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Title: Biokinetics and dosimetry of depleted uranium (DU) in rats implanted with DU fragments.

A number of U. S. veterans of the Persian Gulf War were wounded with depleted uranium (DU) metal fragments as a result of 'friendly fire' incidents, in which Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles were struck by DU anti-armor munitions. Some of the crew members who survived were left with multiple small fragments of DU in their muscles and soft tissues. The number, size and location of the fragments made them inoperable in general, and therefore subject to long-term retention. Because there was inadequate data to predict the potential carcinogenicity of DU fragments in soft tissues, Hahn et al. (2003) conducted a lifespan cancer study in rats. As part of that study, a number of rats were maintained to study the biokinetics and dosimetry of DU implanted intramuscularly in male Wistar rats. Typically, four metal fragments, either as cylindrical pellets or square wafers were implanted into the biceps femoris muscles of the rats. Urine samples were collected periodically during their lifespans, and DU was analyzed in kidneys and eviscerated carcass (minus the implant sites) at death. The daily DU urinary excretion rate increased steeply during the first 30 d after implantation peaking at about 90 d at 3-10 x 10{supmore » -3}%/d. During the first 150 d, the average excretion rate was 2.4 x 10{sup -3}%/d, decreasing thereafter to about 1 x 10{sup -3}%/d. Serial radiographs were made of the wound sites to monitor gross morphologic changes in the DU implant and the surrounding tissue. As early as 1 w after implantation, radiographs showed the presence of surface corrosion and small, dense bodies near the original implant, presumably DU. This corrosion from the surface of the implant continued with time, but did not result in an increasing amount of DU reaching the blood and urine after the first 3 mo. During this 3-mo period, connective tissue capsules formed around the implants, and are hypothesized to have reduced the access of DU to tissue fluids by limiting the diffusion rate of dissolved chemical forms of DU. Using a model of wound-site retention being developed by a committee of the U.S. National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), it was found that the average retention of DU in the wound site could be described by a two-component exponential function in which 0.5% of the DU was retained with a half time of 80 d and the remainder with a half time of about 300 y.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
977924
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-04-7862
TRN: US1003764
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Submitted to: Invited Presentation : Ninth International Conference on Health Effects of Incorporated Radionuclides - Emphasis on Radium, Thorium, Uranium and their Daughter Products. Nov 29 - Dec 1, 2004, Neuherberg, Germany
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Sponsoring Org:
DOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; BLOOD; CONNECTIVE TISSUE; DAUGHTER PRODUCTS; DEPLETED URANIUM; DIFFUSION; DOSIMETRY; EXCRETION; MILITARY EQUIPMENT; MONITORS; MUSCLES; NEOPLASMS; RADIATION PROTECTION; RADIOISOTOPES; RADIUM; RETENTION; THORIUM; URANIUM; URINE; WOUNDS