SREL Reprint #0459




Radiocesium Concentrations in the Body Homogenates and Several Body Compartments of Naturally Contaminated White-Tailed Deer

I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr. and Michael H. Smith



Radiocesium concentrations were determined for various tissues, organs, and other body compartments of 17 white-tailed deer collected from contaminated habitats on the AEC Savannah River Plant.  Higher levels of radiocesium concentrations were found in skeletal muscle, feces, kidney, and adrenal tissue, which averaged between 50 to 70 pCi radiocesium/g (dry weight).  Liver and bone showed the lowest average values.   With the exception of feces and rumen contents, nearly all tissues and organ compartments showed significant positive linear correlations between their respective radiocesium levels.  Analyses of whole-body homogenates indicated that the deer examined averaged 9.91 pCi radiocesium/g (whole-body wet weight).  These values were best predicted from the radiocesium contents of skeletal muscle, using the relationship:  pCi radiocesium/g dry whole-body weight = 3.33 + 0.60 (pCi/g dry skeletal muscle).  Calculations of a weighted “predictive index” indicated that concentrations in skeletal muscle best predicted the overall pattern and levels of radiocesium distribution within all compartments of the deer body.  Radiocesium concentrations in the brain, heart, and liver, respectively, followed muscle in order of predictive ability.


SREL Reprint #0459

Brisbin, I.L., Jr. and M.H. Smith. 1975. Radiocesium concentrations in whole body homogenates and several body compartments of naturally contaminated white tailed deer. p. 542-556. In Mineral Cycling in Southeastern Ecosystems, edited by F.G. Howell, J.B. Gentry, and M.H. Smith. CONF 740513. ERDA Symposium Series.

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