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Vet Hum Toxicol. 1985 Jun;27(3):200-7.

Radiation effects on livestock: physiological effects, dose response.

Abstract

Farm livestock show no measurable effects from being exposed to ionizing radiation unless the level is greatly in excess of the natural background radiation. Possible sources of ionizing radiation which might affect livestock or contribute to radioactivity in the food chain to humans are reactor accidents, fuel reprocessing plant accidents and thermonuclear explosions. Most data on ionizing radiation effects on livestock are from whole body gamma doses near the LD 50/60 level. However, grazing livestock would be subjected to added beta exposure from ingested and skin retained radioactive particles. Results of attempts to simulate exposure of the Hereford cattle at Alamogardo, NM show that cattle are more sensitive to ingested fallout radiation than other species. Poultry LD 50/60 for gamma exposure is about twice the level for mammals, and swine appear to have the most efficient repair system being able to withstand the most chronic gamma exposure. Productivity of most livestock surviving an LD 50/60 exposure is temporarily reduced and longterm effects are small. Livestock are good screeners against undesirables in our diet and with the exception of radiosotopes of iodine in milk, very little fission product radioactivity would be expected to be transferred through the food chain in livestock products for humans. Feeding of stored feed or moving livestock to uncontaminated pastures would be the best protective action to follow.

PMID:
3895719
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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