I am starting this thread to discuss the natural occurring radiation found in potato chips and banana's, which are commonly used to compare against
I am not a nuclear expert by any means, what I have learned, I learned on my own.
Lets start with the basic differences:
Potassium is a naturally occurring mineral that is vital for health and the human body. Potassium rich foods include bananas, potatoes, lima beans,
brazil nuts etc.
Cesium-137 is a man made radionuclide that is a by product of fission. If all man-made nuclear activity were stopped today, in 500 years there would
be no traces of cesium-137 on this planet. I say man-made because there is evidence that in earth's past, naturally occurring nuclear fission was
present, about a billion years ago or so.
First topic.... numbers.
A Chaquita banana on average contains about 450 milligrams of potassium. Potassium-40 is a naturally occurring radionuclide, but it only represents a
very tiny fraction of potassium. Naturally occurring potassium-40 that is in food only occurs at the rate of approximately 120 parts per million
(ppm) of potassium.
For every 1,000,000 units of potassium, we would expect to find 120 units of potassium-40.
For every 1,000,000 units of cesium-137, we would expect to find 1,000,000 units of cesium-137.
So for the banana example, you would take 450 milligrams of potassium and divide that by .012% to arrive at your estimated amount of potassium-40 in
your banana. If that same banana contained 450 milligrams of cesium-137, then that's what you got... all 450 milligrams are radioactive.
Potassium-40 has a half life of approximately 1,300,000,000 years.
Cesium-137 has a half life of approximately 30 years.
Biological half life: (time from ingestion to secretion)
Potassium-40 has an average of about 16 days.
Cesium-137 has an average of about 70 days.
There are tons more numbers we can toss out there about the disintegration counts, decay chain differences, etc. but I will leave that open for the
So remember,,, there are many different types of radiation, and different effects from said radiation but it should be obvious that trying to compare
cesium-137 to the potassium-40 found in food is ludicrous.
edit on R132014-06-09T17:13:51-05:00k136Vpm by RickinVa because: (no reason
edit on R182014-06-09T17:18:57-05:00k186Vpm by RickinVa because: (no reason given)