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Transfer of the uranium decay products, polonium-210 and lead-210, through the lichen-caribou-wolf food chain in northern Canada (manuscript report)

Abstract

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the accumulation and transfer of polonium-210 and lead-210 in the arctic food chain, lichen-caribou-wolf, in the Northwest Territories. Polonium-210 arises from lead-210 decay and is a widespread alpha-emitting radionuclide. It seeks soft tissue and has the potential to accumulate in the food chain. Caribou, wolves and other wildlife may become exposed to enhanced levels of these two uranium-series radionuclides if the proposed uranium mine near Baker Lake, Northwest Territories, proceeds. Baker Lake lies at the crossroads of the ranges of the Beverly, the Kaminuriak and the Wager Bay caribou herds. Therefore, it is important to establish baseline concentrations and natural food chain transfer of uranium series radionuclides, in this study. This information can be used for baseline data before any further mining development takes place. This study will also provide data regarding the statistical uncertainty attached to transfer coefficients. This can help ensure reliable and appropriate future monitoring of environmental change. With the participation of the hunters of Baker Lake, caribou and wolf samples were collected and analyzed for polonium. Results indicate that polonium-210 activity in caribou tissues were somewhat higher than previous data reported from Alaska. Transfer coefficients for polonium-210  More>>
Authors:
Thomas, P A [1] 
  1. Sasatchewan Univ., Saskatoon (Canada). Biology Dept.
Publication Date:
May 01, 1991
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
CEARC-MR-18-91
Reference Number:
SCA: 560162; PA: AIX-27:056043; EDB-96:123450; NTS-97:000621; SN: 96001634431
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: May 1991
Subject:
56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; LEAD 210; ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE PATHWAY; POLONIUM 210; BIOLOGICAL LOCALIZATION; CANADA; DEER; ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT; FOOD CHAINS; LICHENS; WOLVES
OSTI ID:
270295
Research Organizations:
Canadian Environmental Assessment Research Council, Hull, PQ (Canada)
Country of Origin:
Canada
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ON: DE96631870; CNN: Contract 93-05386; TRN: CA9600232056043
Availability:
INIS; OSTI as DE96631870
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
26 p.
Announcement Date:
Aug 27, 1996

Citation Formats

Thomas, P A. Transfer of the uranium decay products, polonium-210 and lead-210, through the lichen-caribou-wolf food chain in northern Canada (manuscript report). Canada: N. p., 1991. Web.
Thomas, P A. Transfer of the uranium decay products, polonium-210 and lead-210, through the lichen-caribou-wolf food chain in northern Canada (manuscript report). Canada.
Thomas, P A. 1991. "Transfer of the uranium decay products, polonium-210 and lead-210, through the lichen-caribou-wolf food chain in northern Canada (manuscript report)." Canada.
@misc{etde_270295,
title = {Transfer of the uranium decay products, polonium-210 and lead-210, through the lichen-caribou-wolf food chain in northern Canada (manuscript report)}
author = {Thomas, P A}
abstractNote = {The main purpose of this study is to investigate the accumulation and transfer of polonium-210 and lead-210 in the arctic food chain, lichen-caribou-wolf, in the Northwest Territories. Polonium-210 arises from lead-210 decay and is a widespread alpha-emitting radionuclide. It seeks soft tissue and has the potential to accumulate in the food chain. Caribou, wolves and other wildlife may become exposed to enhanced levels of these two uranium-series radionuclides if the proposed uranium mine near Baker Lake, Northwest Territories, proceeds. Baker Lake lies at the crossroads of the ranges of the Beverly, the Kaminuriak and the Wager Bay caribou herds. Therefore, it is important to establish baseline concentrations and natural food chain transfer of uranium series radionuclides, in this study. This information can be used for baseline data before any further mining development takes place. This study will also provide data regarding the statistical uncertainty attached to transfer coefficients. This can help ensure reliable and appropriate future monitoring of environmental change. With the participation of the hunters of Baker Lake, caribou and wolf samples were collected and analyzed for polonium. Results indicate that polonium-210 activity in caribou tissues were somewhat higher than previous data reported from Alaska. Transfer coefficients for polonium-210 from caribou to wolf were near unity for many tissues. However, polonium-210 does not appear to cross the placenta in caribou. Further study includes lichen collections and collection of further caribou samples from the beverly herd in order to determine transfer from lichens to caribou in both the Baker Lake and Snowdrift areas in the Northwest Territories. (author). 26 refs., 3 tabs.}
place = {Canada}
year = {1991}
month = {May}
}