Concentration ratios for small mammals collected from the exposed sediments of a 137Cs contaminated reservoir

Michael H Paller, G. Timothy Jannik, Lynn D. Wike

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1 Scopus citations


137Cs concentration ratios were computed for small mammals collected from the dried sediments of a partially drained, contaminated reservoir. Soil 137Cs activity concentrations were heterogeneous on small and large spatial scales and had a geometric mean of 253 (range 23-2110) Bq/kg dry weight. Mean 137Cs activity concentrations in composite cotton rat Sigmodon hispidus and cotton mouse Peromyscus gossypinus samples averaged 2480 (range 556-6670) and 471 (range 96-1000) Bq/kg whole body dry weight, respectively. About 50% of the variance in cotton rat tissue 137Cs activity was explained by variation in soil 137Cs activity. Soil-to-animal dry weight concentration ratios averaged 6.0 for cotton rats and 1.2 for cotton mice and were generally similar to 137Cs concentration ratios for herbivorous, homeothermic animals from other contaminated ecosystems. In the RESRAD-BIOTA dose model, the default wet-weight concentration ratio for 137Cs in terrestrial animals is 110 resulting in an estimate of internal and external radiation doses to terrestrial biota that is 44 times more than the dose calculated with the actual measured wet-weight concentration ratio for cotton rats (1.6). These results show that site-specific concentration ratios can significantly affect the estimation of dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-235
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


  • Bioconcentration
  • Biota dose
  • Concentration ratio
  • Radionuclides
  • Transfer factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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