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AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND WILDLIFE SAMPLING
Another potential pathway for contaminants to reach humans is through the food chain. The ESER Program samples multiple agricultural products and game animals from around the INEEL and Southeast Idaho. Specifically, milk, wheat, potatoes, garden lettuce, sheep, big game, waterfowl, and marmots are sampled. Milk is sampled throughout the year. Sheep are sampled during the second quarter. Lettuce and wheat are sampled during the third quarter, while potatoes and waterfowl are collected during the fourth quarter. See Table A-1, Appendix A, for more details on agricultural product and wildlife sampling. This section discusses results from milk, and large game sampled during the second quarter of 2003.
samples were collected weekly in Idaho Falls and monthly at eight other
locations around the INEEL (Figure 12) during the second quarter of 2003.
All samples were analyzed for gamma emitting radionuclides. Samples are
analyzed for 90Sr during the second and fourth quarters.
Iodine-131 (131I) and 137Cs were not detected in any milk sample during the second quarter.
Strontium-90 was measured above the 3s uncertainty level in four of six samples analyzed. Like 137Cs, 90Sr is related to uptake through the food chain of historical weapons derived fallout. The maximum level of 90Sr in milk was below the EPA MCL of 8 pCi/L and the DOE DCG of 1000 pCi/L. Data for 90Sr in milk samples are listed in Appendix C, Table C-8.
Figure 12. ESER Program milk sampling locations.
Certain areas of the INEEL are open to grazing under lease agreements managed by the Bureau of Land Management (Figure 13). Every year ESER Program personnel collect samples of sheep that have grazed on these leased areas, either just before or shortly after the sheep leave the INEEL. This occurs during the second quarter of the year. For the calendar year 2003, sheep were collected from the selected INEEL allotments before they were moved off site. Three flocks were sampled, including a control flock in Dubois from the Experimental Sheep Station, a flock from a southern INEEL allotment, and a flock from a northern INEEL allotment. Two sheep were taken from each flock for tissue analysis. Thyroid, muscle, and liver tissue were collected and analyzed for gamma emitting radionuclides.
Levels of 131I are of particular interest in thyroids because of this organ's ability to accumulate iodine. No 131I was found in thyroids from any of the animals.
Analysis for 137Cs showed results greater than
the 3s analytical uncertainty in three samples (one liver and two muscle)
from two different sheep. Both animals were collected from the Northern
allotment. All concentrations of 137Cs were similar to those
found in both onsite and offsite sheep samples during recent years. Data for
all sheep samples are listed in
Appendix C, Table C-9.
LARGE GAME ANIMAL SAMPLING
Two large game animals were sampled during the second quarter of 2003. A
single Pronghorn and a mule deer were both victims of vehicular collisions.
No 131I was detected in any of the sampled tissues. Cesium-137
was not measured in any sample collected. Data for all game animal samples
are listed in Appendix C, Table C-10.
Figure 13. Grazing and land ownership on and around the INEEL.
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