A REVIEW OF LABORATORY ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS RELATED TO THE RADIOBIOLOGY OF TRITIUM. Page: 12 of 22
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with the effects from other radiation sources involves difficulties, since
the tritium dose is extended in time and decreases with the half-time of
body water in the animal. The LD50 of a mCi/g corresponds to a dose of
about 300 rads during the first day postinjection. It will be convenient
to bear in mind that a concentration of 1 mCi of tritium per gram of unit
density tissue will deliver a dose of 12 rads per hour, or about 300 rads
per day. The LD50 for acute exposure to 250 Kv X-rays is about 575 V
for these animals. Brues, et al. concluded "that no unexpected factor
of biological effectiveness exists..."
To simplify the time factor in these dose comparisons, Furchner
performed a similar experiment in which the reference radiation, Co-gammas
in his case, was delivered at an exponentially decreasing rate corresponding
to the rate of loss of body water from the tritium oxide-treated animals (18).
This was accomplished by means of a moving conical lead shield. His 30 day-
LD50 for CF-1 mice was about 0.9 mCi/g corresponding to a total delivered
dose of 804 rads. The LD50 for 6oCo radiation delivered at the same rate
was 1350 rads, which leads to the conclusion that the tritium beta is 1.7
times as effective as the 6oCo gamma. As others have pointed out (19,20),
this RBE value for. tritium would have been closer to one if 250 Kv X-rays
rather then 6oCo-gammas had been compared, and if tritium dose to the
non-bone, non-fat portion of the mouse were considered rather than average
In other studies of the RBE of tritium in mice and rats, dose was
held approximately constant over a five-day period by following an initial
injection of tritium oxide with continuing feeding of an appropriate level
of tritium oxide in the drinking water (?1). Comparison was made with
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Thompson, R. C. A REVIEW OF LABORATORY ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS RELATED TO THE RADIOBIOLOGY OF TRITIUM., report, January 1, 1971; Richland, Washington. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1030877/m1/12/: accessed June 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.