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Behavior of Americium in Simulated Wounds in Nonhuman Primates

Poudel, Deepesh*; Guilmette, Raymond A.; Bertelli, Luiz*; Klumpp, John A.*; Brey, Richard R.

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000658

An americium solution injected intramuscularly into several nonhuman primates (NHPs) was found to behave differently than predicted by the wound models described in the NCRP Report 156. This was because the injection was made along with a citrate solution, which is known to be more soluble than chlorides, oxides, or nitrates on which the NCRP Report was based. A multi-exponential wound model specific to the injected americium solution was developed based on the retention in the intramuscular sites. The model was coupled with the americium systemic model to interpret the urinary excretion data and assess the intake, and it was determined that the models were adequate to predict early urinary excretion in most cases but unable to predict late urinary excretion. This was attributed to the differences in the systemic handling of americium between humans and nonhuman primates. Information on the type of wounds, solubility, particle size, mass, chemical form, etc., should always be considered when performing wound dosimetry.

*Radiation Protection Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545; †Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM and Ray Guilmette and Associates, LLC, Perry, ME; ‡Department of NE and Health Physics, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209.

For questions, please contact Deepesh Poudel at PO Box 1663, MS G761, Los Alamos, NM 87544, or email at

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

(Manuscript accepted 29 December 2016)

© 2017 by the Health Physics Society