Longitudinal sections of human cortical bone were submitted to thermal neutrons. γ-ray spectra were recorded repeatedly during 15 days following irradiation. They showed that Na24 is predominant as early as 3 hours after activation and that all the γ-emitters have decayed on the 15th day. When the γ-rays have disappeared, ß-rays are still produced by the sections. It was proved by the absorption curve in aluminium that all these ß-rays are issued from the P32 induced in the sections by activation of P31. Therefore autoradiograms registered 15 days after activation reveal the distribution of P32 in the sections. γ-ray spectra and ß-ray absorption curves of neutron activated sections of ivory demonstrated a mineral composition similar to that of bone. Autoradiograms of ivory sections activated for various times were used to establish the relation between the optical density of the autoradiograms and the radioactivity in P32. When the bone autoradiograms are compared with the ivory standards of known radioactivity, the optical densities of single osteons (Haversian systems), can be related to their phosphorus contents. Autoradiograms and microradiograms of the same sections were examined side by side. The least calcified osteons, that contain 80 per cent of the calcium of the fully calcified osteons, also contain about 80 per cent of the phosphorus of the fully mineralized osteons. It is concluded that the Ca:P ratio remains constant while mineralization of bone tissue is being completed.

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