IAS General Studies Prelims Question No. 122

After a nuclear disaster, the Strontium-90 becomes an health issue of great concern. What is the major concern about this particular isotope?
[A] Strontium-90 gets deposited in the Red Blood Cells and causes Blood Cancer
[B] Strontium-90 gets deposited in the Liver cells and causes Liver Cirrhosis
[C] Strontium-90 gets deposited in bones and bone marrow and causes cancer
[D] None of the above is a correct statement

Answer

[C] Strontium-90 gets deposited in bones and bone marrow and causes cancer
Strontium-90 is a “bone seeker” that exhibits biochemical behaviour similar to calcium, the next lighter Group 2 element. After entering the organism, most often by ingestion with contaminated food or water, about 70–80% of the dose gets excreted. Virtually all remaining strontium-90 is deposited in bones and bone marrow, with the remaining 1% remaining in blood and soft tissues. Its presence in bones can cause bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues, and leukaemia.

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