A REVIEW OF LABORATORY ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS RELATED TO THE RADIOBIOLOGY OF TRITIUM. Page: 9 of 22
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water. It also comes from water in food, and more significantly from
the organic compounds of food, which were not labeled in this experiment.
The more crucial experiment, in which total hydrogen intake is
uniformly tritium labeled, has not been reported. Such an experiment is
in progress,..however, at the Southwestern Radiological Health Laboratory,
where Dr. Moghissi is feeding rabbits on a diet of barley, grown hydroponically,
with tritiated water as virtually the sole source of hydrogen (12). An
approach to such a uniformly labeled hydrogen intake has perhaps been
achieved in some environmental studies that we may expect to hear about
from Dr. Koranda.
Binding of tritium at non-exchangable sites in organic compounds of
animal tissues, will, indeed, extend the period of exposure and increase
the absorbed radiation dose beyond that attributable to body water. But
all'the organic hydrogen of the body is only half as much as the hydrogen
in body water, so the-total body dose, in a chronic exposure situation,
could be increased only 50% if there was total equilibration of organic
hydrogen with body water tritium. There would seem to be only three ways
to avoid that conclusion. First, there might be localized regions of
higher dose due to localized concentration of hydrogen-rich compounds;
but, water is about as hydrogen-rich as any compound ever gets, so we
can forget that one. Second, tritium might be concentrated in certain
compounds relative to ordinary hydrogen, i.e., an isotope effect. We
have heard from Dr. Weston how such effects can occur. Several comparisons
of tritium and deuterium incorporation in rats have grossly demonstrated
such effects, however, the effects have been small, and discrimination was
against tritium (13,14,15).
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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/m1/9/: accessed May 27, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.