Metal Contamination: Are The New Limits Enough?
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Metal Contamination: Are the New Limits Enough?

The withdrawal of radioactive resources from commercial industrial sites, nuclear establishments, and Department of Energy facilities is a dangerous and pricey challenge. As a select few of these materials may not be contaminated, many industry representatives will claim it can be recycled or reused without health concern for the public.

Scrap metals released which contain slight contaminations raise an entire new set of questions. Is it above release limits? If it is, can it be decontaminated? If not, the only choice left is to bury the scraps. Some scraps can be stored until decay through time kills contaminations, but many boundaries are still being placed to prevent overpopulation in landfills.

The big idea is limitations permitting minute levels of contamination on scraps can be thrown into the recycling mix, allowing the contamination levels in all to be significantly diluted. Recycled materials can then be reused to construct new capital. Recent restriction agreements suggest levels of less than 1 mrem/y (millirems per year) for any one item to any one person.

Yet like change in the ashtray of your car, small amounts of contamination exposure add up. How can an individual track the rate at which he or she is made vulnerable to radiation emissions? The hazard of open action with contaminated materials can result in traumatic effects for the individual and the public.

In addition to new limits implemented for acceptance of contaminated scraps, the metal industry as a whole (accompanied by consumers) is exercising strong resistance to protect daily business transactions from radioactive impacts. It seems not everyone agrees that these maximum restraints are enough...

Too often accidents occur, causing injury or death as a result of exposure to contaminations that slipped through the cracks during inspection.

Efforts to conform all scrap metal regulations have gone global to improve quality of materials industry-wide. Border crossings now use monitors to process and identify metals containing radioactivity. The black market for scrap metal is growing in China, as dealers try to escape the grasp of contamination laws. China’s mass production for the international market makes this threat an extremely dangerous one for consumers all over the world. Quick obedience for issues such as these is demanded for the survival of the metal industry and all those which depend on its success.

As a scrap recycler, dealer, or smelter, it is imperative to be aware of radioactive levels within the metals you are exposed to. The release of radioactive metals can ignite a chain of events ending in disaster, or they can be contained and eliminated through proper disposal to allow maximum growth for each role in the metal industry. Marietta Recycling Corp makes every effort to train our employees to be on the lookout for such materials. As a consumer, it is necessary to be aware of the standards by which local recycling centers and metal refineries conduct their business.


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