Doses from the consumption of Cardiff Bay flounder containing organically bound tritium

Alan Hodgson*, J. E. Scott, Timothy Fell, John Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


ICRP dose coefficients for the ingestion of organically bound tritium (OBT) by adults and children are intended for general application to unspecified forms in diet and may not be applicable to intakes of a specific form of OBT. To obtain information relating to OBT in fish from Cardiff Bay, the retention of tritium in adult rats was determined after administration as either tritiated water (HTO) or dried flounder flesh containing OBT. Two components of retention were obtained in each case. The first component, attributable to tritium equilibrating with body water, had a half-time of retention of 3 days in each case, and accounted for 97% of the intake as HTO and 70% after intake of OBT in flounder. Results were consistent with rapid catabolism of a large proportion of flounder OBT to HTO. The second component of retention, attributable to OBT in rat tissues, accounted for 3% of tritium intake as HTO and 30% after intake as flounder OBT; the half-times of retention were 10 days and 25 days, respectively. The results obtained after administration as HTO are consistent with published animal data and correlate with the ICRP assumptions for adult man of half-times of 10 days for 97% behaving as HTO in body tissues and 40 days for 3% incorporated into OBT in body tissues. The results obtained after administration of flounder OBT suggest that appropriate assumptions for retention in adult man are 70% with a 10 day half-time and 30% with a 100 day half-time. These assumptions result in an ingestion dose coefficient of 6 × 10-11 Sv Bq-1. This compares with the ICRP value for OBT ingestion by adults of 4.2 × 10-11 Sv Bq-1, based on half-times of 10 days and 40 days applied to equal proportions of retained tritium. It is proposed that a dose coefficient of 6 × 10 -11 Sv Bq-1 should be applied to tritium in flounders from Cardiff Bay. It is further proposed that this dose coefficient should be applied to all ingestion intakes by adults relating to this source of exposure, unless specific information is available showing that a significant proportion of the intake is HTO. The same proposals apply to dose coefficients derived here for flounder OBT consumption by children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Doses from the consumption of Cardiff Bay flounder containing organically bound tritium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this