The effectiveness of simulated solar particle event (SPE) proton radiation to induce retching and vomiting was evaluated in the ferret experimental animal model. The endpoints measured in the study included: (1) the fraction of animals that retched or vomited, (2) the number of retches or vomits observed, (3) the latency period before the first retch or vomit and (4) the duration between the first and last retching or vomiting events. The results demonstrated that γ ray and proton irradiation delivered at a high dose rate of 0.5 Gy/min induced dose-dependent changes in the endpoints related to retching and vomiting. The minimum radiation doses required to induce statistically significant changes in retching- and vomiting-related endpoints were 0.75 and 1.0 Gy, respectively, and the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of proton radiation at the high dose rate did not significantly differ from 1. Similar but less consistent and smaller changes in the retching- and vomiting-related endpoints were observed for groups irradiated with γ rays and protons delivered at a low dose rate of 0.5 Gy/h. Since this low dose rate is similar to a radiation dose rate expected during a SPE, these results suggest that the risk of SPE radiation-induced vomiting is low and may reach statistical significance only when the radiation dose reaches 1 Gy or higher.

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