Last updated on 7 June 2004

Uranium-238 in the 2001 Total Diet Study

Food Survey Information Sheet 56/04

The Food Standards Agency has completed a survey of uranium-238 in food groups from the 2001 Total Diet Study (TDS). The results provide information on dietary exposures for the average and high rate UK consumer and identify those foods that make a significant contribution to total exposures.

Summary

Concentrations of uranium-238 are reported for each of the 20 food groups of the TDS. Fish and bread had the highest concentrations of uranium.

Dietary exposures to uranium-238 for the general UK population and for mean and high level consumers were estimated.

Cereals and bread were the main source of uranium-238 in the UK diet, contributing up to 65 percent of the total uranium intake for toddlers aged 1.5 to 2.5 years eating above average amounts of food.

The highest estimated total dietary exposure to uranium-238 was 0.079 micrograms/kilogram of bodyweight/day for toddlers aged 1.5 to 2.5 years eating above average amounts of food. The intake for toddlers is approximately 16 percent of the WHO guideline TDI value of 0.5 micrograms/kilogram of bodyweight /day for the ingestion of soluble uranium. For adults, the total dietary exposure was 0.028 micrograms/kilogram of bodyweight/day (approximately 6 percent of the WHO guideline TDI value).

There were no health concerns as a result of this study.

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