ESR | Keeping people safe and healthy through science

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Radiation monitoring

Contact ESR's National Centre for Radiation Science

or email

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 occuring and man-made radionuclides. Quality assurance is vital to our laboratory work; we are accredited to international standard ISO 7025 by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ). 

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. 

For more information:

Low-level radioactivity measurements

ESR offers a range of measurement services to determine and quantify the presence of potential radioactive contamination. 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. 

Our standard testing methods are included in our scope of accreditation to ISO 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.

For more information:

Non-ionising radiation measurements

ESR offers a range of measurement services across the electromagnetic spectrum. These services can verify whether exposure to electromagnetic fields meet health and safety guidelines, such as the New Zealand radiofrequency field exposure Standard NZS 2772.1:1999 or the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection. The measurement equipment and techniques can also be adapted for other purposes.

Results are documented in reports which can be tailored to provide the required level of detail and explanatory material. Examples of measurement surveys undertaken by us include:

  • Surveys to verify whether exposures to radiofrequency fields around cell sites comply with Local Authority conditions
  • Measurements around high frequency welders to test compliance with exposure Standards
  • Measurements of extremely low frequency magnetic fields in electrical installations
  • Investigations of magnetic field interference with computer displays
  • Measurements of limb currents in radio antenna riggers.

For more information:

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, 494 KB]

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

For more information: