Radiation Detector FAQ's

Detect Radiation in Food and Water?

Question: Can your Geiger-Mueller (GM) tube radiation monitors detect radiation in food and water?

Answer: Generally to detect radiation or for checking food radiation safety, Geiger-Mueller (GM) instruments are seldom used. However, that said, they have been used to detect radiation in food in experimental, general screening, and for educational purposes.

Geiger Mueller Tubes to Detect Radiation

Potassium-rich food that have natural occurring radiation from Potassium 40 found in dried bananas chips and salt substitutes. That radiation presence can be detected with the Inspector Alert™ and Onyx™ and even the less sensitive Radalert 100™. When food is dehydrated or dried any radioactive particles in the food can concentrate and have a greater likelihood of being detected.

Once concentrated, a baseline measurement for 12 hours needs to be established at the same location where you plan to test the food. This provides the baseline count ambient radiation in that spot.

Set the mica window of the monitor directly on the sample. Set the display to Total and accumulate the counts for again 12 hours. Divide the total count for the period by the exact number of minutes to get the average CPM.

You then subtract the total CPM of the food period sample from the background sample you took in the first step and you have your CPM for the food. This is the best way to detect radiation with a general purpose geiger counter.

Detect radiation in food.

G Explorer Nai Crystal Technology with Gamma Spectrometry and Lead Shield, Capable of Measuring Radiation in Food

Nai Scintillation Crystal Method

However, a GM based Geiger counter will be in most cases inadequate to the task of food measurement and so for safety, we recommend a Nai scintillation Crystal method.

G Explorer Nai Crystal Technology with Gamma Spectrometry and Lead Shield, Capable of Measuring Radiation in Food

To locate and identify if there is radiation in food, measurement is best performed by super sensitive Nai scintillation crystal radiation monitor, a technology found in the G-explorer. The crystal is sensitive to any Gamma radiation present.  Once detected, specific isotopes in the food can be identified with Gamma Spectrometry using the Nai Scintillation crystal hardware and lead shielding to encase the food sample.

The G Explorer sensitivity is equivalent to about 1000 Geiger Counters.


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