Belarus: Blueberry with hint of radiation

The middle of summer is known to be a high season for berries. Blueberry is among the favourites. The yields are good this year - lots of berries from Belarus, Vladimir, Tambov. All the blueberries are said to be organic, from conservation areas. And are reasonably priced – 180 roubles per kilo.

All the berries in the markets are compulsory checked for radiation, says Elena Mahnovetskaya, an expert of Sanitary and Veterinary Service in Moscow. However, we come across cases of radiation background quite often; it is prohibited to eat those berries. We should not forget about Chernobyl zone. Apparently, there is no radiation left on the ground surface, but below ground it is still present.

Within the last 6 months the experts rejected 43 loads of blueberries (184 kg). Radiation pollution was detected in the berries. In 2013, 119 loads were withdrawn (total weight over 900 kg). Most of the dangerous berries came from Belarus and Vladimir (27 loads from each).

Extremely dangerous radioactive nuclide – Cesium-137 – accumulates in blueberries, explains Elena Mahnovetskaya. - The element absorbs fast in the intestine and then builds up in muscles. Decay period of Cesium lasts around 30 years. During all this time a person will enwomb radiation.


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