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Health Phys. 2002 Jul;83(1):56-65.

Absorption of strontium from the gastrointestinal tract into plasma in healthy human adults.

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SENES, Oak Ridge, Inc, TN 37830, USA.


The radioactive isotopes of strontium have always been a major concern in radiation protection. Currently, radiostrontium is of interest for evaluation of the health effects of the Chernobyl accident and for epidemiological studies in populations exposed to releases from the Mayak nuclear facilities in Russia. Ingestion is one of the most important exposure pathways involving radioactive strontium. The main sources of published data on the fraction of the ingested strontium that is transferred to plasma (f1) are summarized. For some of these studies, the original data had to be reanalyzed and a new iterative method to account for the elimination in feces of strontium of endogenous origin (i.e., that was absorbed to blood and has already been returned into feces) was employed. Data indicate no significant dependence of the absorbed fraction on sex or age at exposure within the adult group, but absorption of strontium is reduced if the intake of stable calcium is very high and is enhanced if the intake of calcium is very low. The probability distribution function of f1 values is well represented by a lognormal curve with a geometric mean of 22.3% and a geometric standard deviation of 1.44 (95% confidence interval 10.9% to 45.6%, or about a factor of 2 around the geometric mean). This distribution can be considered representative for the variability of the f1 values in a population of healthy adults.

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