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Consumer Goods Made With Radioactive Metals

Wednesday, November 04, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: consumer goods, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) A lack of regulatory oversight has led to massive quantities of radioactive metal entering the U.S. raw materials supply, meaning that many consumer products may expose users to dangerous levels of radiation, a Scripps Howard News Service investigation has found.

In the past 11 years, scandals have emerged over radioactive metal in products including La-Z-Boy recliners, EKCO cheese graters, purses, tableware, fencing materials, shovel blades, elevators and airplanes. The cheese graters, laced with Cobalt-60, were giving off the equivalent of a chest X-ray's worth of radiation every 36 hours.

According to the Scripps investigation, there are at least 500,000 radioactive metal objects outside of toxic waste dumps in the United States, and the amount of waste improperly disposed of may reach 20 million pounds.

The situation has been created by poor regulation of radioactive metal, compounded by a complete lack of oversight. Although factories that use radioactive materials, such as in industrial smoke detectors or gauges, are required to house them in protective shells, these materials are often simply disposed of along with other metal scrap when a factory shuts down. The radioactive metal is then melted and mixed in with the larger supply of metal for manufacturing.

Even when companies do discover that their metal supply is contaminated, it can cost them as much as $50 million to properly dispose of it. Instead, many simply hope that they will not be caught. Due to lack of state or federal oversight, they nearly never are.

Making matters worse, metal dealers in China, India, the former Soviet bloc and parts of Africa have caught on to the fact that there is no agency responsible for screening metal imports for radioactivity, and vast quantities of radioactive metal are now being shipped into the country.

"Nobody's going to know -- nobody -- how much has been melted into consumer goods," said Ray Turner of River Metals Recycling. "It's your worst nightmare."

Sources for this story include: www.scrippsnews.com.

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