SREL Reprint #0522




The Accumulation and Elimination of Radiocesium by Naturally Contaminated Wood Ducks

T. T. Fendley, M. N. Manlove and I. L. Brisbin, Jr.



The accumulation of radiocesium was studied in hand-reared wood ducks which were released into a South Carolina swamp habitat which had been contaminated with production reactor effluents.  The update of radiocesium by the ducks was described as:  1n pCi radiocesium/g live body weight=0l.36 + 0.18 (days).  There was no effect of sex on uptake rate.  The average estimated time required to attain practical equilibrium (0.90 Qc) was 17.3 days, with a range from 10.2 to 26.9 days.  Ducks which were recaptured after attaining equilibrium concentrations in the field (averaging 16.6 pCi radiocesium/g live body weight) showed single-component elimination-rate curves when confined in a semi-natural pen for elimination studies.  Radiocesium elemination under penned conditions was described as:  1n % initial body burden = 4.60-0.13 (days).  Elimination-rate and body weight showed a negative linear correlation for the penned birds although there was no effect of sex on loss-rate.  Radiocesium biological half-times for the penned ducks averaged 5.6 days with a range from 3.2 to 9.3 days.  Calculations based on biological half-times  determined from studies with the penned birds, were successful in accurately predicting both the levels and rates of radiocesium accumulation by free-living birds in the field.


SREL Reprint #0522

Fendley, T.T., M.N. Manlove, and I.L. Brisbin Jr. 1977. The accumulation and elimination of radiocesium by naturally contaminated wood ducks. Health Physics 32:415-422.

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