This study aimed to assess potential radiotoxicity to human consumers from 210Po and 210Pb accumulated in several species of mushrooms from the family Boletaceae that are traditionally collected in Poland and China. Fruitbodies of B. edulis were from the Yunnan province of China and from the northern part of Poland, and individuals of pine bolete Boletus pinophilus, summer cep Boletus reticulatus, iodine bolete Boletus impolitus and lurid bolete Suillelus luridus were from Poland.
Mushrooms typically grow in forests and fields, but almost all ecosystems will favor their growth in the correct substrate medium. They are considered as organisms that well bio-concentrate in fruitbodies certain mineral constituents absorbed by mycelium e.g. heavy metals or radiocaesium. Hence, to some degree mushrooms can be useful as indicators aiming to evaluate degree of soil pollution, while fruitbodies of edible species when loaded with heavy metals may pose a risk for consumer.
Boletus edulis collected near Ninger in the Puer county in Yunnan exhibited greatest activity concentration of 210Po, i.e. 53±1 Bq kg-1 dry biomass, while B. reticulatus of 210Pb, i.e. 15±1 Bq∙kg-1 dry biomass.
The data showed, Chinese mushrooms contained significantly more 210Po and 210Pb when compared to Polish king bolete (B. edulis). Also the results indicated, in both cases of Chinese and Polish Boletaceae, the values of 210Pb activity concentrations were lower than 210Po.
In order to identify the potential radiotoxicity, on the basis of previously calculated 210Po and 210Pb content in dried and unprocessed culinary fruiting bodies of analyzed mushrooms, the effective radiation doses were calculated, using the effective dose conversion coefficients from analyzed radioisotopes ingestion for adult members of the public recommended by ICRP. The results showed the consumption of 1 kg of whole dried mushrooms would give the effective radiation doses at 1.04-63.4 microSv from 210Po and 0.70-10.02 microSv from 210Pb, but higher values of the effective dose would be received from Chinese mushrooms ingestion. However, the results mean if consumers would eat the analyzed mushrooms, they should not increase significantly the total effective radiation dose from 210Po and 210Pb when compared to other sources of 210Po and 210Pb from typical diet.