A generic biokinetic model for C-14 labelled compounds

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Manger, Ryan Paul
Hertel, Nolan E.
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Carbon-14, a radioactive nuclide, is used in many industrial applications. Due to its wide range of uses in industry, many workers are at risk of accidental internal exposure to 14C. Being a low energy beta emitter, 14C is not a significant external radiation hazard, but the internal consequences posed by 14C are important, especially because of its long half life of 5730 years. The current biokinetic model recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is a conservative estimate of how radiocarbon is treated by the human body. The ICRP generic radiocarbon model consists of a single compartment representing the entire human body. This compartment has a biological half life of 40 days yielding an effective dose coefficient of 5.8×10-10 Sv Bq-1. This overestimates the dose of all radiocarbon compounds that have been studied. An improved model has been developed that includes and alimentary tract, a urinary bladder, CO2 model, and an "Other" compartment used to model systemic tissues. The model can be adapted to replicate any excretion curve and excretion pattern. In addition, the effective dose coefficient produced by the updated model is near the mean effective dose coefficient of carbon compounds that have been considered in this research. The major areas of improvement are: more anatomically significant, a less conservative dose coefficient, and the ability to manipulate the model for known excretion data. Due to the wide variety of carbon compounds, it is suggested that specific biokinetic models be implemented for known radiocarbon substances. If the source of radiocarbon is dietary, then the physiologically based model proposed by Whillans that splits all ingested radiocarbon compounds into carbohydrates, fats, and proteins should be used.
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