A new IAEA handbook quantifying the transfer of radionuclides to wildlife for assessment tools (editorial)

Howard, B.J.. 2013 A new IAEA handbook quantifying the transfer of radionuclides to wildlife for assessment tools (editorial). Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 126. 284-287.

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A number of approaches are now being used to assess the exposure and associated risk to organisms other than humans from ionizing radiation. The assessment of the exposure of wildlife to ionizing radiation requires (i) quantification of the transfer of radionuclides to wildlife and (ii) dose conversion coefficients relating internal and media activity concentrations to estimate absorbed dose rates to wildlife. Most commonly used models estimate dose rates to the whole organism (Beresford et al., 2008 and Vives i Batlle et al., 2010). This approach allows model outputs to be put into context with the available data on the effects of ionizing radiation, which are typically presented as absorbed dose rates to the whole organism so that the risk to wildlife can then be considered (International Commission on Radiation Protection, 2008, Copplestone et al., 2008, Andersson et al., 2009 and Howard et al., 2010). Through model testing and comparison using scenarios, the Biota Working Group (BWG) during the first International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) EMRAS Programme (2003–2007) demonstrated that the dosimetric components of the various available models gave broadly comparable results, but that differences in the transfer components used within the models resulted in large variations in predicted whole organism activity concentrations and resultant internal doses (Beresford et al., 2008, Beresford et al., 2009,Beresford et al., 2010, Yankovich et al., 2010, International Atomic Energy Agency, 2012 and Vives I Batlle et al., 2007). Therefore, the EMRAS BWG recommended that an international handbook on estimating transfer of radionuclides to wildlife be developed. In response, Working Group 5 (WG5) was created within the EMRAS II Programme (2009–2011) to prepare a handbook of readily available quantitative information on the transfer of radionuclides to wildlife ( The Wildlife Transfer Technical report Series Handbook (Wildlife TRS) (IAEA, in press) provides transfer parameter values for estimating the transfer of radionuclides from environmental media (soil, and water) to generic wildlife groups, for the purpose of assessing potential internal absorbed dose rates. It is analogous to Technical Report Series No. 472 (IAEA, 2010), which presents transfer parameter values for human foodstuffs. Equilibrium transfer parameter values are provided for wildlife groups in terrestrial, freshwater, marine and brackish (low salinity) environments. The data are intended for use where site-specific data are not available, and to parameterise the initial screening assessment levels of models. The derivation and content of the Wildlife TRS has been briefly described and summarised by Howard et al. (2013a).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 3 - Managing Threats to Environment and Health > BGC - 3.2 - Provide the evidence base for setting Environment Quality Standards ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 0265-931X
Additional Keywords: Radioecology
Date made live: 05 Mar 2014 14:36 +0 (UTC)

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