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Collegium antropologicum, Vol.32 - Supplement 2 No.2 October 2008. -

Mosses, lichens, mushrooms are able to efficiently accumulate different radioactive elements from their environment

to a much higher degree than other vegetation. They are sensitive bioindicators of radioactive contamination for various

ecosystems, particularly in the event of a nuclear accident and uncontrolled emission oh fission products. Results of systematic,

long-term measurements of 137Cs activities in mosses and in some edible mushroom species in North Croatia for

the post-Chernobyl period 1986–2007 are summarized. The study was conducted in the Radiation Protection Unit of

the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health in Zagreb, as a part of an extensive monitoring program of

the Croatian environment. In the overall observed period the highest activity concentration of 137Cs deposited by fallout

has been recorded in 1986, which is the year of Chernobyl accident, causing peak 137Cs activity concentration in moss of

8800 Bq-kg in May 1986. In the same period mean 137Cs activity concentration in grass was 390 Bq-kg. The highest value

of 137Cs activity concentration in Cortinarius caperatus mushrooms of 1351 Bq-kg has been recorded in 1989. Fitting the

measured 137Cs activity concentrations to the theoretical curve the ecological half-life of 137Cs in moss was found to be

around 978 days, in grass around 126 days in the period 1986–1990, in Cortinarius caperatus mushroom around 5865

days 16.1 years. Regarding the risk assessment to Croatian population, due to consumption of mushrooms, the collective

effective dose for Croatian population, estimated to be about 35 mSv per year, was found to be quite low. Therefore, it

can be concluded that mushroom consumption was not a critical pathway for the transfer of radiocaesium from fallout to

humans after the Chernobyl accident.

radiocaesium; ecological half-life; risk; moss; grass; mushroom

Autor: Gordana Marović - Zdenko Franić - Jasminka Senčar - Tomislav Bituh - Ozren Vugrinec -



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