If so, what is it used on?
Banana Equivalent Dose (BED) is a disputed idea that would compare exposures to radiation to the radiation generated by a common banana.
But to answer your question – yes it’s a real idea, that was probably thought to be able to make it easeir for someone to understand their exposure levels. Many foods are naturally radioactive, bananas have potassium-40 or 40K (not written properly) so they are radioactive enough to be detected by radiation sensors used to detect possible illegal smuggling of nuclear material at US ports. So knowing the dose equivalent of eating a banana (about 0.01 mrem), you can measure other exposures. An example would be in 1986 Chernobly disaster, levels of caesium-137 increased more than tenfold throughout Europe and wild mushrooms had even more. Using the BED measure – eating 1 kg of the mushrooms would have given the same dose as about 200 bananas.
Potatoes, kidney beans, nuts and sunflower seeds are all naturally above average and Brazil nuts have very high levels.
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