Document Details

University of Rochester Visit (June 14, 1948)
Struxness, E G [Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corp., Oak Ridge, TN]
Subject Terms:
chemical toxicity; uranium compounds
Larson, C.E. (Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corp., Oak Ridge, TN)
Document Location:
DOE INFORMATION CENTER 1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; Eva Butler; Phone: 865-241-4780; Toll-Free: 800-382-6938, Option 6; FAX: 865-574-3521; Email:
Document Categories:
Health, Safety and Environment\Worker Health and Safety; Specific Material\Uranium
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1948 Jun 14
Declassification Date:
1981 Dec 17
Declassification Status:
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
Originating Research Org.:
Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corporation
OpenNet Entry Date:
1998 Jun 16
This correspondence is a brief review of a visit to the University of Rochester and a discussion of pertinent information dealing with the chemical toxicity of uranium compounds. There was a list of individuals contacted and consulted with included in report. General observations were that more is known about uranium than any other element, and this is important in that it provides added confidence to those who are concerned with the practical applications involved in protecting the workers in a uranium plant such as Y-12. Items of specific interest were film monitoring in a uranium machine shop, wax impression plates, and the toxic effect of uranium. Some of the characteristics of chronic uranium poisoning were chronic proteinuria caused by the accumulation of protein material within the glomeruli and tubules of the kidney; significant change in vitamin c metabolism; loss of appetite; general trend toward diuresis soon after exposure and later a trend toward anuria; pulmonary changes; renal damage in a moderate degree of tubular necrosis; and time lag between initial exposure and grossly manifest symptoms depending on the solubility and concentration of dust and on variation among species. Three biochemical tests have been shown to be early and sensitive indicators of uranium poisoning. These are urinary catalase, protein, and the amino acid nitrogen/creatinine ratios. The biochemical constituents of urine have proved to give more distinct changes than blood in low grade exposures. The revised chemical toxicity tolerances of air-borne uranium were also disucssed. It has been determined that the degree of toxicity is to a large extent the function of the solubility of the compound. There is a table included to show the toxicity by inhalation of 12 uranium dusts. It has been shown that particle size, density, and solubility of the uranium compounds are most important because they affect the amount of inhaled uranium which is retained in the respiratory tract and the rate at which uranium is transported from the respiratory tract to the kidneys. They have found that particles of insoluble dust smaller than one micron were more toxic than particles of larger size. A lot of experimental work was done on the efficiency of different types of respiratory equipment. Some of the results of their investigation as well as their recommendations on respiratory protective equipment are listed. The relationsip of the oral dose to inhalation dose at equivalent toxicity by various animals is also listed. Various tables are included in this report.

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