The objectives of this research were to investigate the naturally occurring 234U and 238U in calcium and magnesium supplements, find the correlations between 234U and 238U concentration in medicament and its chemical form, as well as calculate the effective radiation dose connected to analyzed supplement consumption. The analyzed Ca and Mg pharmaceutics contained their organic or inorganic compounds; some from natural sources as shells, fish extracts, or sedimentary rocks.
Uranium is widely spread in nature, occurs in over 160 minerals, locally at high concentrations. Isotopes 234U and 238U occur naturally in uranium decay chain; both of them are alpha emitters of low radioactivity and radiotoxicity. The harmful effect of uranium results from its high chemical toxicity which is comparable to lead. The occurrence of uranium in environment can also be result of human activity – nuclear industry, combustion of fossil fuels, production and use of phosphorous fertilizers use of depleted uranium for military purposes. Next calcium and magnesium are one of the most essential elements in living organisms and their deficiencies are common so their supplements have become extremely popular.
The highest 234U and 238U activity concentrations, in both Ca and Mg supplements, were found in all samples of natural origin – marine shells or sedimentary rocks. Among chemically processed supplements (during production), there was one exception, namely chelate compound, which contained high uranium concentrations as well. Similarly to 210Po and 210Pb analysis in Ca and Mg supplements, the results showed, inorganic forms of analyzed supplements were richer in 234U and 238U than organic.
On the basis of 234U and 238U content calculated in analyzed calcium and magnesium supplements, the annual effective radiation doses were estimated and obtained data showed there is no radiological risk connected to uranium ingestion with calcium and/or magnesium supplements.