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The chemical speciation of uranium in water does not influence its absorption from the gastrointestinal tract of rats

Frelon, S., Houpert, P., Lepetit, D., Paquet, F.

Chemical Research in Toxicology, 18 (7) :1150-1154 (2005)

Summary

Studies of the chemical speciation of uranium in water can enhance the knowledge of the mechanisms of its absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and its storage in the body. They can also help to improve the dosimetric models recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). The aim of this work was to assess the influence of uranium speciation on its absorption from the gastrointestinal tract by using both computer speciation modeling and direct measurement of the fractional absorption in vivo in rats after ingestion of five different samples of contaminated water. Preliminary ex vivo studies with human saliva and gastric juice showed that 90% of uranium was recovered with the natural components of the fluid studied. The computer studies of uranium speciation among the electrolytes of these fluids showed that under the set conditions, the chemical species changed in a broadly similar manner under the influence of fluid composition and pH. In vivo studies in rats validated these observations by indicating an average fractional absorption of about 0.4% for each of five different water samples. It is concluded that the chemical form of uranium in the water ingested did not influence its absorption into the body. © 2005 American Chemical Society.
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