Male and female, young adult, Syrian golden hamsters were exposed to high-fired, freshly prepared, aerosols of${}^{238}{\rm PuO}{}_{2}$ or239 PuO2. Initial alveolar depositions of plutonium ranged from about 3 to 200 nCi. The fate of inhaled PuO2 in the hamster was similar to that previously described in the rat. Only in male hamsters exposed to large amounts of239 PuO2 was there significant shortening of life span. The incidence of adenomatous metaplasia in the lung was as high as 16% in unexposed controls and increased with increasing radiation dose to a maximum of 58% at the highest deposition of plutonium. Only three hamsters developed malignant tumors in the lung, all adenocarcinomas, and all at initial alveolar depositions > 160 nCi. It was concluded that the hamster was resistant to the induction of lung tumors following inhalation of insoluble particles containing α-emitting radionuclides.

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