Scientists confident radiation levels in Irish produce will not pose any risk to consumers after Fukushima
Published 12/04/2011 | 05:00
Scientists monitoring radioactivity levels in beef, pork, lamb and grain are confident they will not find any significant levels in Irish produce.
The statement comes after minute traces of radioactive Iodine-131 were detected in three milk samples last week following the Fukushima accident in Japan.
David Dawson, scientific officer with the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII), said that a range of agricultural products were regularly tested as part of its ongoing environmental monitoring.
"Based on the levels of radioactivity we found in milk, we do not expect to see any significant concentrations in any of those agricultural products," he said.
The milk samples were found to have radioactivity levels of 0.13, 0.19 and 0.18 becquerels (Bq) per litre, which was far below the 500Bq/kg maximum level permitted under EU law and posed no concern for consumer health.
Mr Dawson added that Iodine-131 had a biological half life of eight days in milk, which meant that radioactivity levels in milk would fall by half every eight days.
Professor Alan Reilly of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said a person would have to drink some 96,000l of milk at those levels to exceed the annual safe limit.