Anomalously high excretion of Pu in urine following inhalation of plutonium nitrate?

George Etherington*, G. N. Stradling, Alan Hodgson, L. K. Fifield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A study of the biokinetics of inhaled plutonium nitrate in two volunteers has been carried out. Low doses (∼ 80 μSv) were achievable because tracers of high isotopic purity were used: 237Pu (measurable by X ray spectrometry) and 244Pu (measurable by accelerator mass spectrometry). Lung retention, amount in blood, uptake to the liver and skeleton, and urinary and faecal excretion were measured. The measured urinary excretion rates are about a factor of three higher than those predicted from urine excretion data measured following intravenous injection of plutonium to the same volunteers. If similar biokinetic behaviour occurs in workers exposed to plutonium nitrate, intakes by inhalation and corresponding committed doses assessed by urine bioassay could be consistently overestimated by a similar factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-324
Number of pages4
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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