About the book
Actinides, or more precisely "actinoides," are a well-defined group of the periodic table of the elements. This group consists off-elements, which are all unstable (radioactive). It starts with the element actinium (Ac), element No 89, and ends with element No 103, lawrenctium (Lr). The first four elements occur naturally on earth, with even Pu being found in traces. The heavier elements are built by irradiation of lighter elements with neutrons or by irradiation with charged particles. In this book, recent developments in their detection, mainly in the environment and in humans, will be described. Some of the heavier actinides were spread to the environment by nuclear weapons tests and by nuclear accidents. The application of such techniques allows for investigating the spread of actinides in the environment and investigating the hazards to humans by exposure to actinoides. Actinides are also widely used because of their technical disposability. Thus they pose hazards to humans caused of their chemical toxicity as well as external and internal radiation.