This study presents a quantitative sequential radiochemical separation method for the Pu, U, Sr and Am/Cm isotopes with an anion exchange resin, UTEVA resin, Sr resin and DGA resin in environmental samples. After the radionuclides were leached from samples with 8 M HNO3, the Pu, U, Sr and Am/Cm isotopes were sequentially adsorbed on the anion exchange column, UTEVA column connected with Sr Spec column and DGA column. The Pu isotopes were purified from other nuclides through the anion exchange column, and the uranium isotopes were separated from other nuclides through the UTEVA column. Also, 90Sr was separated from other hindrance elements such as Ca2+, Ba2+ and Y3+ with the Sr Spec column. Finally, Am/Cm fractions were purified with the DGA and anion exchange resins. After α source preparation for the purified Pu, U and Am/Cm isotopes with the micro-coprecipitation method, the Pu, U and Am/Cm isotopes were measured by an alpha spectrometry. Strontium-90 was measured by a low level liquid scintillation counter. The radiochemical procedure for Pu, U and Am nuclides investigated in this study has been validated by application to IAEA Reference soils.
Among children, infections with soil-transmitted helminths (STH) can cause anemia, impaired growth, and absence from school. Sustainable control of STH infection requires that appropriate latrines be integrated with health-promotion education. We report a pilot study of the effects of a combined latrine-education intervention in Central Java, Indonesia. The participants were 99 children (3–13 years old) in two villages (intervention and control) south of Semarang city. Stool samples were collected from the children and were examined for the presence of helminth eggs. After baseline data were collected, latrines were constructed and health education was given in the intervention village. Then, in both villages, all children who had STH infection at baseline were given 400 mg of albendazole. Eight months later, follow-up stool samples were collected and examined. In both villages, 20% of the children had STH infection at baseline. At follow-up, the incidence of STH infection was much lower in the intervention village than in the control village (4.0% vs. 20.4%; p<0.02). The results of this small pilot study give some confidence that a scaled-up study involving many more children and cluster-randomization of the intervention will be feasible and could provide more conclusive evidence of the intervention’s effectiveness.