Carcinogenic Potential of Incinerated Low-Level Radioactive Waste: Electrophoretic Resolution

  • J. M. Browne
  • N. Jideama
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 124)


The presumed causal connection between the presence of radiowastes and carcinogenic potential are currently speculative. Xenbiotics are extended to include those accumulated in laboratory wastes from experimentation involving the use of radioisotopes. The presence of heightened biosynthesis of putative detoxifying enzymes (mixed-function oxidases and Epoxide Hydrolase) in the liver of vertebrates exposed to xenobiotics suggests a toxic and possible carcinogenic risk environment. We have exploited such an environment, (incinerated low-level radioactive waste), to assay for biochemical indicators of potential cancer risks. In the aquatic environment the estuarine fish, Fundulus sp. has been subjected to 7 ppm incinerated radiowaste ash (specific activity = 1410 Ci/mmol/kg ash). Microsomal fractions from fish liver were isolated and Epoxide Hydrolase(s) purified and resolved in SDS-Polyacrylaminde slab gels. An induced threefold increase in epoxide hydrolase was observed in fish exposed to both incinerated non-radioactive and radioactive ash. The presence of these enzymes indicate a carcinogenic risk in aquatic and land animals exposed to incinerated ash, however, whether the potential is increased by the presence of radiowaste as a source of ash was not resolved.


Epoxide Hydrolase Fish Liver Styrene Oxide Estuarine Fish Polycyclic Hydrocarbon 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Browne
    • 1
  • N. Jideama
    • 1
  1. 1.Cell Biology Laboratory, Biology DepartmentAtlanta UniversityAtlantaUSA

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