Measurement of the Radioactivity Levels for Some Food Products Imported to Iraq and Estimation of the Risk to Consumers
Keywords:Naturally occurring radioactive materials, gamma-ray spectrometry system.
In this study, Uranium (238U), Thorium (232Th), Radium (226Ra) and Potassium (40K) activity concentrations
were measured in 34 samples of biscuit, pastry, dessert, cakes and nestles manufactured in Turkey, Ukraine,
Poland, Spain, France, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Jordan, Algeria, India, Morocco, Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia, Emirates, in addition to locally produced biscuit sample manufactured in Iraq using gamma-ray
spectrometry system. The average activity concentrations were 69.09±24.89 Bq/kg for 238U, 26.75±11.13
Bq/kg for 232Th, 4.86±1.16 Bq/kg for 226Ra and 178.84±58.39 Bq/kg for 40K. The effective doses arising
from ingestion of naturally occurring radioactive materials in the investigated food samples ranged from
0.068±0.02 mSv/y for adults (age > 17 y) to 0.191±0.05 mSv/y for children (age 1–2 y), with a mean value
of 0.12 mSv/y. It was found that the estimated potential radiation doses for investigated population groups
were below the dose constraint of 0.3 mSv/y. The corresponding average radiation risk for all population
groups (6×10-6 per year) was found to be significantly lower than that considered acceptable in the relevant
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety standards (10-5 per year). The results presented in
current study confirm that the potential radiation doses and radiological hazards associated with intake of
the natural radionuclides in the imported and locally produced food species is acceptable and well within
permissible limits. Hence, the imported and locally produced food species investigated in this study were
considered safe for human consumption with respect to radiological hazards.
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