muscle absorbed the least amount of radiation and the heart absorbed the most radiation with both the beta and gamma sources of radiation. Both gamma and beta radiation are found in Louisiana drinking waters at rates of about 3 ppm. About 1-3 ppm of radiation sources are found in the air near the Mississippi region area where species were accumulated. This amount is representative of the amount of radiation that the fish and crawfish species were exposed to at 10 ul of radiation per aquarium/20 gallons of DI H2O.

Conclusions

Because of the results achieved with the research it is safe to assume the people of this region can continue to consume the fish and crawfish species from the Mississippi River area and the surrounding waters without any health penalties caused by radioactive sources. The radiation assimilated by the species was mostly distributed to the heart of both species which shows that a species assimilates the radiation through the bloodstream and distributes it through the blood and other organs. The muscle is the least affected organ which is the part of the species that humans consume for food. As long as the radiation levels are monitored in the water the fish and crawfish can continue to be consumed. “Most of the radiation eaten from fish and crawfish are known to accumulate in the thyroid gland region of humans.” (Oner, 2008). It was determined that there were not any major land wastes that had any contribution to radiation wastes in the nearby areas. Predictions of future doses to the area remain constant with relation to the amounts of chemicals dumped into the rivers as waste products by the local chemical and petrochemical plants. As mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency these plants must be within certain limitations before dumping into the river. Of course some of them may chance a huge fine and dump above the level but that is to be dealt with legally.

My hypothesis was proven true but since my hypothesis was vague the data further validated my theories and enlightened me with reference to the individual organ counts. I grew insight to how each individual organ functions in the two species and why the muscle may have assumed the least of the radiation. It appears surface radiation was not absorbed because the internal organs consumed most of the radiation due to the radiation’s properties and tendencies to be internally absorbed especially through the heart’s ability to act as a pumping and filtering mechanism.

References

Oner, F. (2008) Calculation of radiation doses to human organs from consumption of marine fish Retrieved December 21, 2009 from, http://inderscience.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,9,9;journal,7,21;linkingpublicationresults,1:110875,1

Hunt, G. (1991) Public Radiation Exposure due to Radioactive Waste Discharges to the Irish Sea Retrieved December 22, 2009 from, http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/36/2-4/205

Validity and Reliability (2006) Retrieved December 22, 2009 from, http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/relandval.php

Method and Research Design (2009) Retrieved December 22, 2009 from, http://www.languages.ait.ac.th/el21meth.htm

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