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Assessment of loss of Po-210 from fish and shrimp by cooking and its effect on dose estimates to humans ingesting seafood

Journal article
Authors S. Uddin
M. Behbehani
S. W. Fowler
A. Al-Ghadban
Samuel Dupont
Published in Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Volume 205
Pages 1-6
ISSN 0265-931X
Publication year 2019
Published at The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences
Pages 1-6
Language en
Keywords base-line concentration, marine organisms, pb-210, food, bioaccumulation, radionuclides
Subject categories Biological Sciences


An experimental study was conducted to assess loss of Po-210 due to cooking fresh seafood, and provide a more realistic and reliable dose estimate that humans may receive from consuming cooked seafood. Fresh fish and shrimp samples from Northern Gulf waters were grilled and boiled to simulate the effect of different cooking methods. Sixteen different species of fish were compared and significant differences in Po-210 concentration in uncooked samples were observed between species (ANOVA I, F-15,F-79 = 362.81, p < 0.0001). The effect of the treatment (uncooked, grilled, boiled and stock) was compared for each species and it was found that cooking led to a significant decrease in Po-210 concentration ranging from 14 to 58% compared to the uncooked samples, with no difference between grilled or boiled treatments. The effect of the cooking and shrimp treatment on Po-210 concentration was tested using ANOVA II after logarithmic transformation. Cooking led to a significant 38% reduction of Po-210 concentration as compared to uncooked treatments with no difference between grilled and boiled samples (ANOVA I: F-3,F-99 = 14.72, p < 0.0001). The two treatments with deveined shrimp led to a 75% decrease in Po-210 concentration as compared to all other treatments. As a consequence, cooked deveined shrimp contained an 84% lower Po-210 concentration than whole uncooked shrimp. As Po-210 is known to be the major contributor to radiation dose in humans consuming seafood, based on the results obtained, it is evident there is a need to re-examine how committed effective doses (CEDs) are best calculated for seafood consuming populations considering that most populations consume fish and shellfish cooked.

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