Risk assessment of radioactivity in Food. Opinion of the Scientific Committee of the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety, VKM report 2017:25
AuthorAlexander, Jan; Brantsæter, Anne Lise; Brunborg, Gunnar; Fæste, Christiane Kruse; Jaworska, Alicja; Komperød, Mari; Lillegaard, Inger Therese L.; Rosseland, Carola; Skuterud, Lavrans; Andersen, Lene Frost; Elvevoll, Edel Oddny; Hjeltnes, Brit; Hofshagen, Merete; Krogdahl, Åshild; Källqvist, Torsten; Sorteberg, Hilde-Gunn Opsahl; Rafoss, Trond; Skaar, Ida; Skåre, Janneche Utne; Steffensen, Inger-Lise; Vandvik, Vigdis; Wasteson, Yngvild; Hemre, Gro Ingunn
Since 1986, the management of radioactive contamination in food and feed in Norway has been driven mainly by the Chernobyl Disaster follow-up. Monitoring and countermeasures are still in place to reduce the exposure to the population. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is in the process of revising the maximum levels (MLs) for radioactive substances in drinking water and food and establishing new ones where necessary (including for feed). These MLs are to be applicable in the management of the normal situation, immediately subsequent to any accidents, and possibly in the long-term follow-up period after accidents. As part of this process, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority requested the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety to assess the risk that radioactivity in food and feed poses to human health. More specifically, VKM was requested to address the following questions in the Terms of Reference (ToR):
- ToR1: What is the current health risk from radioactivity in food –food gathering and hunting included – to the whole population and specific groups in Norway?
- ToR2: What health risk would the current levels of caesium-137 measured in live reindeer and sheep pose to the whole population and specific groups, if no efforts were made to reduce them?
- ToR3: What would be the implication to the health risk if the ML for reindeer meat was reduced from 3000 to 1500 or 600 Bq/kg, respectively – for the whole population and for specific groups?
- ToR4: Would the procedure and the maximum levels laid down in the Euratom Treaty regulation on radioactive contamination of foodstuffs and feedstuffs following a nuclear accident be appropriate for managing similar scenarios in Norway?