Methodology for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's radionuclides in foods program

  • E. J. Baratta
Applications of Radioanalytical Methods to Biological and Clinical Systems


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the wholesomeness of the nation's food supply. The FDA modified its food monitoring program in January, 1973, to include radioactive isotopes. The methodology used to perform, analyses on these food products are taken from the standerd setting societies such as the AOAC International, American Society for Testing Materials and American Public Health Association Standard Methods. In addition, methods not tested by these societies are taken from the literature or from Department of Energy manuals such as the Health and Safety Laboratory and also from Environmental Protection Agency, Public Health Service, and Food and Agricultural Organization manuals. These include the methods for long-lived radionuclides such as tritium, strontium-90, cesium-137 and plutonium. Also, the short-lived radionuclides such as iodine-131, radiocesium, radiocerium and radioruthenium. In addition, they include the natural occurring radionuclides such as radium and uranium isotopes. The activity concentrations of gamma-emitters such as radiocesium, iodine-131 and radioruthenium are determined by gamma-ray spectrometry. This is done using intrinsic germanium detectors with the appropriate hardware and software. The alpha and “pure” beta-emitters are determined by various radiochemical methods and techniques. The radiochemical methodology and equipment used in analyzing these radionuclides are described and discussed. Also, the methodology and equipment for the gamma-emitters are described in more detail in this paper. In addition, the limits of detection for the methods used will be discussed.


Uranium Radionuclide Tritium Plutonium American Public Health Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    G. T. Seaborg, J. J. Katz, The Actinide Elements, McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., Parts 1 and 2, 1954.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    C. D. Coryell, N. Sugarman, The Radiochemical Studies: The Fission Products, McGraw-Hill, Books 1,2 and 3, 1951.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    K. Siegbahn, Beta and Gamma-ray Spectroscopy, North-Holland Publishing Co., 1955.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    K. Siegbahn, Beta and Gamma-ray Spectroscopy, North-Holland Publishing Co., Vols. 1 and 2, 1965.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 18th ed., American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1992.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    American Society for Testing Materials, 1989 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Water and Atmospheric Analysis, Vol. 11.02, Philadelphia, PA, 1989 [ASTM, 1989].Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Official Methods of Analysis, 15th ed., Vol. 1, Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington, D.C., 1990.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Radioassay Procedures for Environmental Samples, U.S. Public Health Service Publication No. 999-RH-27, Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C., 1967.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Environmental Measurements Laboratory: Procedures Manual, U.S. Department of Energy — New York, NY, HASL-300 (Revised 1992).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    DOE Methods for Evaluating Environmental and Waste Management Samples, NTIS, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA, DOE/EM-0089T, 1993.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Radiochemical Analytical Procedures for Analysis of Environmental Samples, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Las Vegas, NV, EMSL-LV-0539-17, 1979.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Radiochemical Procedures Manual, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Montgomery, AL, EPA 520/5-84-006, 1984.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Methods of Radiochemical Analysis, World Health Organization Technical Report Series No. 173, WHO, Geneva, 1959.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Measurement of Radionuclides in Food and the Environment —A Guide Book, IAEA — Technical Series No. 295, IAEA-Vienna, 1989.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    E. J. Baratta, T.C. Reavey, J. Agri. Food Chem., 17 (1960) 1337.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    H. L. Volchok, J. E. Gaetjin, J. L. Kulk, W. R. Eckelmann, Ann. NY Acad. Sci., 71 (1957) 293.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    National Counicl on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Handbook of Radioactivity Measurement Procedures, NCRP Report No. 58, Washington, D.C., 1978.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    American National Standards Institute, ANSI N13 10-1974 Inst. Electrical Electronics Engineers, Inc., New York, N.Y., 1974.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Federal Register Vol. 56, No. 138, Part II National Primary Drinking Water Regulations; radionuclides; Proposed Rule (July 18, 1991) pp. 33050–33127 [56FR 3305].Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    H. F. Lucas, Jr., A Fast and Accurate Survey Technique for Both Radon-222 and Radium-226, in: The Natural Radiation Environment,J. A. S. Adams andW. M. Lourdes (Eds), 1964, p. 315.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    H. M. Prichard, T. F. Gesell, Health Phys., 22 (1977) 577.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    C. R. Cothern, P. A. Rebens, Radon, Radium and Uranium in Drinking Water, Lewis Publishers, 1990.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    D. W. Moeller, Laboratory Health Sci., 4 (1967) No. 3, 146.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    E. J. Baratta, FAO Manual of Food Quality, No. 14/16 Radionuclides in Foods, 1995.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    E.J. Baratta, J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., 194 (1995) 157.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. J. Baratta
    • 1
  1. 1.Winchester Engineering and Analytical CenterU.S. Food and Drug AdministrationWinchesterUSA

Personalised recommendations