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Natural Radioactivity in Foods Consumed in Turkey

Authors: E. Kam, G. Karahan, H. Aslıyuksek, A. Bozkurt


This study aims to determine the natural radioactivity levels in some foodstuffs produced in Turkey. For this purpose, 48 different foods samples were collected from different land parcels throughout the country. All samples were analyzed to designate both gross alpha and gross beta radioactivities and the radionuclides’ concentrations. The gross alpha radioactivities were measured as below 1 Bq kg-1 in most of the samples, some of them being due to the detection limit of the counting system. The gross beta radioactivity levels ranged from 1.8 Bq kg-1 to 453 Bq kg-1, larger levels being observed in leguminous seeds while the highest level being in haricot bean. The concentrations of natural radionuclides in the foodstuffs were investigated by the method of gamma spectroscopy. High levels of 40K were measured in all the samples, the highest activities being again in leguminous seeds. Low concentrations of 238U and 226Ra were found in some of the samples, which are comparable to the reported results in the literature. Based on the activity concentrations obtained in this study, average annual effective dose equivalents for the radionuclides 226Ra, 238U, and 40K were calculated as 77.416 µSv y-1, 0.978 µSv y-1, and 140.55 µSv y-1, respectively.

Keywords: Foods, radioactivity, gross alpha, gross beta, annual equivalent dose, Turkey.

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