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Depleted Uranium Human Health Risk Assessment, Jefferson Proving Ground, Indiana

Description: The risk to human health from fragments of depleted uranium (DU) at Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG) was estimated using two types of ecosystem pathway models. A steady-state, model of the JPG area was developed to examine the effects of DU in soils, water, and vegetation on deer that were hunted and consumed by humans. The RESRAD code was also used to estimate the effects of farming the impact area and consuming the products derived from the farm. The steady-state model showed that minimal doses to humans are expected from consumption of deer that inhabit the impact area. Median values for doses to humans range from about 1 mrem ({plus_minus}2.4) to 0.04 mrem ({plus_minus}0.13) and translate to less than 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}6} detriments (excess cancers) in the population. Monte Carlo simulation of the steady-state model was used to derive the probability distributions from which the median values were drawn. Sensitivity analyses of the steady-state model showed that the amount of DU in airborne dust and, therefore, the amount of DU on the vegetation surface, controlled the amount of DU ingested by deer and by humans. Human doses from the RESRAD estimates ranged from less than 1 mrem/y to about 6.5 mrem/y in a hunting scenario and subsistence fanning scenario, respectively. The human doses exceeded the 100 mrem/y dose limit when drinking water for the farming scenario was obtained from the on-site aquifer that was presumably contaminated with DU. The two farming scenarios were unrealistic land uses because the additional risk to humans due to unexploded ordnance in the impact area was not figured into the risk estimate. The doses estimated with RESRAD translated to less than 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}6} detriments to about 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} detriments. The higher risks were associated only with the farming scenario in which ...
Date: April 29, 1994
Creator: Ebinger, Michael H. & Hansen, Wayne R.