Bananas may be an excellent source of potassium and vitamin B6, and avocados may provide good levels of pantothenic acid and dietary fibre, but that’s not all these items bring to the party.
The term ‘radioactive’ may prompt images of sickness and disaster to mind, but radiation is being, well, radiated happily away from our own fruit bowls.
However, before you vow to never upload another Insta-worthy shot of your avocado on toast ever again, it’s not actually a reason to panic.
There are plenty of innocent objects (such as bananas and avocados) which give off radiation.
In fact, North Carolina State University scientists used handheld Geiger counters and found we ‘interact’ with radioactive materials every day.
The scientists involved say the radiation detected is no cause for concern.
Associate professor of nuclear engineering Dr Robert Hayes told the GloucestershireLive , “We did this study because understanding how much radiation comes off of common household items helps place radiation readings in context – it puts things in perspective.
“If people understand what trace levels of radiation mean, that understanding may help prevent panic.”
There you go, no need to panic and the reasoning is as follows.
While there is indeed radiation emitted from avocados and bananas, the former give off 0.16 μGy/hr of gamma radiation and the latter 0.17 μGy/hr.
This puts them on a par with bricks (0.15 μGy/hr) and smoke detectors with their americium components (0.16 μGy/hr).
To put this into context, natural uranium ore measured 1.57 μGy/hr. Which would be bad news for us.
Prof Hayes added, “If you’re surprised that your fruit is emitting gamma radiation, don’t panic.
“The regulatory level for workers – which is safe – is exposure to 50,000 μGy per year.
“The levels we’re talking about in your household are incredibly low.”
Avocado and banana lovers, as you were.