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137Cs and 40K activity concentrations in edible wild mushrooms from China regions during the 2014–2016 period

Journal: "Foods and Raw materials" Journal (Vol.10, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 86-96

Keywords : Asia; forest; fungi; pollution; soil; radioactivity; radiocaesium; wild food;

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Introduction. Contamination by radiocaesium of edible wild mushrooms after major nuclear accidents is a long-lasting process in some regions of the world. Following greater awareness of radioactive pollution in Asia, particularly after the Fukushima accident, this study investigated the radioactivity of 137Cs and 40K contamination in edible wild mushrooms in China. Study objects and methods. The objects of the research were edible wild mushrooms collected during 2014 to 2016, from the Inner Mongolian and Yunnan regions of China. To obtain an insight into any environmental impacts to distant regions of mainland Asia, the mushrooms were analyzed for 137Cs activity. In parallel, the natural activity of 40K was also determined and used to estimate the content of total K. The topsoil underneath the mushrooms was also investigated from a few sites in Bayanhushu in Inner Mongolia in 2015. Results and discussion. The results showed that in 4 to 6 mushrooming seasons after the accident, mushrooms from both regions were only slightly contaminated with 137Cs, which implied negligible consequences. The activity concentrations of 137Cs in dried caps and whole mushrooms in 63 of 70 lots from 26 locations were well below 20 Bq kg–1 dry weight. Two species (Lactarius hygrophoroides L. and Lactarius volemus L.), from Jiulongchi in Yuxi prefecture showed higher 137Cs activities, from 130 ± 5 to 210 ± 13 Bq kg–1 dw in the caps. 40K activities of mushrooms were around two- to three-fold higher. A composite sample of topsoil (0–10 cm layer) from the Bayanhushu site (altitude 920 m a.s.l.) in Inner Mongolia showed 137Cs activity concentration at a low level of 6.8 ± 0.7 Bq kg–1 dw, but it was relatively rich in potassium (40K of 595 ± 41 Bq kg–1 and total K of 17000 ± 1000 mg kg–1 dw). Conclusion. Wild mushrooms from the Yunnan and Inner Mongolia lands only slightly affected with radioactivity from artificial 137Cs. Lack of 134Cs showed negligible impact from Fukushima fallout. Ionizing radiation dose from 137Cs in potential meals was a fraction of 40K radioactivity. The associated dietary exposure to ionizing irradiation from 137Cs and 40K contained in mushrooms from the regions studied was considered negligible and low, respectively. Mushroom species examined in this study are a potentially good source of dietary potassium.

Last modified: 2022-04-11 21:59:10