A survey of the accumulation of 90Sr in human teeth has been carried out by the Royal Navy. It covers the 13 years 1959-71 in which fallout levels rose to a peak and declined again. Correlations have been established between the uptake of 90Sr in developing tooth and bone, related to fluctuating ratios of 90Sr/Ca in the diet. Since mineral ratios are permanently fixed in teeth by irreversible deposition they constitute an indelible record of the levels of bone-seeking elements (including contaminants) that existed when the teeth were being laid down. Thus it becomes possible to estimate former bone ratios persisting in the teeth, no matter how much prevailing levels of contamination may have altered in the meantime. The present study provides general parameters whereby this may be done.
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