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On the Occurrence and Significance of Radiocesium in Bull Semen

Abstract

A study has been carried out to investigate the distribution and concentration of radiocesium in bull semen after oral administration. Two bulls were given 2.5 mGi Gs134 in water solution with a stomach tube. Semen was collected with an artificial vagina and the concentration of Cs134 in seminal plasma and spermatozoa measured. The concentration of Gs134 in blood plasma and blood cells was also determined at various time intervals after the administration.

From one week up to the end of the experimental period (88 and 107 days respectively) the ratio between the concentration of Gs134 in spermatozoa and seminal plasma was fairly constant. The concentration in the spermatozoa was only about 35 % of that in seminal plasma. This is remarkable since the intracellular concentration of cesium usually is higher than the extracellular. The concentration of Cs134 in the blood cells of the two bulls was also considerably higher than that in the blood plasma.

The concentration of Gs134 in semen from a bull could be described by a four-term exponential expression. In consequence it could be calculated that the concentration after an infinite daily intake will be 2.6 × 10−3 % of the daily dose per ml semen.

If the deposition of fallout on the pasture where a bull is grazing is 3.4×1015 fissions/m2 (corresponding to a dose rate of about 100 r/hr. at 1 hr. after fission), the dose to spermatozoa in testis and epididymis from Gs137 will be about 60 mrad assuming a maximum residence time of 70 days of the spermatozoa in testis and epididymis. The dose to the spermatozoa which have been diluted ten times (10 to 20 is a common dilution rate) and then stored in a semen bank for one year, will be about 20 mrad. In all the total dose will thus not exceed 0.1 rad. It seems unlikely that the radiation dose to sperm from Cs137 deposited in the body and in the semen will be of any significance in comparison with. e.g. the external dose received from fallout.

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Ekman, L., Greitz, U., Gustafsson, B. et al. On the Occurrence and Significance of Radiocesium in Bull Semen. Acta Vet Scand 8, 98–110 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547836

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547836