Experimental comparison of the bioaccumulation of anthropogenic radionuclides by egg and juvenile life stages of a small shark

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Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 2017, 178-179 pp. 430 - 438
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd This study compared the bioaccumulation of anthropogenic nuclides (65Zn, 134Cs, 60Co and 241Am) between the egg and juvenile life stages of a small shark (Scyliorhinus canicula), based on previously published experimental data. Rates of accumulation over 15 days were derived and summed for the transfer pathways which were specific to these two life stages. Radionuclide transfers to the egg and its embryo & yolk were quantified for i) the maternal pathway following her uptake of radionuclides via food and seawater and ii) from seawater following its oviposition. For the juvenile, the transfer of radionuclides were measured for aqueous & dietary pathways. The results show that, compared to juveniles, eggs have equivalent rates of accumulation of 65Zn and 134Cs but enhanced accumulation of 241Am by a factor of five and of 60Co by two orders of magnitude. The radiological exposure of the embryo due to radionuclides maternally transferred to the embryo & yolk is also enhanced for the alpha-emitting 241Am. This enhanced accumulation of 241Am and 60Co, as well as the equivalent accumulation of 65Zn and 134Cs, suggest greater likely vulnerability to radiation damage in eggs as compared to juveniles. Radiological dose assessment confirmed highest doses to the egg which is predominantly due to accumulated 241Am.
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