A final toxicological profile for uranium has been made available online by ATSDR. Uranium naturally occurs in nearly all rocks and soils, with average intakes from food of 0.9-1.5 μg/day. The toxicity of uranium is mainly due to chemical damage to the kidneys or respiratory tract, with adverse effect levels varying depending on the particular uranium compound and its solubility.

ATSDR has derived minimum risk levels (MRLs) for uranium exposure by both oral and respiratory routes. MRLs are estimates of daily human exposure that are likely to be without appreciable risk of adverse, non-carcinogenic effects over a specified period of time. There are limited studies on the carcinogenicity of uranium, but these are mostly negative.

For soluble compounds, an oral MRL of 2 µg U/kg bw/day has been derived for acute exposure (<15 days) and 0.2 µg U/kg bw/day for intermediate exposure (15-364 days). For intermediate inhalation exposure, the derived MRLs are 2 µg U/m3 for insoluble compounds and 0.1 µg U/m3 for soluble compounds, while for chronic exposure (≥365 days) these levels drop to 0.8 and 0.04 µg U/m3 respectively.

US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for uranium. February 2013.

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp150.pdf

 

The above item was taken from the May 2013 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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