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Deterministic and Semiprobabilistic Modeling of the Committed Dose from Radionuclides and the Chemical Burden from Uranium in the New Zealand Diet


To support New Zealand's food safety monitoring, estimates of the current population exposure to ionizing radiation through diet are needed. To calculate the committed dose from radionuclide activities in the food chain, dietary modeling was undertaken for different age and gender groupings of the New Zealand population. Based on a published survey of radionuclide activity concentrations in the New Zealand diet, deterministic and semiprobabilistic models were constructed to derive estimates of the effective dose via the diet. Deterministic estimated annual doses across the different age and gender groupings ranged from a minimum of 48 to 66 μSv/year for teenage girls to a maximum of 126 to 152 μSv/year for adult males. Polonium-210 was the main contributor to ingested dose, with anthropogenic radionuclides contributing very little. For adults, seafood represented the most important source of exposure, with the contribution from this source decreasing for younger age groups. Results of the semiprobabilistic model identified a range of possible ingested doses, with 2.5 to 97.5th percentile ranges of 0.01 to 1.44 μSv/day for adults and 0.02 to 1.84 μSv/day for children. Estimated doses to the New Zealand population show similarities to those of other countries and fall within the expected global range. The current level of exposure to ionizing radiation in the diet does not represent an elevated health risk.

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