A REVIEW OF LABORATORY ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS RELATED TO THE RADIOBIOLOGY OF TRITIUM. Page: 7 of 22
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the skin barrier was no surprise, but the magnitude of the unidirectional
flux was not known until measured with tritium oxide (6). Since this
poses a practical exposure control problem that has received much attention
in accidentally and purposefully exposed humans,. it will no doubt be con-
sidered by Dr. Osborne, and let me limit my remarks to simply pointing
out that rodents (2,14,6,7) or man, exposed in a tritium oxide vapor atmosphere
will absorb about as much tritium thru:.their skin as thru their lungs. Recent
frog skin studies have shown no isotope effect, as between deuterium and
tritium oxides, in skin permeability (8).
Damage from tritium in the body will depend upon where it is in
the body and how long it stays there. Most of it, is present as water,
and how long it stays will depend upon the turnover rate of body water.
There have been many studies of body water turnover in animals--which
are of not much interest to us in our present context, because we are
concerned with the hazard to man and there are many studies of body water
turnover in man. We needn't extrapolate from animal data. But, just
by way of example let's look at some rather interesting comparative animal
data published quite a few years ago by the chairman of this symposium (9).
First slide, please.
SLIDE 1 From a 20g mouse to a 400,000g horse, we see not very much variation
from a 60% body water figure, and a generally increasing turnover time
with larger animal size, though the kangaroo rat, adapted as it is to
low water consumption, is an interesting exception to the general trend.
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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/m1/7/: accessed April 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.