Tritium uptake in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): HTO and OBT-spiked feed exposures simultaneously
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There is currently considerable interest in organically bound tritium (OBT) formation in edible fish. The major questions revolve around whether or not tritium can accumulate in fish after being released into aquatic environments. Since OBT formation rates in large, edible fish are poorly understood, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) studies, where fish were simultaneously exposed to tritiated water (HTO) and OBT-spiked feed over 130 days, were conducted to evaluate tritium uptake. The measured HTO activity concentrations in fish tissue confirmed that HTO in fish tissue equilibrates quickly with HTO in tank water. The data obtained also confirmed that OBT uptake is faster when fish are ingesting OBT-spiked feed compared to when fish are living in tritiated water (and consuming non-OBT-spiked feed). The difference between the two exposure types is such that the groups exposed to tritiated water and OBT-spiked feed simultaneously were showing the same uptake rates as OBT-spiked feed only exposures. Contrary to what was expected, the rate of OBT uptake (from OBT-spiked feed) seemed to be higher in slow growing fish compared to fast growing fish. Another observation from these studies was that OBT activity concentrations in all organs (viscera) had a tendency to be higher than OBT activity concentrations measured in fish flesh.
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