Gamma spectroscopy tests were performed on the following samples using a 2.8” x 1.2” sodium-iodide,  thallium-doped NaI(Tl) detector with a GS1100A multi-channel analyzer and PRA8.0 software. The detector was calibrated with a Cobalt-60 check source and a NIST standard Cesium-137 check source. All samples were measured for possible Cs-137 presence. Those yielding statistically significiant counts in the 661 keV range are listed as detections of Cesium-137 below in Becquerels per kilogram including all known uncertainties with 95% confidence. Upper limits were mathematically calculated for measurements of that range found not statistically significant and are listed as “less than” numbers. These values serve as limits on potential presence under conditions of uncertainty or other processes and should be considered as non-detections. If performed, calculation of energy levels used to determine presence of radionuclides other than those used for calibration were performed with the use of a calibration curve and reported the notes section. For further information on process and procedure see The NotebookSample AnalysisEquipment and again the disclaimer on our main page.


2015 Food Sample Notes:  While many of the samples were purchased from a farmer's market in Berks County, Pennsylvania, several of those were not grown on site and shipped from Lancaster County according to the vendor. FDF7-Pear, FDF8-Apple, FDF9-Plums, FDF3-Red Raspberries and FDF2-Strawberries are grown at the same site in Berks County while those marked with an asterick and coming from Lancaster County are presumed.  Note other samples also come from other sites in Berks County.    


Dairy

Received 

Tested

Inspector

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FDD9

Yogurt

Berks Co., Pennsylvania

10/13/15 2/5/16 37.2 <4.3

Same type as FDD7. Th232 activity in all major areas, U238 <87.3 Bq/kg, .5% U235 using limits. Other detections: 766.3, 834.6, 477.5, 583.3, 144.0

FDD10

Vit. D Milk

Reading, PA distributor

5/3/2016 5/3/2016

6.0 Bq/L +/- 0.4

Wet tested (note more attenuation), no sealing time. measured for Cs-137, Cs-134, I-131 and B140, the latter 3 producing non-detections.

FDD5

Ice Cream

Pennsylvania

3/8/2015

38.6

Notes: *Inadvertently left out of batch.  Scheduled for retest. ...sorry, got bzzzy;)

FDD7

Yogurt

Pennsylvania

2/11/2015

4/8/2015

32.5

<7.3

 

FDD8

Sour Cream

US

2/11/2015

4/7/2015

35.4

<8.3

 

FDD6

Sour Cream

US

2/11/2015

4/10/2015

38.7

<7.9

 

FDD4

Ice Cream

US

2/11/2015

4/9/2015

36.1

<10.1

 

FDD3

Cheddar Cheese

US

1/6/2014

1/28/2014

37.6

<10.2

 

FDD2

Butter

Wisconsin

11/15/2013

1/22/2014

47.5

13.1 +/- 0.8

  

FDD1

Butter

Pennsylvania

11/15/2013

1/22/2014

57.2

9.4 +/- 0.6

 


Fruits

Received

Tested

Inspector cpm

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FDF2

Strawberries

Berks Co., Pennsylvania

6/5/15

2/3/16

36.3

<4.1

Th232 not detected, U238 <99.9 Bq/kg, .7% U235 using 63keV limit and 186 detection. Other detections: 1566.6, 401.1, 353.3, 185.5

FDF10

Elderberries

Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

7/23/15

2/2/16

<9.2 Bq/kg

Th232, U238 <154.9 Bq/kg, .5% U235 using limits. Other detections: 1620.8

FFF8

Clementine

Morocco 

12/3/15

2/6/16

38.7

4.8 Bq/kg +/- 0.3

Th232, U238 <119.2 Bq/kg, .4% U235 using limits. Other detections: 660.8, 163.5, 4.6, 583.6, 968.6, 1566.8

FDF5

Tomato

*Lancaster Co.,Pennsylvania

7/16/15

2/6/16

38.1

<6.6

Th232, U238 <104.4 Bq/kg, .7% U235 using 63keV limit and 186keV detection. Other detections: 186.4, 131.7, 477.3, 1173.7, 1333.0. 


It appears indications of being watered or rained on by effluent.  Thought these studies were interesting in light of the significant detections in this sample:  

"The uptake of ^Co in the vicinity of the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River (near the DOE's Hanford site)
was measured for several types of wild plants and farm crops.50 The wild plants were the mulberry tree, willows, and reed canary grass. The ^Co concentrations were about 0.03 pCi/g (0.001 Bq/g) in the mulberry foliage and ranged from 0.02 to 0.1 pCi/g (0.0007 to 0.004 Bq/g) in the fruit. Of the farm crops collected in the survey (asparagus, pumpkin, and tomatoes), only tomatoes had measurable concentrations of ""Co. The nuclide concentration for this vegetable was
approximately 0.02 pCi/g (0.0007 Bq/g), which would result in an estimated dose of 3 x 10""5 mrem (3 x 10""7 mSv) if 1 kg were consumed." http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/27/029/27029603.pdf and

"Studies on the impact of uptake mode show that overall deposition on the aboveground parts of the plant (spraying on leaves) is by far the most conservative as it increases transfer factors (expressed in Bq/kg of plant per Bq/m2 of cultivated soil) by a factor of 102 to 103 compared with root uptake of the same equivalent surface activity (Colle et al., 1991). These results are consistent with those of Sabbarese et al., (2002), who compared the specific activity of tomatoes grown using spray irrigation and corrugation irrigation methods: the ratio is about 6.5 for the fruit, 6.2 for the stems, 5.3 for the leaves and 2 for the roots." http://www.irsn.fr/EN/Research/publications-documentation/radionuclides-sheets/environment/Pages/Cobalt-60-environment.aspx

FDF3

Red Raspberries

Berks Co.,Pennsylvania

6/20/15

2/6/16

37.4

<5.8

Th232, U238 not detected <104.4 Bq/kg, .75% U235 using limits. Other detections: 277.7, 185.5, 46.6, 143.4, 621.7, 1173.2

FDF4

Cantaloupe

*Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania

7/16/15

2/9/16

39.4

<8.8

Th232, U238 114.0 Bq/kg, .2% U235 using 63keV detection and 186 keV limit. Other detections: 1618.5, 62.8, 165.4, 661.9, 622.4, 440.8, 835.2

FDF9

Plums

Berks Co., Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/13/16

38.1

5.2 +/- 0.3 (6.1%)

Th232 and U238 present, .4% U235 using limits. Other detections: 970.1, 277.4, 1002.0, 401.7, 1461.4, 661.3, 477.5

FDF8

Apple

Berks Co., Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/12/16

35.7

<5.5

Th232 and U238 present, .7% U235 ratio using limit and detection. Other detections: 1461.4, 130.2, 1332.4, 1173.0(sum peak), 185.4, 238.8, 46.9. May be worthy to note 834 and 29keV would be statistically significant if slight correction were made and are visually present. Possible Co-60.

FDF7

Pear

Berks Co.,Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/12/16

34.4

<7.4

Th232 ~40 Bq/kg, U238 not detected (at 63keV) <74.5 Bq/kg, .7% U235.  Other detections: 1460.7, 186.0, 86.9, 911.1

FDF1

Strawberries

Florida

1/6/2014

11/10/2014

39.9

<7.2

 

FFF1

Grapes

Peru

1/6/2014

11/11/2014

55.8

<7.1

 

FFF2

Banana

Columbia

1/6/2014

11/8/2014

45.3

<5.8

 

FFF3

Cantaloupe

Guatemala

1/6/2014

11/8/2014

35

<11.0

 

FFF4

Pineapple

Costa Rica

1/6/2014

11/7/2014

38.9

<11.4

 

FFF5

Avocado

Mexico

1/15/2014

1/28/2014

41.9

<7.0

 

FFF6

Coconut liquid

Dominican Republic

10/1/2014

11/7/2014

35

<15.1

 

FFF7

Clementine

Spain

2/11/2015

4/4/2015

39

<7.9

 


Grains

Received

Tested

Inspector cpm

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FFGR1

Red Rice

Bhutan

3/18/2013

4/11/2015

37.8

<10.0

 

FDG2

White Rice

US

3/8/2015

4/10/2015

34.0

<1.1

 

FFG3

Red Quinoa

Peru

1/6/2014

4/13/2015

45.4

<12.6

Notes: Indications of lead and radium contamination.

FDG1

Corn Masa

US

1/15/2014

4/18/2015

37.6

<12.1

 

FFG2

Farro

Italy

1/6/2014

4/16/2015

38.8

<11.6

 


Health

Received

Tested

Inspector (cpm)

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FDH1

Slippery Elm Bark Powder

US

2/3/2013

1/24/2014

No data

<47.4

 

FFH1

Chlorella

China

June 2011

4/14/2015

No data

20.1 +/- 1.2

 


Meats

Received

Tested

Inspector (cpm)

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FDM5

Albacore Tuna

Pacific

7/16/15

2/5/16

36.4

Cs-137 4.7 +/- 0.3

Cs-134 ~4.0

Caught off Oregon coast. Th232 activity, U238 <163.4 Bq/kg, .3% U235 using limits. Other detections: 46.5, 1460.7, 662.0, 563.7, 605.`, 796.1, 462.3, 636.0, 723.0, 1566.9, possible Sb125. I131, Re184, Nb94, Ag110m, Ag108 areas were measured due to significant detections in FDM4Salmon in addition to this spectrum and all were non detections.

FDM4

Chinook salmon

Pacific

7/16/15

2/4/16

35.9

<7.8

Caught off Oregon coast. Th232 possible, U238 <97.4 Bq/kg, .2% U235 using limits. Other detections: 402.2, 1461.4, 1173.1, 904.1, 646.3, 393.3, 703.3, 871.7, 1115.3, 439.2, 585.0, 30.2, 811.7.  Possible Re184, Os185, Zr88, Nb94, Zn65, Eu150. Note Nb94 does not travel far from sites; however, fish do.

FFM1

Shrimp-raw

Indonesia

11/24/2014

11/25/2014

38.4

<9.5

Notes: Mostly, if not all natural thorium or ~<20 Bq/kg Th232; ~5 Bq/kg of natural uranium with good U238/U235/U234 ratios. Statistically significant peaks include 1460.1keV (K40 @ 1460.8), 511.7 keV, 969.2 keV (Ac228 @ 969.0), 29.4 (I129 @ 29.4), 583.0 keV (Tl208 @ 583.2) and 636.1. While not impossible, the latter doesn't appear to be from any I131 contribution or Sb125 but the width and shape of the peak indicates it's from a gamma-ray. There are several indications of alpha presence in the spectrum however sample was fresh and not kept for retesting.

FFM2

Shrimp-dry

Ecuador

2/11/2015

4/4/2015

37.6

<26.1

Notes: This sample was exported from Ecuador to The Netherlands where it was reported by the purchaser as initially reading 55cpm on an Inspector Geiger counter on or about 1/14/2015 both before and after drying. The sample was subsequently shipped to the United States where it tested just over background at 37.6cpm on 2/11/2015 indicating something short-lived decayed.

~<40Bq/kg Th232 with an abundance of bismuth probably attributed to absorption properties. ~<350 Bq/kg U238, lacks equilibrium with Ra226; presence of Fe59 (44 day half-life), possibly raised in recently contaminated sediments with lead and iron and other heavy metals. Detections: 363.9, 28.8, 238.1, 1621.0, 277.4, 295.8, 609.9, 1332.1, 1100.2, 1290.8, Cs137 <26.1 Bq/kg. See http://www.as.ua.edu/home/extracting-uranium-with-shrimp/ for an interesting report on chitin, a compound found in shrimp shells used for uranium cleanups – and http://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00107/21866/19457.pdf for an analysis on uranium and thorium redistribution. Both may potentially explain the disruption in the Th and U series.

FDM1

Alaskan Cod

Alaska

11/24/2014

11/25/2014

34.7

<7.1

Notes: ~<20 Bq Th232 with abundance of Bi212, 102.0 Bq/kg U238 in partial equilibrium with Ra226; Activity at 1001 keV with absence of Bi214 indicating partial processed U contribution. Very high uranium content. Detections: 401.9, 63.4, 860.1, 29.4

FDM2

Albacore” Tuna

Pacific

11/24/2014

11/25/2014

40.0

<6.2

Notes: K40 levels inconsistent with product labeled as “albacore” and is likely mislabeled. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that ~1% of US seafood imports (of which about 90% of the US seafood market is comprised of) is checked for fraud and about 59% of tuna is either mismarked or not tuna at all so this result is not surprising. http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/oceana-uncovers-nationwide-seafood-fraud/

~<20Bq/kg natural Th232, ~8.7 Bq/kg U238, partial equilibrium with Ra226, some activity at 1001. No significance at 661keV for cesium but upon sight alone, cobalt-60 is obvious and subsequently was measured and resulted in a statistically significant detection with 95% confidence at 24.7 Bq/kg.
Detections: 1174.0, 1333.0, 511.7, 433.3, 428.4, 1460.1, 29.4, 1434.9 (a sign of He3 bombardment of Fe52 from tritium decay? is that possible? Some process is here..)
Ag110m - not significant but definite peaks at 657.1, 884.6, 937.3, 1384.3 including an accompanying sum peak at 1542 - all close to ~3.7 Bq/kg (have only seen this on a couple of soil samples out of >100)

Another interesting read on metal uptake in sea life etc...published in 1975 has detailed info on what lands where and what picks it up when there. Download the whole book for free here: https://books.google.com/books?id=My5CAAAAIAAJ&dq=tuna+cobalt-60&source=gbs_navlinks_s

While it's possible this sample contains contributions from the meltdowns at Fukushima, the lack of cesium suggests it more likely comes from another source as there are known leaking drums near where tunas migrate (* take note the sample may not be tuna). For an example, this particular site has 100,000 of them needing replacement every 15 years or so and sits not far above sea level. There've been detections of Co60 and Cs137 since 2009 outside the facility. http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1772736


Minerals

Received

Tested

Inspector (cpm)

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FFMS1

Himalayan Pink Salt

Pakistan

3/18/2013

4/20/2015

No data

<5.1

 


Nuts & Seeds

Received

Tested

Inspector (cpm)

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FDN4

Almonds

US

11/15/2013

1/26/2014

38.4

<13.2

 

FDN5

Cashews

US

11/15/2013

1/26/2014

42.1

<11.5

 

FDN1

 Walnuts

US

4/9/2013

1/27/2014

No data

<22.8

 

FDN3

Peanuts

US

11/15/2013

1/27/2014

40.5

<10.2

 

FDN2

Pistachios

California

10/28/2013

1/24/2014

46.1

8.5 +/-0.5

 

FDN6

Sunflower Seeds

US

1/6/2014

4/15/2015

39.3

8.7 +/- 0.5

 

FDN7

Pumpkin Seeds

US

1/6/2014

4/21/2015

38.3

<27.6

 


Oils

Received

Tested

Inspector (cpm)

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FFO1

Coconut Oil

Philippines

3/18/2013

1/25/2014

No data

13.8 +/- 0.9

 

FFO2

Olive Oil

Mediterranean

11/15/2013

11/5/2014

38.6

<7.9

 


Vegetables

Received

Tested

Inspector (cpm)

Cs-137 (Bq/kg)

FFV2

Yam

Japan

8/17/15

2/4/16

36.6

<10.3

Th232 not detected, U238 226.6 Bq/kg, .2% U235 using 63keV detection and 186keV limit. Other detections: 1622.1, 64.5, 30.2, 722.9

FDVL5

Lettuce

*Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/8/16

39.1

<11.4

Th232, U238 <114.8 Bq/kg, .2% U235 using limits. Other detections: 1621.0, 277.7, 312.6, 609.6, 1763.2, 143.7, 440.3, 795.5

FDV1

Green Pepper

*Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/11/16

41.3

8.6 +/- 0.5

Th232, U238 not detected, .7% U235 using limits.  Other detections: 1460.1, 45.7, 609.2, 911.1, 662.0.  Note with slight correction 277, 477 and 721 would also be significant. Cs-134 not detected.

FDV6

Carrot

*Lancaster Co.,Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/10/16

37.6

<5.5

Th232 not detected, U238 not detected <212.1, .7% U235 using limits. Other detections: 402.2, 185.2, 1000.9, 131.1, large 511 peak.

FDV3

Onion

*Lancaster Co.,Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/10/16

38.7

<6.7

Th232 not detected, U238 not detected <99.8 Bq/kg, .3% U235 using limits. Other detections: 660.6, 1332.1, 477.4.

FDV4

Green Beans

*Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/10/16

34.8

<13.5

Th232 and U238 visible but not significant, .4% U235 using limits. Other detections: 912.5, 969.9, 584.1, 860.9, 312.8, 609.1, 1462.1, 131.7, 662.2, 1332 (sum), 1567.6, 1764.3. --662, 605 and 795 are visible but not statistically significant

FDV5

Radish

*Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/13/16

37.2

<11.3

Th232 present, U238 not detected <108.2, .4% U235 using limits.  Other detections: 131.9, 1461.5, 401.3, 1763.3, 59.5, 584.1, 968.9. With little background correction, both 1173 and 1332 become significant, interestingly, the same amount as the FDF5-Tomato.  See also notes for 2016 Pennsylvania foods above.

FDV2

Potato

Pennsylvania

10/13/15

2/14/16

38.7 

<7.7

Th232 and U238 present but not significant, except Pb214 at 238.3 keV. .8% U235 using limits.

FFV1

Broccoli

Guatemala

1/6/2014

11/6/2014

42.2

16.0 +/- 1.0

 

FDVL4

Lettuce/Spinach Mix

US/Mexico

2/11/2015

4/8/2015

35.0

<19.3

 

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