Up to 95 percent of mushroom samples collected in Germany in the past six years contained radioactive traces from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion in 1986.
The German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) told Reuters.
An increase in the concentration of radioactive cesium isotopes – caesium-137 and caesium-134 – is a feature of the Chernobyl explosion. Traces of these isotopes have been found mainly in the south Germany.
However, none of the 74 samples tested exceeded the legal radioactivity limit of 600 Becquerels per kilogram. BVL explained that radioactive material occurs in forests because forest ecosystems recycle nutrients from the soil. That is why wild mushrooms show pollution for a longer time than agricultural crops.
The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Kiev region of Ukraine occurred on April 26, 1986. The explosion of the fourth unit of the power plant was the largest disaster in the history of nuclear energy, releasing several tons of radioactive waste into the atmosphere.
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