Banana Equivalent Dose (BED)

Michael Blastland writes, for the BBC:

How much easier if our exposure to the hazards of radiation could all be reduced to bananas. Actually, it can, sort of. Welcome to the Banana Equivalent Dose or BED.

bananaBananas are a natural source of radioactive isotopes. True, there’s not much in one banana. But enough, according to Nuclear Threat Initiative- a security-minded think tank – for a few bananas to trigger radiation sensors used at US ports to detect smuggled nuclear material.

The standard measure of the biological effect of radiation is the sievert. One sievert is a heck of a big dose, but one tenth of a millionth of a sievert, or 0.1 micro sieverts, is roughly the dose from eating one banana.

So we can use one banana as our basic unit and convert other radiation exposures to so many bananas….

  • jodan447

    could largely avoid banana radiation if you eat frozen immature green banana without
    peeling. Try it only today, April 1st.

  • RepubAnon

    This puts a whole new spin on the Monty Python skit “How to stop a man armed with a banana.” Who knew they were radiological weapons of mass pratfalls?

  • jodan447

    radiation you were exposed by air (cosmic rays) from the current UK tour should
    be equivalent to ~1000 bananas. Your
    hospital visit (for X-ray check) after slipping on banana skins would be ~5,000
    bananas. Your dental office visit after
    biting frozen bananas could be another ~5,000 bananas. If you have a smoke afterwards, you will get
    much more bananas (cannot calculate…).