Radiation Doses From the Norwegian Diet

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Abstract

Ingestion doses between and within countries are expected to vary significantly due to differences in dietary habits and geographical variations in radionuclide concentrations. This paper presents the most comprehensive assessment to date of the effective radiation dose from the Norwegian diet, from natural as well as anthropogenic radionuclides. Ingestion doses to the Norwegian public are calculated using national dietary statistics and the most relevant radionuclide concentration data for the various food products. The age-weighted average effective dose received by the Norwegian population from the diet is estimated at 0.41 mSv y−1 from naturally occurring radionuclides and 0.010 mSv y−1 from anthropogenic radionuclides. This is approximately 50% higher than the estimated world average. Fish and shellfish is the food group that provides the largest dose contribution from the average Norwegian diet. Although the average dose from anthropogenic radionuclides today is low, the exposure may still be significant for certain critical groups—especially persons who consume large amounts of reindeer meat from the regions that received significant radioactive fallout after the Chernobyl accident. Furthermore, persons with high 222Rn concentrations in their drinking water are among those receiving the highest ingestion doses in Norway.

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