Science & Research

Volume IV - 12.4 Radionuclides in Foods Program

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Orientation and Training
Food and Drug Administration

Section 12 - Radioactivity

A. Objective

The trainer will provide the training in various methodologies as described in the training SOP, e.g. reading, demonstrations, self-study, on the job training.

B. Assignment

Gamma-emitting radionuclides and Strontium 90

Training samples may be reserved food samples (e.g. dried mushrooms, jam, leafy vegetables) or proficiency samples. Initial training covers analyses of analyses of gamma emitting radionuclides and Strontium 90.

The food program may include, but not limited to, the following training assignments:

  1. Tritium
  2. Gross alpha
  3. Gross beta
  4. Plutonium 238, 239

C. Questions

  1. What is the purpose for using the 400 mL fill line in analysis of gamma emitting radionuclides?
  2. Describe the separation methods utilized for Sr-89/90 in the Market Basket Analysis of Strontium 90 method.
  3. Describe the sample preparation for the analysis of tritium by liquid scintillation analysis.

D. Methodology References

  1. International Atomic Energy Agency. (1989). Technical Report Series Publication 295.
  2. Cunningham, W. C., Anderson, D. L., and Baratta, E. J. (1994). Radionuclides in domestic and imported foods in the United States, 1987-1992. Journal of AOAC International, 77(6), 1422-1427.
  3. Capar, S. G., and Cunningham, W. C. (2000). Element and radionuclide concentrations in food: FDA total diet study, 1991 – 1996. Journal of AOAC International, 83(1) 157-177.
  4. Horowitz, W. (Ed.). (current ed.). AOAC official methods of analysis (Chap. 13, Radioactivity). Gaithersburg, MD: AOAC International.
  5. U.S. Department of Energy. (1979). Environmental measurements laboratory: procedures manual (HASL-300, Rev. 1992). New York: U.S. Department of Commerce.
  6. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (1979). Radiochemical analytical procedures for analysis of environmental samples, EMSL-LV-0539 – 17. Las Vegas, NV: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  7. American Public Health Association. Standard examination for the examination of water and wastewater (20th ed., Pt. 7000, Radioactivity). Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.
  8. Baratta, E. J. and Reavey, T. C. (1969, November.-December). Rapid determination of strontium90 in tissue, food, biota, and other environmental media by tributyl phosphate. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 17(6), 1337 1339.
  9. Apidianakis, J.C. (2000) Determination of strontium-90 in foods. A compilation of unpublished, validated methods and adaptations by this author.
  10. Douglas, G. S. (Ed.). (1967). Radioassay procedures for environmental samples (Public Health Service Publication No. 999-RH-27, Ashing Procedures). Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  11. Mango, P. J., Bratta, E., Ferri, E. (1964). Northeast Radiological Health Laboratory, analysis of environmental samples, chemical and radiochemical procedures (NERHL-64-1). Winchester, MA: U.S. Government Printing Office.
  12. Troianello, E.J. (1978, October 18). Dehydration of food samples for assay of tritium in free water. Laboratory Information Bulletin, No. 1913.
  13. Lumsden, E., Baratta, E. (1977, January 31). Isotopic determination of Pu in food ash. Laboratory Information Bulletin, No. 2015.


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