Caesium and the food chain Caesium and the food chain:
Caesium 137 is the principal source of radioactive contamination in the food chain, mainly due to the nuclear bomb tests and the Chernobyl accident. Not a very mobile element, it slowly enters the soil, gradually reaching the leaves, then the roots. Today it is the mycelia of mushrooms and wild game that are most frequently contaminated. This contamination can vary from 15 to 5,000 becquerels per kilogram for mushrooms, and up to 5,000 Bq/kg for game. Nevertheless, to be exposed to a benign annual dose of 1mSv, one would have to live in a forest and regularly consume the natural food one could find there.
IRSN/dessin : Martine Beugin