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The importance of source-dependent bioavailability in determining the transfer of ingested radionuclides to ruminant-derived food products

Beresford, Nicholas A.; Mayes, Robert W.; Cooke, Andrew I.; Barnett, Catherine L.; Howard, Brenda J.; Lamb, C. Stuart; Naylor, G. Paul L.. 2000 The importance of source-dependent bioavailability in determining the transfer of ingested radionuclides to ruminant-derived food products. Environmental Science & Technology, 34 (21). 4455-4462. 10.1021/es0000697

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Abstract/Summary

The transfer of radioactivity to the milk and meat of farm animals is likely be a major exposure pathway of human populations, following an environmental release of radioactivity. The importance of source-dependent bioavailability in determining absorption from the ruminant gastrointestinal tract of the radiologically significant radionuclides (radiocesium, radiostrontium, radioiodine, and plutonium) is reviewed. The requirements for and suitability of in vitro methods of determining bioavailability for absorption of these radionuclides is also assessed. Radiocesium absorption varies over a 50-fold range, depending upon dietary source. Source-dependent bioavailability is therefore an important factor in determining the radiocesium contamination of ruminant-derived food products, and reliable in vitro techniques have been developed to rapidly determine its bioavailability. In contrast, under conditions of adequate calcium intake, the absorption of radiostrontium will not be greatly influenced by the dietary source. Results of in vitro extractions of radiostrontium could be misleading, as they indicate differences in bioavailability that are not observed in the animal. Absorption of radioiodine is complete and independent of source. There is currently a lack of data on plutonium absorption in ruminants. However, on the basis of the limited data available, in vitro incubations provide a measure of the relative bioavailabilities of plutonium from different sources. The applicability of the techniques reviewed to the study of other radionuclides and heavy metals is discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1021/es0000697
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
ISSN: 0013-936X
Additional Keywords: radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 14 May 2012 10:10
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/17766

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