Plutonium--health implications for man. What we have learned about plutonium from human data.

  title={Plutonium--health implications for man. What we have learned about plutonium from human data.},
  author={George L. Voelz},
  journal={Health physics},
  volume={29 4},
  • G. Voelz
  • Published 1 October 1975
  • Medicine
  • Health physics
Human data on plutonium deposition, internal distribution, and excretion have been obtained by observations after accidental occupational exposures, long- term follow-up studies on plutonium workers, and autopsy tissue analyses. No significant harmful effects have been noted in humans, although a small foreign- body type nodule around dermal implantations of plutonium has been described in eight persons. Methods used to estimate body burdens by urinary excretion values appear to be conservative… 

Lung Fibrosis in Plutonium Workers

It is shown that plutonium may cause lung fibrosis in humans at absorbed lung doses above 10 Sv, and that plutonium inhalation increases the risk for developing chest radiographs consistent with pulmonary fibrosis.

The Biokinetics of Plutonium-239 and Americium-241 in the Rat After Subcutaneous Deposition of Contaminated Particles from the Former Nuclear Weapons Site at Maralinga: Implications for Human Exposure

As an input to dose assessments, measurements have been made of the clearance of Pu and Am after subcutaneous implantation in rats for six particulate materials and one dust from the Maralinga test sites to make estimates of the likely range in potential radiation doses in humans.

Implications of postmortem human tissue analysis on biokinetic models for actinides

Changes and refinements to original biokinetic models, based on postmortem radiochemical measurements of the concentration and distribution of actinides in tissues obtained from volunteer donors with


An exploratory epidemiological study was conducted for 319 deceased nuclear workers who had intakes of transuranic radionuclides and histories of employment during the time period from 1943 to 1995, finding no association was found between radiation exposure and death due to cancer.

Experimental studies of the translocation of plutonium from simulated wound sites in the rat.

  • J. HarrisonA. DavidJ. Stather
  • Environmental Science
    International journal of radiation biology and related studies in physics, chemistry, and medicine
  • 1978
Wound contamination with plutonium was simulated in rats by injection into either muscle or subcutaneous tissue. The distribution after the injection of plutonium nitrate indicated that: (i)

Plutonium-induced wounds in beagles.

Beagle dogs were given subcutaneous implants of plutonium in their forepaws to mimic hand wounds received by workers accidentally contaminated with plutonium, and radionanalyses showed that the alpha activity was largely sequestered by scar tissue that replaced lymphoid parenchyma in the plutonium-oxide-injected dogs.

Dosimetry of 239Pu in dogs that inhaled monodisperse aerosols of 239PuO2.

The dosimetry results suggest that the lung and lymph nodes associated with lymphatic drainage of the respiratory tract are the principal sites of alpha irradiation in dogs that received single inhalation exposures to monodisperse aerosols of 239PuO2.

Biokinetics of inhaled 239PuO2 in the beagle dog: effect of aerosol particle size.

The results indicate long term retention of a substantial percentage of the initial pulmonary burden (IPB), and that the retention was affected by particle size.

Problems in radiological protection involving α-emitters in bone

The risk of bone sarcoma from exposure to 239Pu may be established from the data on the human cases exposed to 226Ra by consideration of the radiation dose to the osteoprogenitor cells or by use of the average bone dose together with a modifying factor to take into account the greater toxicity of plutonium relative to radium.



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