Radiocaesium intake in Great Britain as a consequence of the consumption of wild fungi

Barnett, C.L.; Beresford, N.A.; Frankland, J.C.; Self, P.L.; Howard, B.J.; Marriott, J.V.R.. 2001 Radiocaesium intake in Great Britain as a consequence of the consumption of wild fungi. Mycologist, 15 (3). 98-104.

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In the years following the Chernobyl accident the consumption of wild fungi has been shown to contribute significantly to the radiocaesium intake of humans in several countries. However, in Great Britain, the collection of wild fungi for consumption has generally been thought to be of minor importance and the pathway has not been considered in assessment of radioactivity to humans. The study reported here provides information on contamination levels and consumption rates of wild fungi. To gather the information required, two concurrent surveys were conducted. The first assessed the radiocaesium contamination levels present in commonly eaten fungal species where samples of wild fungi were collected from mainland Great Britain (in collaboration with the British Mycological Society's affiliated Fungus Groups). The second was a survey of consumption habits. The results show that it is not the actual amount of fungi consumed by individuals which determines their radiocaesium intake, but rather the species they select; mycorrhizal species, for example, have significantly greater l37Cs activity concentrations than saprotrophic and parasitic species. It is concluded that the consumption of wild fungi would not currently be expected to appreciably increase the intake of radioactivity of most consumers above that attributable to the normal diet.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
ISSN: 0269-915X
Additional Keywords: radioecology, edible fungi, radiocaesium, dietary habits, annual committed effective dose
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 03 May 2012 09:14 +0 (UTC)

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