[ RadSafe ] Banana Equivalent Dose - erroneous?

McNaughton, Michael mcnaught at lanl.gov
Fri Mar 25 11:22:35 CDT 2011


Thank you for the link to the amusing message.

Every living cell (eukaryote or prokaryote, animal or vegetable) contains potassium, and the concentrations are generally within about a factor of three. Most fruits and leafy vegetables contain less potassium than bananas because bananas have less water. Nuts,  meat, and human tissue contain somewhat more potassium than wet fruits and vegetables.  

The problem with calculating a potassium dose from food is: homeostasis. Every living cell, tissue, or organism regulates the amount of potassium and rejects the excess. So ingesting extra bananas, or nuts, or beans, is not going to make much difference in the amount of potassium retained in the body.


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of shima
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 8:31 AM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Banana Equivalent Dose - erroneous?

re http://health.phys.iit.edu/extended_archive/9503/msg00074.html

Subject: Banana Equivalent Dose

Hi, sorry to dig up such and old message but this rather humorous post 
has just dug itself up and is going viral due to current interest in all 
things radioactive and appeal of the idea.

It is also included in a more recent (2004) document that is still being 
given prominent position by U.Nevada's Environmental Health and Safety 
unit (though no explanation of the derivation is given there).


As far as I can tell, this list is the origin of this calculation. In 
any case the above post certainly details how it was calculated, even if 
this is not the origin of the concept.

Could someone please state whether using the dose from exposure to K-40 
  given in FGR #11 is valid in the case of ingestion of a large mass 
(circa 500mg) of a natural mix of potassium isotopes.

Many thanks for any advice in using this data correctly.

Best regards, Shima.
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