Chemical transformation of uranium tetroxide particles in rat lungs after intratracheal deposit
Marie-hélène HENGE-NAPOLI, Lei ZHANG, Renée GIBERT, Eric ANSOBORLO, Bernard PRADAL, P. GALLE, C. JEANGUILLAUME, J.P. BERRY
J. Trace and Microprobe Techniques, 16 (2), p. 195-208 (1998)
Specific uranium oxide compound (UO4) which is encountered in the fuel cycle fabrication has been studied after intratracheal instillation in rats. The transformation of the particles has been observed by transmission electron microscopy and analyzed by electron energy loss spectrometry and X-ray spectrometry. The transformation of the particles occured very quickly after instillation : after 24h, some uranium needles, identified as uranyl phosphates, were already observed within lysosomes. At the same time, UO4 particles could be observed being grafmented in very tiny chips within the phagosomes. These results enhance importance of the early dissolution phenomenon occureing in the lung after particle inhalation. They underline the validity of the absorption parameters defined by the ICRP in the publication 66 (11) describing the human respiratory tract model.