Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Saw this article about radiation and food over at Wattsupwiththat and fell about laughing. The article points out that the levels of background radiation in naturally grown foodstuffs, like bananas, are higher than we think. For example;
Relative food radiation levels;
Beer= 390 pCi/liter
Tap Water= 20 pCi/liter
Milk= 1,400 pCi/liter
Salad Oil= 4,900 pCi/liter
Whiskey= 1,200 pCi/liter
Brazil Nuts= 14,000 pCi/kg
Bananas= 3000 pCi/kg
Flour= 140 pCi/kg
Peanuts 8,000 pCi/kg
Peanut Butter= 120 pCi/kg
Tea= 400 pCi/kg
In fact most foods contain some form of radioactivity. This is perfectly natural. The world is filled with various kinds of radioactivity. It occurs regardless of human activity.
One of the figures quoted is our total exposure to radiation in a year is in the region of 360 millirems a year. Before you go running off to berate others about atom bomb tests, remember that a single transatlantic flight can expose you to about 4 extra millirems a year, whereas dosage from atmospheric pre ban treaty nuclear tests has been calculated overall at 1 millirem a year. Moving to a location 1000 feet above sea level exposes you to an extra 5 millirems a year. That's not including radiation from the soil and rock underneath your feet. Like granite? High natural background radiation just from that fancy counter top in your kitchen.
Figures culled from here. Please go and read.
Next time some anxiety prone goes off at me about the wickedness of nuclear power stations, food residues and sterilising with Gamma radiation, I think I'll just ask them about how many bananas they eat.