Radiocaesium variability within sheep flocks: determination of 137 Cs intake in free-ranging sheep

Beresford, N.A.; Barnett, C.L. ORCID:; Mayes, R.W.. 2000 Radiocaesium variability within sheep flocks: determination of 137 Cs intake in free-ranging sheep. Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, 39 (3). 207-212.

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A study is described in which 137Cs intake by free-ranging sheep was estimated at two farms in the area of west Cumbria (northwest England) which received some of the highest amounts of fallout from the Chernobyl accident within the United Kingdom. The faecal excretion of 137Cs was estimated from faecal 137Cs activity concentrations and the use of intraruminal controlled release devices containing Cr2O3 to determine faecal dry matter output. The intake of 137Cs was estimated by assuming an apparent absorption coefficient appropriate to the herbage grazed. The methodology has the advantage that sampling of herbage representative of that ingested by study animals is not required. Caesium-137 dietary intake explained >60% of the observed variability in the 137Cs activity concentration determined in the muscle of sheep. Resultant transfer coefficient (F f ) values to describe the transfer of 137Cs from the diet to muscle were in agreement with previously reported values. At one farm, there was a positive correlation between the 137Cs activity concentration in muscle and F f whilst at the other farm there was a negative correlation between F f and 137Cs dietary intake. Potential reasons for these observations are discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
ISSN: 0301-634X
Additional Keywords: radioecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 10 May 2012 10:57 +0 (UTC)

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