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Apr 21, 2021

American Honey Still Contains Radioactive Fallout From Nuclear Tests Decades Ago

Posted by in categories: food, military, nuclear weapons

As expected, various samples of fruits, nuts, and other foods revealed very faint traces of cesium-137 when measured with a gamma detector, but even Kaste wasn’t prepared for what happened when he ran the same test with a jar of honey from a North Carolina farmer’s market.


Traces of radioactive fallout from nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s can still be found in American honey, new research reveals.

The radioactive isotope identified, cesium-137, falls below levels considered to be harmful – but the amounts measured nonetheless emphasize the lingering persistence of environmental contaminants in the nuclear age, even a half-century after international bomb tests ended.

“There was a period in which we tested hundreds of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere,” lead researcher Jim Kaste, an environmental geochemist at William & Mary university in Williamsburg, Virginia, explained last year in comments about the research.

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