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Slow decline of caesium-137 in mushrooms


4.1 Pollution will not cause injury to health or environmental damage.


Levels of selected radioactive substances in the environment
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Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority

There has been little reduction of radioactive caesium in wild mushrooms in the last decade. Many mushroom species effectivly absorb caesium from the soil. Caesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years, and is therefore still present in the environment.

Wild mushrooms generally still contain more radioactive caesium than other food products. Different species contain varying amounts of caesium. There are also large geographical variations, which reflect the uneven distribution of radioactive deposition in Norway following the Chernobyl accident in 1986. In the most contaminated areas, radioactivity from the Chernobyl accident is expected to be present in mushrooms for at least another fifty years.

Mushrooms for sale have a maximum allowed limit of 600 Bq/kg radioactive caesium. In many areas, the levels of caesium-137 in wild mushrooms exceeds this limit. However, the limit does not apply to mushrooms you pick yourself.