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  • Shrishti Basu

Bananas are Radioactive?!

Yes! You got that right. As an example of a naturally occurring radiation source, bananas are a little radioactive due to their exceptionally high potassium content. This does not mean we need to stop eating bananas. Despite being radioactive, the radiation level is much lower than what humans are exposed to everyday. You can't become radioactive by eating bananas because you already are! BUT…… Just keep in mind, eating a truck full of bananas could just be enough to set off an alarm in a radiation detector!




But first, we must understand what radioactivity is in order to comprehend how it applies to us. The term "radioactivity" is used to describe the natural process by which some atoms spontaneously split into distinct, more stable atoms, producing both particles and energy. An atomic nucleus that is unstable for some reason accomplishes this by "wanting" to give up some energy in order to change its configuration to one that is more stable.

Now that I've mentioned that we're radioactive I'm talking about the fact that an average adult possesses about 140g of potassium, of which 16 milligrams makes you 280 times more radioactive than a banana. One banana raises radioactivity by 0.4%, which can only be detected by a Geiger counter with extreme sensitivity. However, the impact is only short-lived because your metabolism tightly controls the amount of potassium in your body, and you will quickly eliminate any excess.


Brazil Nuts (pCi per serving: 240), Potatoes (pCi per serving: 850), and Water (pCi per pint: 100)

are just a few examples of other radioactive foods. WARNING ! Be cautious the next time you eat one of these foods or you might just find yourself toxic to humanity!


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