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J Environ Radioact. 2002;59(3):351-63.

Transfer of 137Cs and stable Cs from paddy soil to polished rice in Aomori, Japan.

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Department of Radioecology, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Kamikita-gun, Aomori, Japan.


Rice is a staple food in Japan and other Asian countries, and the soil-to-plant transfer factor of 137Cs released into the environment is an important parameter for estimating the internal radiation dose from food ingestion. Soil and rice grain samples were collected from 20 paddy fields throughout Aomori Prefecture, Japan in 1996 and 1997, and soil-to-polished rice transfer factors were determined. The concentrations of 137Cs, derived from fallout depositions, stable Cs and K in paddy soils were 2.5-21 Bq kg(-1), 1.2-5.3 and 5000-13000 mg kg(-1), respectively. The ranges of 137Cs, stable Cs and K concentration in polished rice were 2.5-85 mBq kg(-1) dry wt., 0.0005-0.0065 and 580-910 mg kg(-1) dry wt., respectively. The geometric mean of soil-to-polished rice transfer factor of 137Cs was 0.0016, and its 95% confidence interval was 0.00021-0.012. The transfer factor of 137Cs was approximately 3 times higher than that of stable Cs at 0.00056, and they were well correlated. This implied that fallout 137Cs, mostly deposited up to the 1980s, is more mobile and more easily absorbed by plants than stable Cs in the soil, although the soil-to-plant transfer of stable Cs can be used for predicting the long-term transfer of 137Cs. The transfer factors of both 137Cs and stable Cs decreased with increasing K concentration in the soil. This suggests that K in the soil was a competitive factor for the transfers of both 137Cs and stable Cs from soil-to-polished rice. However, the transfer factors of 137Cs and stable Cs were independent of the amount of organic materials in soils.

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