The (Natural) Radioactivity in Food

The (Natural) Radioactivity in Food

Worth bearing in mind the next time you have a radiology exam. 'Physicist Giovanni Bibbo and radiographer Lino Piotto took radiography images of a range of foods, gemstones, bricks and even wall tiles to show we live in a naturally radioactive world.

The images, published in the official journal of the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, show how everything from bricks to bananas emit radioactivity.

Dr Bibbo said the aim of the project was to calm fear of radiation.

“Before the second World War radiation was seen as something mystic and positive, something that could cure cancer, but since nuclear bombs and nuclear reactor accidents it has had a bad name,” he said.


While there are some things you can do to reduce your exposure to natural radiation (eat less bananas, fly less, live at a lower altitude, chose a locality with lower than normal background radiation, not have granite kitchen tops, not close up your home too much to reduce your heating bill where there are high levels of radon in the air from granite and so on), there's much you can't avoid. You can however make better informed decisions on the risk/reward benefit of having medical radiology exams.

CLL/SLL patients are likely to get their highest exposure to medical ionising radiation from CT scans, which can provide a wealth of information on how your CLL/SLL is impacting you internally and may be a condition of you joining a trial. For more on CT scans and their value in monitoring our lymph nodes see Brian Koffman's blog of Tuesday, July 15, 2014: "More Good News- Update on My Lab, CT Scans, and General CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) Status", which is referenced here:

The end of Brian's blog includes several links to further information about radiation from air travel and CT scans.

Also see the CT Scan series commencing with :


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