TABLE 2-1 Solubility of Uranium Compounds

Uranium Compound

Chemical Formula

More water-soluble compounds

 

Uranyl nitrate

UO2(NO3)2

Uranyl nitrate hexahydrate

UO2(NO3)2●6H2O

Uranium hexafluoride

UF6

Uranyl fluoride

UO2F2

Uranium tetrachloride

UCl4

Uranium pentachloride

UCl5

Ammonium uranyl tricarbonate

(NH4)4UO2(CO3)3

Less water-soluble compounds

 

Sodium diuranate (yellow oxide of uranium)

Na2U2O7●6H2O

Ammonium diuranate

U2(NH4)2O7

Uranyl acetate

UO2(CH3CO2)2

Insoluble compounds

 

Uranium tetrafluoride

UF4

Uranium trioxide

UO3

Uranium dioxide

UO2

Uranium peroxide

UO4

Triuranium octaoxide

U3O8

Source: ATSDR 1999.

TABLE 2-2 Absorption by Exposure Route

Exposure Route

Absorption of Soluble Compounds

Absorption of Insoluble Compounds

Inhalation

5% or more

<1%

Ingestion

0.1-2%

0.01-0.2%

Skin contact

<1%

<1%

Source: Data from ATSDR 1999.

than 10 μm) are deposited predominantly deeper in the terminal bronchioles and alveoli. Soluble particles in the lungs and tracheobronchial lymph nodes are taken up into the systemic circulation within days (IOM 2000). Less-soluble particles are likely to remain in pulmonary tissue and associated lymph nodes for weeks. Relatively insoluble compounds are least likely to enter the systemic circulation and may remain in the lung and tracheobronchial lymph nodes for several years or decades.

Most inhaled uranium aerosol is cleared from the respiratory tract via the gastrointestinal tract, but a fraction is absorbed into the body fluids and distrib-



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