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The transfer of artificial radioelements contained in seaweed to food transformation products (alginates and carrageenans).

D. Maro, C. Rommens, D. Hebert, M. Masson, P. Bouisset, P. Germain, J. Loiseau Actes du congrès ECORAD, 3-7 sept 2001, Aix en Provence, France Radioprotection - Colloques, volume 37, C1-1323 / C1-1328.

Summary

As part of the work of the Groupe Radioécologie Nord-Cotentin (the Nord-Cotentin Radioecology Group or GRNC), a study has been carried out of potential routes of exposure associated with the industrial extraction of gelling agent from seaweed harvested on the coastline of the English Channel. The main question was whether the seaweed transformation operations tend to eliminate or concentrate the radioactivity in the consumed products. Work carried out in 1989 showed that the extraction of gelling agents from seaweed results in a significant reduction in the artificial radioactivity present in the raw product for radionuclides such as 137CS, 125Sb, 106Ru Rh, 60Co, 99Tc, 110mAg, but with the exception of 90Sr. However, it seemed important to complete this work by studying transfers of 129I, plutonium isotopes (238, 239, 240Pu), 241Am and 244Cm. The seaweed species studied (Laminaria digitata and Chondrus crispus) were collected during February 1999 in the port of Goury, 5 km from the outlet pipe of the La Hague COGEMA nuclear reprocessing plant. This new study confirms that a significant proportion of the artificial radioactivity present in the initial product is eliminated in the end products, including lodine, Plutonium, Americium and Curium.

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