210Pb, 210Po, 226Ra, U and Th in arable crops and ovine liver: Variations in concentrations in the United Kingdom and resultant doses

G. J. Ham*, B. T. Wilkins, L. W. Ewers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Concentrations of a range of naturally occurring radionuclides have been determined in the same crops grown at two sites in the UK. Ovine liver has also been studied. One site was in an area where concentrations in soil are typical of the UK (the 'control' site) and the other in an area where levels were well above average (the 'test' site). For an average adult consumer of all of the foodstuffs studied, the doses from consumption for the test site were about 4 times higher than those for the control site. However, the differences were small compared with the variability in overall doses from natural background across the UK. 210Pb and 210Po were important contributors to doses for both sites, but at the test site the contribution from 226Ra was also significant. Of the foodstuffs studied, consumption of leafy vegetables and liver gave the highest doses. The doses from leafy vegetables were sensitive to the weather conditions prior to harvesting. Consequently, rigorous monitoring programmes should be based on several samples collected throughout the year; extrapolations based on a single annual sample are unlikely to be reliable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalRadiation Protection Dosimetry
Volume93
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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