URL path: Index page // Strontium (Sr)

Strontium (Sr)

Strontium is a natural element found in rocks, soil, dust, coal, and oil. Strontium present in the natural environment is not radioactive and is referred to as stable Strontium or Strontium. Strontium in the environment exists in four stable isotopes: 84Sr, 86Sr, 87Sr, and 88Sr. Strontium compounds are used in manufacturing ceramics and glassware, in fireworks, in colors, in fluorescent lamps, and medicines. Strontium may also be present in various radioactive isotopes, most commonly 90Sr. 90Sr is produced in nuclear reactors or during nuclear weapons explosions. Radioactive Strontium produces beta particles as it decomposes. The half-life of 90Sr is 29 years.

Exposure to stable or radioactive Strontium is caused by ingesting contaminated food or drinking water or inhaling contaminated air. In children, high levels of stable Strontium may affect bone growth. High levels of radioactive Strontium can cause anemia or cancer.

How does Strontium enter the environment?
  • Strontium is found as dust in the air, which eventually settles on land and water.
  • Some Strontium compounds dissolve in water.
  • Some of the Strontium compounds in the soil may dissolve in water and penetrate deeper into the soil and groundwater.
  • Radioactive decay and disinfection are the only ways to reduce 90Sr in the environment.
How is one exposed to Strontium?
How can Strontium affect health?

Exposure to low levels of stable Strontium has not been shown to affect adult health but may cause damage to the bones of developing children.

High levels of radioactive Strontium can cause bone marrow damage and cause anemia and bleeding as well as bone cancer.

Strontium is physically and chemically similar to calcium, and the human body absorbs it as if it were calcium. A unique salt of Strontium is used for osteoporosis. In large doses, strontium stimulates bone formation and reduces bone resorption. Half of the increase in bone density is due to Strontium having a higher atomic density than Calcium, while the other half is due to the actual increase in bone mass.

Strontium has been found to speed up skin regeneration when applied topically.

How can the risk of exposure to Strontium be reduced?

A balanced diet with adequate amounts of Vitamin D, calcium, and protein reduces the amount of Strontium absorbed.

How can one determine if one has been exposed to Strontium?

All people have small amounts of stable Strontium in their bodies. Two types of tests are available: one to check for exposure to large doses of radiation and the other to check for the presence and quantity of Strontium in the body. The first type of test looks for changes in blood cells or chromosomes, but it is impossible to determine whether the radiation derives from Strontium. The second type of test includes blood, stool, urine, and saliva.

We can measure Strontium levels in blood and most biological materials.

Determination of metals is done by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better than conventional atomic absorption, with the ability to measure metals at concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!


Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for diagnosing and monitoring all pathological conditions. Between 70% and 80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased."

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted solely based on the numerical result of a single analysis. They should be interpreted in relation to each individual case, family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon, we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and contact your doctor to ensure you receive the best possible medical care.

Additional information
Share it