Medium-Sized Mammals around a Radioactive Liquid Waste Lagoon at Los Alamos National Laboratory: Uptake of Contaminants and Evaluation of Radio-Frequency Identification Technology

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Use of a radioactive liquid waste lagoon by medium-sized mammals and levels of tritium, other selected radionuclides, and metals in biological tissues of the animals were documented at Technical Area 53 (TA-53) of Los Alamos National Laboratory during 1997 and 1998. Rock squirrel (Spermophilus variegates), raccoon (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and bobcat (Lynx rufus) were captured at TA-53 and at a control site on the Santa Fe National Forest. Captured animals were anesthetized and marked with radio-frequency identification (RFD) tags and/or ear tags. We collected urine and hair samples for tritium and metals (aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, ... continued below

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32 p.

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Hansen, Leslie A.; Fresquez, Phil R.; Robinson, Rhonda J.; Huchton, John D. & Foxx, Teralene S. November 1, 1999.

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  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Los Alamos National Lab., Los Alamos, NM (United States)
    Place of Publication: Los Alamos, New Mexico

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Description

Use of a radioactive liquid waste lagoon by medium-sized mammals and levels of tritium, other selected radionuclides, and metals in biological tissues of the animals were documented at Technical Area 53 (TA-53) of Los Alamos National Laboratory during 1997 and 1998. Rock squirrel (Spermophilus variegates), raccoon (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and bobcat (Lynx rufus) were captured at TA-53 and at a control site on the Santa Fe National Forest. Captured animals were anesthetized and marked with radio-frequency identification (RFD) tags and/or ear tags. We collected urine and hair samples for tritium and metals (aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver, and thallium) analyses, respectively. In addition, muscle and bone samples from two rock squirrels collected from each of TA-53, perimeter, and regional background sites were tested for tritium, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 90}Sr, {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239,240}Pu, {sup 241}Am, and total uranium. Animals at TA-53 were monitored entering and leaving the lagoon area using a RFID monitor to read identification numbers from the RFID tags of marked animals and a separate camera system to photograph all animals passing through the monitor. Cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus spp.), rock squirrel, and raccoon were the species most frequently photographed going through the RFID monitor. Less than half of all marked animals in the lagoon area were detected using the lagoon. Male and female rock squirrels from the lagoon area had significantly higher tritium concentrations compared to rock squirrels from the control area. Metals tested were not significantly higher in rock squirrels from TA-53, although there was a trend toward increased levels of lead in some individuals at TA-53. Muscle and bone samples from squirrels in the lagoon area appeared to have higher levels of tritium, total uranium, and {sup 137}Cs than samples collected from perimeter and background locations. However, the committed effective dose equivalent estimated from the potential human consumption of the muscle and bone tissue from these rock squirrels did not suggest any human health risk. Indirect routes of tritium uptake, possibly through consumption of vegetation, are important for animals in the lagoon area.

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32 p.

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OSTI as DE00015134

Medium: P; Size: 32 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Nov 1999

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  • Report No.: LA-13660-MS
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/15134 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 15134
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc623527

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  • November 1, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 12, 2017, 1:17 p.m.

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Hansen, Leslie A.; Fresquez, Phil R.; Robinson, Rhonda J.; Huchton, John D. & Foxx, Teralene S. Medium-Sized Mammals around a Radioactive Liquid Waste Lagoon at Los Alamos National Laboratory: Uptake of Contaminants and Evaluation of Radio-Frequency Identification Technology, report, November 1, 1999; Los Alamos, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc623527/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.