Recent trends of environmental radioactivity in Greenland and the Faroe Islands
S. P. Nielsen1 and H. P. Joensen2
Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, PO Box 49, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2 University of Faroe Islands, FO-100 Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
Environmental radioactivity in Greenland and the Faroe Islands was investigated from samples collected in 2004 of seawater, seaweed, marine fish, seal, whale, lake water, freshwater fish and total diet. Anthropogenic radionuclides in Greenland and the Faroe Islands are present due to long-range transport by air and water mainly due to fallout from nuclear weapons testing, from the Chernobyl accident and discharges from European reprocessing facilities, Sellafield in the UK and La Hague in France. Concentrations of anthropogenic radionuclides in environment and food are low, however, and present insignificant health risks to humans. Naturally occurring radionuclides are present in the environment and human food and dominate the radiation dose from ingestion. Even in case of landlocked Arctic char from South Greenland showing elevated concentrations of anthropogenic 137Cs, the radiation doses to man from ingestion derive mainly from the presence of the naturally occurring radionuclide 210Po. Samples of total diet from Uummannaq indicate that annual radiation doses by ingestion could approach 1 mSv from 210Po possibly due to a high proportion of seal flesh and liver in the diet.
© EDP Sciences, 2009