, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 549-565
Date: 08 Oct 2010

Whole-body to tissue concentration ratios for use in biota dose assessments for animals

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Environmental monitoring programs often measure contaminant concentrations in animal tissues consumed by humans (e.g., muscle). By comparison, demonstration of the protection of biota from the potential effects of radionuclides involves a comparison of whole-body doses to radiological dose benchmarks. Consequently, methods for deriving whole-body concentration ratios based on tissue-specific data are required to make best use of the available information. This paper provides a series of look-up tables with whole-body:tissue-specific concentration ratios for non-human biota. Focus was placed on relatively broad animal categories (including molluscs, crustaceans, freshwater fishes, marine fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) and commonly measured tissues (specifically, bone, muscle, liver and kidney). Depending upon organism, whole-body to tissue concentration ratios were derived for between 12 and 47 elements. The whole-body to tissue concentration ratios can be used to estimate whole-body concentrations from tissue-specific measurements. However, we recommend that any given whole-body to tissue concentration ratio should not be used if the value falls between 0.75 and 1.5. Instead, a value of one should be assumed.

This paper is based on a presentation made at the second meeting of the Wildlife Transfer Coefficient Handbook Working Group of the IAEA EMRAS II programme (held at the IAEA, Vienna, 22–24 July 2009).