When a reactor in the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Chernobyl exploded in 1986, huge amounts of radioactive material were released into the atmosphere and a radioactive cloud passed over Europe.
The consequences can still be measured today.
The meat of wild boar in particular is often heavily contaminated with the harmful cesium-137.
- Hans Disl from
is an expert when it comes to radiation measurement. The Tölzer has been involved with measurement technology his entire professional life, worked for 36 years at TÜV Süd, inspecting underground trains, trams and cable cars all over the world. Disl was the first point of contact when the district hunting association was looking for someone eleven years ago to operate a Becquerel measuring station for game meat. New retiree Disl agreed spontaneously at the time, “because the measuring station makes sense because it helps the general public. In addition, when you reach retirement age you need a job - otherwise you are idling. "
In practice, the testing process works like this: Hunters bring a 500 gram sample of the muscle meat of the wild boar to Disl.
He dumps the meat into a measuring cup and the device does the rest.
After a few minutes, the 72-year-old knows how heavily a product is contaminated with radioactivity.
The European Union specifies a maximum value of 600 Becquerel radioactive cesium-137 per kilogram of food for the marketability of food.
This value must not be exceeded, otherwise the meat must be destroyed.
Roe deer, venison and mushrooms are harmless
Since then, the pensioner has examined hundreds of foods. Vegetables, lettuce and potatoes from the district are completely harmless: “Nobody needs to be afraid that they will be contaminated.” So far, all mushroom samples that were put on the table were well below the limit value. Chanterelles and porcini mushrooms were, in his estimation, "relatively unpolluted" at well below 100 Becquerel. Something else may apply to chestnuts, says Disl, "but they are very rare here". There is no need to worry about the consumption of roe deer and venison - the values he measured were always in a range between 20 and 50 Becquerel: “Hoofed game only eats green plants,” explains Josef Heßlinger, spokesman for the district hunting association.
It looks completely different with wild boars.
They rummage through the ground for food such as grubs and roots.
So they advance into contaminated areas.
This means that wild boar meat is often very heavily contaminated.
For example, Disl determined a value of more than 8,000 Becquerel in a baby boy who was out and about in the Kochelsee moor near Schlehdorf: "The limit value was exceeded by more than ten times," emphasizes Disl.
Measurement results fluctuate
The measurement results fluctuate extremely.
In 2018, the Tölzer examined 72 samples of wild boar meat, 26 were above the limit value.
A year later, twelve of 85 samples exceeded the limit value.
It looked even worse last year.
More than half of the samples (35 out of 66) were contaminated and had to be destroyed.
“It has to do with where the wild boar packs come from,” explains Josef Heßlinger.
“In 1986 the radioactive fallout was strongest in the district of Ebersberg.
Therefore, the east of Munich tends to be more affected than the west. ”Traditionally, there are only a few wild boars in the Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen district, as they can hardly find suitable food here in the heavily fertilized soil, which is characterized by dairy cow husbandry.
By the way, if you order wild boar meat in a pub or buy it in a butcher's shop, you don't have to worry about anything.
Every piece sold is tested for radioactivity, the measurement protocols are checked by the trade supervisory authority.
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