Cereal Research Communications

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 366–375 | Cite as

Radiological Hazards in Finnish Cereals: Comparison of Man-made and Natural Sources

  • T. TurtiainenEmail author
  • E. Kostiainen


A survey on man-made (137Cs and 90Sr) and natural radionuclides (238 U,232 Th,228 Ra,226 Ra) in cereal crops was conducted by collecting 66 cereal samples at 36 flour mills. This was the first time that natural radionuclides were included in such a survey in Finland. Based on the results new domestic reference concentrations for cereals were suggested: 2 mBq·kg−1 for238U and 232Th, 100 mBq·kg−1 for228Ra and 200 mBq·kg−1 for226Ra. The mean committed effective dose from ingestion of all radionuclides in cereal products was assessed as 30 μSv per year. Currently, the man-made radionuclides contribute only one percent to the total dose whereas in 1963 their proportion was about half and in 1987 about 20%, one year after the Chernobyl accident. Even so, the doses are very small and pose insignificant health risk to the consumers.


cereals radioactivity dose risk assessment 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material

42976_2013_41030366_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material, approximately 1.17 MB.


  1. Arvela, H., Markkanen, M., Lemmelä, H. 1990. Mobile survey of environmental gamma radiation and fallout levels in Finland after the Chernobyl accident. Radiation Protection Dosimetry 32:177–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bolca, M., Saç, M.M., Çokuysal, B., Karalý, T., Ekdal, E. 2007. Radioactivity in soils and various foodstuffs from the Gediz River Basin of Turkey. Radiation Measurements 42:263–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bunzl, K., Kracke, W. 1987. Soil to plant transfer of239+240 Pu,238 Pu,241 Am,137 Cs and 90 Sr from global fallout in flour and bran from wheat, rye, barley and oats, as obtained by field measurements. The Science of the Total Environment 63:111–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. IAEA — International Atomic Energy Agency. 2010. IAEA Technical Reports Series No. 472. Handbook of parameter values for the prediction of radionuclide transfer in terrestrial and freshwater environments. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.Google Scholar
  5. ICRP — International Commission on Radiological Protection. 1996. ICRP Publication 72. Age-dependent doses to members of the public from intake of radionuclides: Part 5 Compilation of ingestion and inhalation dose coefficients. Pergamon Press, Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  6. Kauranen, P., Miettinen, J.K. 1968. 210Po and 210Pb in the Arctic food chain and the natural radiation exposure of Lapps. Health Physics 16:287–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Korkalo, L., Tapanainen, H., Reinivuo, H., Ovaskainen, M-L. 2008. Foods consumed. In: Paturi, M., Tapanainen, H., Reinivuo, H., Pietinen, P. (eds), The National FINDIET 2007 Survey. Yliopistopaino, Helsinki, Finland, pp. 33–45.Google Scholar
  8. Kostiainen, E., Rantavaara, A. 2002. Transfer of137 Cs and 90Sr from Finnish soils to cereal grains. Radioprotection 37 (C1):C1–509–C1–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Louw, I., Faanhof, A., Kotze, D. 2009. Determination of Polonium-210 in various foodstuffs after microwave digestion. Radioprotection 44:89–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Muikku, M., Arvela, H., Järvinen, H., Korpela, H., Kostiainen, E., Mäkeläinen, I., Vartiainen, E., Vesterbacka, K. 2005. The mean effective dose for Finns — Review 2004. Report STUK-A211. Dark Oy, Vantaa, Finland.Google Scholar
  11. Paatero, J., Saxén, R., Buyukay, M., Outola, I. 2010. Overview of strontium-89,90 deposition measurements in Finland 1963–2005. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 101:309–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pietrzak-Flis, Z., Suplinska, M.M., Rosiak, L. 1997. The dietary intake of 238U, 234U, 230Th, 232Th, 228Th and 226Ra from food and drinking water by inhabitants of the Walbrzych region. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 222:189–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rajama, J., Rantavaara, A. 1982. Radioactivity in Finnish cereals from 1962 to 1980. STL-A41. Institute of Radiation Protection, Helsinki, Finland.Google Scholar
  14. Rantavaara, A. 1991. Radioactivity of foodstuffs in Finland in 1987–1988. STUK-A89. Supplement 4 to Annual Reports STUK-A74 and STUK-A89. Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Helsinki, Finland.Google Scholar
  15. Rantavaara, A., Haukka, S. 1987. Radioactivity of milk, meat, cereals and other agricultural products in Finland after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. STUK-A58. Supplement 3 to Annual Report STUK-A55. Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Helsinki, Finland.Google Scholar
  16. Rautala, T., Hietaniemi, V., Rämö, S., Koivisto, T., Ovaskainen, M.-L., Sinkko, H., Kronberg-Kippilä, C., Hirvonen, T., Liukkonen, K.-H., Kartio, M., Hallikainen, A. 2008. Fusarium Toxins: Adult Intake From Cereals and Cereal-Based Products in Finland. Evira Research Reports 5/2008. Multiprint Oy, Helsinki, Finland.Google Scholar
  17. STUK — Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority. 1987. Studies on environmental radioactivity in Finland 1984–1985. Annual Report. STUK-A54. Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Helsinki, Finland.Google Scholar
  18. Turtiainen, T., Kostiainen, E., Hallikainen, A. 2011. 210 Pb and 210Po in Finnish cereals. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 102:438–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. UNSCEAR — United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. 2000. Sources and effects of ionizing radiation, Vol. I: Sources. United Nations, New York.Google Scholar
  20. Vaaramaa K., Solatie D., Aro, L. 2009. Distribution of210 Pb and 210Po concentrations in wild berries and mushrooms in boreal forest ecosystems. Science of the Total Environment 408:84–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2013

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.STUK - Radiation and Nuclear Safety AuthorityHelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations