skip to main content

Title: Radioactivity and foods

The purpose of this article is to describe and contrast two relationships between radiation and food--on the one hand, beneficial preservation of food by controlled exposure to ionizing radiation; and, on the other, contamination of food by accidental incorporation of radioactive nuclides within the food itself. In food irradiation, electrons or electromagnetic radiation is used to destroy microorganisms and insects or prevent seed germination. The economic advantages and health benefits of sterilizing food in this manner are clear, and numerous studies have confirmed that under strictly controlled conditions no undersirable changes or induced radioactivity is produced in the irradiated food. An altogether different situation is presented by exposure of food animals and farming areas to radioactive materials, as occurred after the major Soviet nuclear reactor accident at Chenobyl. This article furnishes the basic information needed to understand the nature of food contamination associated with that event and describes the work of international organizations seeking to establish appropriate safe limits for levels of radioactivity in foods.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. (Unified Lab. of Food and Drug Control, Guatemala City (Guatemala))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5315692
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization (United States); (WHO); Journal Volume: 25:1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; 63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; FOOD; RADIOPRESERVATION; FOOD CHAINS; CONTAMINATION; INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION; IONIZING RADIATIONS; UNITED NATIONS; COOPERATION; INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS; IRRADIATION; PRESERVATION; RADIATIONS 553004* -- Agriculture & Food Technology-- Food Protection & Preservation-- (1987-); 560162 -- Radionuclide Effects, Kinetics, & Toxicology-- Animals, Plants, Microorganisms, & Cells