Gamma-Emitting Radionuclides in Newborns, Infants, and Children

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Science  13 Sep 1963:
Vol. 141, Issue 3585, pp. 1033-1035
DOI: 10.1126/science.141.3585.1033


During the period April 1962 to April 1963, 28 newborn infants, 7 stillborns, and 21 children from 4 to 15 years of age were examined for emission of gamma activity in a low-background, high-sensitivity, total-body counting facility. The 21 children contained traces of combined Zr95 and Nb95, Ru103, 106, and Cs137 in addition to the normal K40. The greatest concentration of Cs137 observed was 80 picocuries per kilogram of body weight, or about 4 percent of the natural K40 radioactivity. Four of the seven stillborns, each counted for 10 hours, shoWed K40 and traces of Zr95, Nb95, and Ru103, 106. The ratios of Zr95 to Nb95 were lower in the stillborns than in their placentas which suggested placental discrimination against Zr95. The ratios of Cs137 to K40 were lower in infants than in children or adults. Thyroid glands obtained atautopsy from 24 infants during April to September 1962 contained no detectable radioiodine ( less than 30 pc).