Hamsters aged 1, 4, 7, 22 and 30 days were given oral doses of either plutonium-239 citrate or americium-241 nitrate. The values of gastrointestinal absorption obtained were 3·5, 1·4, 0·04, 0·007 and 0·003 per cent, respectively, for plutonium and 4·5, 1·7, 0·5, 0·006 and 0·02 per cent, respectively, for americium, compared with values in adults of 0·01 per cent for plutonium and 0·05 per cent for americium. The absorption of neptunium was measured in hamsters aged 2 and 4 days and values of 2·3 and 1·7 per cent, respectively, were obtained for 239Np as the nitrate and 5·5 and 2·1 per cent, respectively, for 239Np as the bicarbonate compared with the values in adults of 0·02 per cent for both chemical forms. Thus, the absorption of plutonium, americium and neptunium at 1-2 days of age was about 100 times greater than in adults. The results for plutonium and americium show that absorption decreased rapidly with age over the suckling period. The values of absorption obtained at the time of weaning at 22 days were lower than in adults.
- Gastrointestinal absorption