Concentrations of worldwide fallout 137Cs were measured in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food chain of northern Alaska during the period 1962-79. Pronounced inputs of fallout occurred after major nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere and 137Cs was transmitted through the food chain to Eskimos with about a 2-yr delay due to environmental parameters. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) meat sampled during spring harvest contained 4 times the 137Cs concentration of lichens obtained from their winter range. Calculated caribou meat ingestion rates of Anaktuvuk Pass Eskimos during winter ranged from approximately 1 kg/day in 1964 to 0.16 kg/day in 1977. Several environmental factors affected seasonal patterns and amounts of 137Cs transferred through the food chain. Maximum 137Cs concentrations of approximately 20 nCi/kg body weight in ESkimos occurred in 1964 and have now decreased to approximately 0.5 nCi/kg, largely because of cultural and political factors. Radiation doses from 137Cs body burdens during the study period ranged from 60 mrad/yr in 1962 to approximately 140 mrad/yr during the 1962-64 maxima and decreased to 8 mrad/yr in 1979.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 832.
Alaska Medical Library - From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 1238.
UAA Consortium Library - Alaskana Collection GN58.A7 H85 1980. Pages 213-255 in F.A. Milan, ed. The human biology of circumpolar populations. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. International Biological Programme 21.