Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ordii) living near the crater resulting from a nuclear detonation were found to be generally tritiated. The tritium activity of body water and tissues ranged from 0.1 to 0.4 μCi per gram. Organically bound tissue tritium had approximately the same specific activity as body water (<tex-math>$6-8\times 10^{6}\ {\rm dpm}\ \text{per gram hydrogen}$</tex-math>). The animals appeared to be in equilibrium with their food supply and the soil, in terms of tritium concentration. The lifetime chronic radiation dose to adult animals was estimated to be 10 rad from internal3 H. About 10 rad was also received from persistent external β- and γ-emitting radionuclides in the soil. There was no significant concentration of other internal radionuclides. The generalized tritium labeling and chronic low-level radiation exposure are of special interest in these animals. There was no macroscopic evidence of harmful radiation effects.

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