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Sci Total Environ. 2008 Jan 25;389(2-3):259-69. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

The biokinetics of inorganic cobalt in the human body.

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1060 Commerce Park, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA.


This paper reviews information on the biological behavior of inorganic cobalt in humans and laboratory animals and proposes a model of the systemic biokinetics of inorganic cobalt in adult humans. The model was developed as part of an effort to update the models of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) for addressing intakes of radionuclides by workers but is also applicable to environmental or medical exposures to inorganic forms of radiocobalt. The model can be used in conjunction with any respiratory, gastrointestinal, or wound model that provides predictions of the time-dependent feed of cobalt to blood. In contrast to the ICRP's current systemic model for cobalt, which is a simple open catenary system, the proposed model is constructed within a physiologically realistic framework that depicts recycling of cobalt between blood and tissues and transfer from blood to excretion pathways. Compared with the ICRP's current model, the proposed model yields similar predictions of whole-body retention but substantially different predictions of the systemic distribution of cobalt as a function of time after uptake to blood.

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