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Benjamin Golub
Banana equivalent dose - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
"A banana equivalent dose is a concept occasionally used by nuclear proponents[1][2] to place in scale the dangers of radiation by comparing exposures to the radiation generated by a common banana. Many foods are naturally radioactive, and bananas are particularly so, due to the radioactive potassium-40 they contain. The banana equivalent dose is the radiation exposure received from that of eating a single banana. Radiation leaks from nuclear plants are often measured in extraordinarily small units (the picocurie, a millionth of a millionth of a curie, is typical). By comparing the exposure from these events to a banana equivalent dose, a more realistic assessment of the actual risk can sometimes be obtained." - Benjamin Golub from Bookmarklet
"After the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the NRC detected radioactive iodine in local milk at levels of 20 picocuries/liter;[5] a dose much less than one would receive from ingesting a single banana. Thus a 12 fl oz glass of the slightly radioactive milk would have about 1/75th BED (banana equivalent dose)." - Benjamin Golub
Talk about coincidence: just a few minutes ago, I watched a segment of Morgan Freeman's Through the Black Hole where he talks about the radioactivity of a banana as part of an explanation of the anthropic principle. - Mark Trapp
No more bananas for me! - Private Sanjeev
"Potassium-40 is a Beta radiation emitter." Is this why bananas are also touted as "beta blockers", and are supposed to reduce anxiety? I know many people who eat bananas before doing something that makes them nervous, like performing on stage. - Robert Felty
Beta blockers are called that because they block the action of neurotransmitters like adrenaline on a part of the nervous system called β-adrenergic receptors. There is no relationship between beta blockers and bananas. - Gabe
Gabe - after a little googling, I found lots of references to bananas being beta blockers, and other people saying that they are not. As usual, you are right. I must have gotten some wrong info from someone in undergrad (that is when I remember learning that). - Robert Felty
Huh. I wonder where the idea that bananas have antiadrenergic effects came from? What I do know is that banana peels are full of tyramine, which can actually activate adrenergic receptors. - Victor Ganata
Maybe bananas tend to relax people, so they probably got associated with beta blockers, which also make people feel relaxed. - Gabe