Radionuclides in Foodstuffs and Food Raw Material
Everybody needs to eat food to survive and develop. Food can become contaminated with a wide range of pollutants including radioactivity. This chapter shows the importance of monitoring food for levels of radioactivity. It looks at the important sources of radioactivity, both natural and anthropogenic, and relevant transfer pathways through the food chain, identifying the combinations of food groups and radionuclides of most interest. In order to assess the impact of food contamination exposure on the population, the chapter develops the concept of radioactivity monitoring programs for food, including important driving forces such as developing international safety and trade legislation, and public reassurance. It also shows that data generated can be used for both retrospective and prospective dose assessments, and the effect that food processing methods may have on these doses. In addition to what might be regarded as routine programs, the chapter also looks at examples of special investigations, such as postaccident monitoring of food.