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J Environ Radioact. 2016 Jan;151 Pt 3:601-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.05.022. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Natural and anthropogenic radionuclide activity concentrations in the New Zealand diet.

Author information

1
Ministry for Primary Industries, PO Box 2526, Wellington, 6140, New Zealand; University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, 8140, New Zealand. Electronic address: andrew.pearson@mpi.govt.nz.
2
University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, 8140, New Zealand. Electronic address: sally.gaw@canterbury.ac.nz.
3
Institute of Environmental Science & Research Ltd, PO Box 29-181, Christchurch, 8540, New Zealand. Electronic address: Nikolaus.Hermanspahn@esr.cri.nz.
4
University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, 8140, New Zealand. Electronic address: chris.glover@canterbury.ac.nz.

Abstract

To support New Zealand's food safety monitoring regime, a survey was undertaken to establish radionuclide activity concentrations across the New Zealand diet. This survey was undertaken to better understand the radioactivity content of the modern diet and also to assess the suitability of the current use of milk as a sentinel for dietary radionuclide trends. Thirteen radionuclides were analysed in 40 common food commodities, including animal products, fruits, vegetables, cereal grains and seafood. Activity was detected for (137)Caesium, (90)Strontium and (131)Iodine. No other anthropogenic radionuclides were detected. Activity concentrations of the three natural radionuclides of Uranium and the daughter radionuclide (210)Polonium were detected in the majority of food sampled, with a large variation in magnitude. The maximum activity concentrations were detected in shellfish for all these radionuclides. Based on the established activity concentrations and ranges, the New Zealand diet contains activity concentrations of anthropogenic radionuclides far below the Codex Alimentarius guideline levels. Activity concentrations obtained for milk support its continued use as a sentinel for monitoring fallout radionuclides in terrestrial agriculture. The significant levels of natural and anthropogenic radionuclide activity concentrations detected in finfish and molluscs support undertaking further research to identify a suitable sentinel for New Zealand seafood monitoring.

KEYWORDS:

Caesium; Dietary monitoring; Dietary radionuclide activity; New Zealand; Polonium; Uranium

PMID:
26094571
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvrad.2015.05.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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