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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Bananas Are Radioactive

By March 11, 2012

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Kevin Rosseel, morguefile.comDid you know bananas are slightly radioactive? Bananas contain high levels of potassium. Radioactive K-40 has an isotopic abundance of 0.01% and a half-life of 1.25 billion years. The average banana contains around 450 mg of potassium and will experience about 14 decays each second. It's not something you need to worry about, since 0.01% of the potassium already in your body is K-40, plus the element is essential for proper nutrition. If you have a banana for your lunch you aren't going to set off a Geiger counter. If you carry a produce truck full of them, then you might have a noticeable radiation signature. The same is true if you are carrying a lot of potatoes or potassium fertilizer.

Comments

March 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm
(1) hades says:

wow i never knew that,i almost freaked when i saw that it said bananas were radioactive until i read the post

March 31, 2010 at 4:46 pm
(2) Marga says:

More fun facts about bananas, they are not a fruit or a vegetable, they are an herb!

January 17, 2013 at 5:37 am
(3) asim says:

wow amazing

January 22, 2013 at 10:54 am
(4) aaron says:

when i read this, i told my sister to read it, then i rubbed a banana on her face

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