, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 169-174

Dynamics and distribution of radiocaesium in broiler chicken

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The distribution and biological half-life of radiocaesium (137Cs) in broiler chickens after three oral applications (in course of 1 day at the age of 14 days) of artificially contaminated feed mixture were studied. There was a rapid uptake of the orally administered 137Cs (within a few hours) and also a rapid loss of 137Cs which varied in the different organs (the initial biological half-life was: liver 0.6 day, intestine 0.6 day, breast meat 2 days, leg meat 1.2 days). More than one-half of the total administered 137Cs activity (55%) was excreted from the body within the 1st day after dosage, and after 14 days more than 90% had been excreted. The highest accumulation of 137Cs occurred in meat (50%–90%), and the proportion of total activity in breast and leg meat varied during decontamination. The transfer of radiocaesium from feed into the chicken body (measured as ratios of the 137Cs activity concentrations in the organ to the 137Cs activity concentration in the applied dose) 1 day after application was: 0.0220, 0.0294, 0.0216 and 0.0195 for breast meat, leg meat, intestine and liver, respectively. Significant differences between the values were demonstrated (P<0.05) except between those of breast meat and intestine. For the first 3 days there was a higher proportion of 137Cs activity in leg meat, whereas from the 4th day a greater part of total activity was found in breast meat. The latter results were confirmed in a subsequent study. Data from this study suggest that if broiler chickens are contaminated by radiocaesium to a level of 5 kBq/chicken in the course of 1 day at the age of 14 days, then immediate feeding with uncontaminated feed mixture for 18 days should be effective in decontaminating the chicken's meat below the intervention levels for radiocaesium in animal products, i.e. below 1000 Bq ⋅ kg–1.

Received: 30 December 1996 / Accepted in revised form: 13 May 1997