Uptake Processes

The uptake routes of radionuclides by plants are foliar absorption and root absorption, and by animals the route is daily intake of foods that have been contaminated with radioactivity as a result of global fallout or a nuclear power plant accident involving various radionuclides. There are many reports that the cycles of transfer of radionuclides from air to soil, soil to plant, and plant to animal can occur. One example of the uptake process is the observation of global fallout radioactivity of 137Cs in lichens in arctic regions. Observations have indicated a long-term buildup in response to weapons testing of 137Cs in lichens, reindeer, and caribou, and the people who consumed these animals as a major food source. A few of many other possible examples are provided in the next section.

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