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Ibrahim, Shawki A.*; Simon, Steven L.†; Bouville, André†; Melo, Dunstana†; Beck, Harold L.‡

Health Physics:
doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3181b186ff

This paper presents gastrointestinal absorption fractions (f1 values) for estimating internal doses from local and regional fallout radionuclides due to nuclear tests. The choice of f1 values are based on specific circumstances of weapons test conditions and a review of reported f1 values for elements in different physical and chemical states. Special attention is given to fallout from nuclear tests conducted at the Marshall Islands. We make a distinction between the f1 values for intakes of radioactive materials immediately after deposition (acute intakes) and intakes that occur in the course of months and years after deposition, following incorporation into terrestrial and aquatic foodstuffs (chronic intakes). Multiple f1 values for different circumstances where persons are exposed to radioactive fallout (e.g., local vs. regional fallout and coral vs. continental tests) are presented when supportive information is available. In some cases, our selected f1 values are similar to those adopted by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) (e.g., iodine and most actinides). However, f1 values for cesium and strontium derived from urine bioassay data of the Marshallese population are notably lower than the generic f1 values recommended by ICRP, particularly for acute intakes from local fallout (0.4 and 0.05 for Cs and Sr, respectively). The f1 values presented here form the first complete set of values relevant to realistic dose assessments for exposure to local or regional radioactive fallout.

Author Information

* Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; New York City, NY.

For correspondence contact: Steven L. Simon, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6120 Executive Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20892, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 5 June 2009)

©2010Health Physics Society