EPA Examines Sources of Radiation in Industrial Demolition Sites

Industrial Demolition - Radioactive graffitiRadioactive gauges and devices are commonly used in industrial buildings for a variety of purposes. These radioactive tools can measure everything from the thickness of metal to the volume of fluids in bottles and cans. Oftentimes they are placed in environments where humans cannot survive – for instance, in a blast furnace. Radioactive devices are often crucial to quality control during the manufacturing process.

Here are a few specific devices that contain radioactive materials:

Well logging tools. These devices are used to determine if a certain section of ground contains drillable oil.

Coal power plant gauges. These radioactive measurement devices work somewhat like an X-ray; by figuring out how much radiation passes through the item being measured, they provide an idea of the item’s content. Coal power plants use radioactive gauges to determine the amount of ash and moisture in their product.

Materials processing tools. Gama and Beta emitters can measure the thickness, weight and content of all kinds of materials, from rubber to paper to plastic pipe.

The presence of these radioactive tools poses a significant problem in industrial demolition. Montana to Maine, industrial demolition specialists must take special care when handling radioactive materials. The problem is that operation grime may obscure warning and handling directions printed on radioactive tools. If destroyed willy-nilly, these radioactive materials can cause serious health problems for industrial contractors – as well as the environment and the public at large.

To minimize radioactive exposure, the EPA has partnered with the National Demolition Association to offer free training for contractors specializing in industrial demolition. Colorado to Connecticut, demolition companies have the duty to stay educated on the proper disposal of hazardous materials, including radioactive items. To download training materials, visit the EPA’s site on radioactive sources at demolition sites.

As we carry out West Coast industrial demolition projects in Arizona, Colorado, Montana and elsewhere, we are very careful about handling radioactive devices according to the highest industry standards. And we provide extensive ongoing education to our employees to ensure proper management of hazardous materials

[Photo by: kewl, via CC License]

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