Skip to content

Food Is Radioactive Anyway – Without Japanese Meltdown

March 19, 2011
We’re seeing a lot of panic about radioactive food. Fact is we live on a radioactive planet and always have since it was formed. The question is not about being radioactive but about how much over the normal background it is. For example, our bodies use potassium extensively. We eat and excrete about 2-3 grams every day from almost all foods.

Below are listed most of the elements we know are radioactive at some level. How about hydrogen, silver, carbon, iron, zinc- yep all are radioactive at some level.

There are actually three potassium isotopes: K39, a stable isotope, is the most abundant, about 93% of the total; K41 is next in abundance at around 7% and is also a stable isotope. That’s 100% but there is a tiny amount of radioactive isotope, K40. It is present in all potassium at a very low concentration, about 1/100th of one percent. It has a very long half-life, 1.5 billion years.  It emits beta and gamma rays.
Ever hear of gamma rays being used in focused radiation to kill tumors in difficult locations? It’s called gamma knife or similar names. The key is a HUGE difference in dosage. Gamma knife kills tumors with levels of energy, called gays, of 15 and above. Compared to that this normal potassium background radiation is so small it hardly exists.
The knowledge that all potassium contains K40 does not seem to be widely known. Very few of the discussions about potassium mention its radioactivity. The implication is it can be ignored.
Radioactive Element Atomic Number Atomic Mass Number Decay Type Half Life
Hydrogen (H) 1 3 Beta Decay) 12 years
Beryllium (Be) 4 10 Beta Decay (β) 2,700,000 years
Carbon (C) 6 14 Beta Decay (β) 5,730 years
Calcium(Ca) 20 41 Beta Decay (β+) 100,000 years
Iron (Fe) 26 59 Beta Decay (β) 45 days
Cobalt (Co) 27 60 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 5 years
Nickel
(Ni)
28 59 Beta Decay (β+) 80,000 years
Zinc(Zn) 30 65 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 145 days
Selenium (Se) 34 79 Beta Decay (β) 70,000 years
Krypton (Kr) 36 85 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 10 years
Krypton (Kr) 36 90 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 33 seconds
Rubidium (Rb) 37 87 Beta Decay (β) 47 billion years
Strontium (Sr) 38 89 Beta Decay (β) 53 days
Strontium (Sr) 38 90 Beta Decay (β) 28 years
Yttrium (Y) 39 90 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 64 hrs
Yttrium (Y) 39 91 Beta Decay (β) 58 days
Zirconium (Zr) 40 93 Beta Decay (β) 950,000 years
Zirconium (Zr) 40 95 Beta Decay (β) 65 days
Niobium (Nb) 41 93 Gamma 4 years
Niobium (Nb) 41 95 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 35 days
Molybdenum (Mo) 42 93 Beta Decay (β+) 10,000 years
Technetium (Tc) 43 99 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 210,000 years
Ruthenium (Ru) 44 103 Beta Decay (β) 40 days
Ruthenium(Ru) 44 106 Beta Decay (β) 1 year
Palladium (Pd) 46 107 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 7 million years
Silver (Ag) 47 110 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 249 days
Tin (Sn) 50 126 Beta Decay (β) 100,000 years
Antimony (Sb) 51 125 Beta Decay (β) 2 years
Tellurium (Te) 52 127 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 105 days
Tellurium (Te) 52 129 Beta Decay (β) 67 minutes
Iodine (I) 53 129 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 17.2 million years
Iodine (I) 53 131 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 8 days
Iodine (I) 53 134 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 52 minutes
Xenon (Xe) 54 133 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 5 days
Xenon (Xe) 54 137 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 4 minutes
Xenon (Xe) 54 138 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 14 minutes
Cesium (Cs) 55 134 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 2 years
Cesium (Cs) 55 135 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 2 million years
Cesium (Cs) 55 137 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 30 years
Cerium (Ce) 58 144 Beta Decay (β) 285 days
Promethium (Pm) 61 147 Beta Decay (β), Gamma 2 years
Europium (Eu) 63 154 Beta Decay (β), Beta Decay (β+), Gamma 16 years
Europium (Eu) 63 155 Beta Decay (β) 2 years
Lead (Pb) 82 210 Beta Decay (β), Alpha 21 years
Bismuth (Bi) 83 210 Alpha 3 million years
Polonium (Po) 84 210 Alpha 138 days
Radon (Rn) 86 220 Alpha, Beta Decay (β+) 1 min
Radon (Rn) 86 222 Alpha 4 days
Radium (Ra) 88 224 Alpha 4 days
Radium (Ra) 88 225 Beta Decay (β) 15 days
Radium (Ra) 88 226 Alpha 1,622 years
Thorium (Th) 90 228 Alpha 2 years
Thorium (Th) 90 229 Alpha 7,340 years
Thorium (Th) 90 230 Alpha 80,000 years
Thorium (Th) 90 232 Alpha 14 years
Thorium (Th) 90 234 Beta Decay (β) 24 days
Proactinium (Pa) 91 226 Alpha, Beta Decay (β+) 2 minutes
Uranium (U) 92 233 Alpha 162,000 years
Uranium (U) 92 234 Alpha 248,000 years
Uranium (U) 92 235 Alpha 713 million years
Uranium (U) 92 236 Alpha 23.9 million years
Uranium (U) 92 238 Alpha 4.51 billion years
Neptunium (Np) 93 237 Alpha 2.2 million years
Plutonium (Pu) 94 236 Alpha 285 years
Plutonium (Pu) 94 238 Alpha 86 years
Plutonium (Pu) 94 239 Alpha 24,390 years
Plutonium (Pu) 94 240 Alpha 6,580 years
Plutonium (Pu) 94 241 Beta Decay (β), Alpha 13 years
Plutonium (Pu) 94 242 Alpha 379,000 years
Plutonium (Pu) 94 243 Alpha 5 years
Plutonium (Pu) 94 244 Alpha 76 million years
Americium (Am) 95 241 Alpha 458 years
Americium (Am) 95 242 Beta Decay (β), Beta Decay (β+), Alpha, Gamma 16 hours
Americium (Am) 95 243 Alpha 7,950 years
Curium (Cm) 96 242 Alpha 163 days
Curium (Cm) 96 243 Alpha 35 years
Curium (Cm) 96 244 Alpha 18 years
Curium (Cm) 96 247 Alpha 40 million years
Advertisements

From → RADIATION, WORLD NEWS

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: