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Radiocaesium and radiostrontium uptake by turnips and broad beans via leaf and root absorption



Type of Spiritual Experience


Both vegetables can chelate contaminated soil, although clearly one would not eat them afterwards!

A description of the experience

Appl Radiat Isot. 1999 Mar;50(3):467-74.  Radiocaesium and radiostrontium uptake by turnips and broad beans via leaf and root absorption.  Baeza A1, Paniagua JM, Rufo M, Sterling A, Barandica J.

One of the immediate consequences of massive radioisotope release into the atmosphere is contamination of the biosphere. This contamination can affect plants either by direct deposition onto the leaves, or by contaminating the soil followed by absorption by the roots.

Knowledge of the efficacy of the two routes of radionuclide incorporation into the food chain is fundamental to understanding the mechanisms by which radioactive contamination reaches man.

The present work analyzes the incorporation of 134Cs and 85Sr via root and leaf uptake into the parts consumed by man, for two very different crops: turnip (Brassica napus) and broad bean (Vicia faba).

The root uptake studies consider the available soil fraction for these two radionuclides, and indicate greater availability for 85Sr than for 134Cs which is fixed rapidly in the soil. For the study of leaf uptake, leaves were contaminated at three different stages of plant growth; the results indicate an inverse dependence of the transfer coefficients on the time elapsed from the moment of the contamination to harvesting of the edible parts.

PMID: 10070709


The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps





Broad beans
Chelation agents