The biological effects of ionising radiation on Crustaceans: A review

Abstract : Historic approaches to radiation protection are founded on the conjecture that measures to safeguard humans are adequate to protect non-human organisms. This view is disparate with other toxicants wherein well-developed frameworks exist to minimise exposure of biota. Significant data gaps for many organisms, coupled with high profile nuclear incidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, have prompted the re-evaluation of our approach toward environmental radioprotection. Elucidating the impacts of radiation on biota has been identified as priority area for future research within both scientific and regulatory communities. The crustaceans are ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems, comprising greater than 66,000 species of ecological and commercial importance. This paper aims to assess the available literature of radiation-induced effects within this subphylum and identify knowledge gaps. A literature search was conducted pertaining to radiation effects on four endpoints as stipulated by a number of regulatory bodies: mortality, morbidity, reproduction and mutation. A major finding of this review was the paucity of data regarding the effects of environmentally relevant radiation doses on crustacean biology. Extremely few studies utilising chronic exposure durations or wild populations were found across all four endpoints. The dose levels at which effects occur was found to vary by orders of magnitude thus presenting difficulties in developing phyla-specific benchmark values and reference levels for radioprotection. Based on the limited data, mutation was found to be the most sensitive endpoint of radiation exposure, with mortality the least sensitive. Current phyla-specific dose levels and limits proposed by major regulatory bodies were found to be inadequate to protect species across a range of endpoints including morbidity, mutation and reproduction and examples are discussed within. These findings serve to prioritise areas for future research that will significantly advance understanding of radiation-induced effects in aquatic invertebrates and consequently enhance ability to predict the impacts of radioactive releases on the environment.
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Neil Fuller, Adélaïde Lerebours, Jim Smith, Alex Ford. The biological effects of ionising radiation on Crustaceans: A review. Aquatic Toxicology, Elsevier, 2015, 167, pp.55-67. ⟨10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.07.013⟩. ⟨hal-01978333⟩

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