Barnett, C.L.; Wells, C.; Fesenko, S.; Tagami, K.; Beresford, N.A.

Radionuclide biological half-lives for farm animals

Data comprise a compilation of quality-controlled biological half-life values (and associated information) from a literature review for animals (mainly farm livestock) which contribute to the human food chain. The dataset contains almost 650 entries for 12 animal types (cattle, sheep, goats, deer, geese, hens, horses, pigs, rabbits, camels, ducks and red grouse) of importance to the human food chain for 32 elements relevant to radiological protection. Entries include values for milk, muscle (meat), eggs, whole body, carcass and various tissues (e.g. liver and kidney); the number of entries available for each element/food-chain product combination is highly variable. The dataset also contains values for other sample types (e.g. urine, faeces etc.) that are not associated with the human food but are presented as the data appeared in the same source reference as those values for human food chain products and they may be useful for modelling purposes. All the source references consulted during the review are provided. The study was conducted as part of the CONFIDENCE project which is part of the CONCERT EJP, which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 662287.

Publication date: 2019-09-17

Get the data

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Barnett, C.L.; Wells, C.; Fesenko, S.; Tagami, K.; Beresford, N.A. (2019). Radionuclide biological half-lives for farm animals. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.



Temporal extent
1959-01-01    to    2016-12-31

Provenance & quality

Prior to beginning the review, a recording sheet (in Microsoft Excel), was designed to allow easy collation of the half-life values (and associated information) into the final dataset. Each source reference was consulted and the data quality-controlled prior to inclusion into the dataset; subsequently the majority of the entries have been validated by somebody other than the person making the initial entry.
Care should be taken when summarising the biological half-life values presented here. This is because source references often report differing numbers of components of loss (e.g. for Cs in milk between one and five loss components are reported by different authors) which means it is not possible to derive means and associated probability distribution functions for a given component (i.e. a degree of interpretation will be required when trying to derive ‘best estimate’ values).

Correspondence/contact details

Barnett, C.L.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg


Barnett, C.L.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Wells, C.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Fesenko, S.
Russian Institute of Radiology and Radioecology
Tagami, K.
National Institute of Radiological Sciences
Beresford, N.A.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Biological,  Element,  Element,  Farm animal,  Food chain,  food product,  Half-life,  meat,  milk,  Radioecology Radionuclide,  Review,  tissue
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
European Union Award: 662287
Last updated
18 May 2022 12:21