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Incorporation of Uranium: II. Distribution of Uranium Absorbed through the Lungs and the Skin
  1. G. Walinder1,
  2. B. Fries,
  3. U. Billaudelle
  1. AB Atomenergi, Stockholm, 43, Sweden
  2. Surgery Department II, Sabbatsbergs Sjukhus, Stockholm, Sweden


    In experiments on mice, rabbits, and piglets the distribution of uranium was studied at different times after exposure. Uranium was administered by inhalation (mice) and through the skin (rabbits and piglets).

    These investigations show that the uptakes of uranium in different organs of the three species are highly dependent on the amounts administered. There seems to be a saturation effect in the spleen and bone tissue whenever the uranium concentration in the blood exceeds a certain level. The effect in the kidney is completely different. If, in a series of animals, the quantity of uranium is continuously increased, the uptakes by the kidneys increase more rapidly than the quantities administered. This observation seems to be consistent with the toxic effects of uranium on the capillary system in the renal cortex.

    Polyphloretin phosphate, a compound which reduces permeability, was investigated with respect to its effect on the uptake of uranium deposited in skin wounds in rabbits and piglets. It significantly reduced the absorption of uranium, even from depots in deep wounds.

    The findings are discussed with reference to the routine screening of persons exposed to uranium at AB Atomenergi.

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    • 1 Present address: Research Institute of National Defence, Dept. 1, Sundbyberg 4, Sweden.