Are Brazil Nuts Radioactive?
Some foods contain trace amounts of naturally occurring radionuclides. The most well-known examples of foods that contain radioactivity are bananas and Brazil nuts.
Selenium naturally occurring contains six isotopes, five of which are stable (atomic numbers 74, 76, 77, 78, and 80). Selenium-82 (82Se), a beta emitter with a half-life of about 1.4 1020 years, is the sixth isotope with an atom abundance of 8.73%.
Brazil nuts emit over 6,600 pCi/kilogram of radiation. The bulk of this radiation passes harmlessly through the body. In the meantime, these nuts are healthy to eat in moderation due to their high content of healthful selenium and other minerals.
Are you a fan of Brazil nuts? They’re the most radioactive food on the planet. The roots of a Brazil nut tree extend deep into the soil to the depths below, where there is more radium, absorb this radioactive element and pass it on to the nuts.
Radium’s radioactivity must then be high. This substance is the most radioactive natural element, a million times more so than uranium.