Environmental radioactivity

ESR offers a range of services for determining radioactivity content in a range of sample types such as food, water, soil, sediment, mining ore and products, environmental biota, sediment and air samples.

For the past 50 years, ESR's specialised environmental radiochemistry laboratory has been measuring naturally occurring and man-made radionuclides. Quality assurance is vital to our laboratory work; we are accredited to

  • International standard ISO?IEC 17025 by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ).
  • Ministry of Primary Industries Recognised Laboratory Program (MPI RLP)
  • Certified Laboratory within the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty organisation (CTBTO)

ESR Radiation laboratory, Christchurch

Personal Dosimetry Service (PDS)

ESR's Personal Dosimetry Service offers employers a convenient means to measure and record the radiation doses employees may accumulate at work.

We provide two personal dosemeters for monitoring different parts of the body. The PB15T monitor is suitable for measuring doses to the trunk, limbs, and lens of the eye (or collar). The ring monitor is suited to measuring doses to the fingers and hands. Both dosemeter types were designed for ease of use, sensitivity, and simplicity in dose assessment.

ESR supports its monitoring service with specialist technical knowledge and expertise gained through its long experience and broad range of radiation safety activities. Our service has a 60 year history of operation and is the only service of its kind based entirely in New Zealand. 

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Low-level radioactivity measurements

ESR offers a wide range of measurement services to determine and quantify the presence of radioactivity. Our team of radiation specialists can test across a large range of sample types, including but not limited to: food, water, soil, sediment, mining ore and products, environmental biota, sediment and air samples. 

Many of our standard testing methods are included in our scope of accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 but we can adjust our testing regime to suit your measurement requirements.

Applications for test results include testing of drinking waters to show radiological compliance with the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards or overseas standards, soil erosion measurements, sediment dating, and food certification for export.

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Food export certification

ESR authenticates levels of radioactivity in foodstuffs for the export market and monitors imported food products. Certificates are issued for goods that are of 100% New Zealand origin without testing a sample for radioactivity content. For any goods containing imported components a sample must be tested for radioactivity content before a certificate can be issued. Some countries may also require testing of a 100% New Zealand product. 

Complete this form for a test to authenticate levels of radioactivity in foodstuffs [PDF, 495 KB]

Complete this form to obtain a certificate [PDF, 504 KB]

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