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October 2021

Cancer incidence and lifespan vs. alpha-particle dose in beagles.

Journal/Book: Health-Phys. 1987 May; 52(5): 617-24. 1987;

Abstract: AB: Young adult beagles were injected with graded activities of 239Pu 241Am 228Th 228Ra or 226Ra and observed throughout their lifespans. The vast majority of the dose was from alpha particles. The lifetime incidence of bone sarcoma increased with average skeletal dose more or less linearly up to high incidence for 239Pu 241Am 228Th and 226Ra but sigmoid fashion for 228Ra. Based on average skeletal dose the toxicity of the emitters relative to 226Ra = 1.0 was 239Pu = 16.6 +/- 4.5 241Am = 5.4 +/- 1.6 228Th = 8.5 +/- 2.3 and 228Ra = 2.0 +/- 0.5. At the lowest doses the average lifespans were 97% +/- 3% of that in the controls. If beneficial effects occurred they may have been overwhelmed by the destructiveness of the densely ionizing alpha particles. A cell nucleus 5 micron in diameter receives a mean dose of about 1 Gy (100 rad) when traversed by a single alpha particle. We found no evidence that alpha-particle doses suppressed cancer or lengthened lifespan in beagles. hl

Keyword(s): Americium-; Dogs-; Dose-Response-Relationship -Radiation; Plutonium-; Radium-; Thorium-

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