|AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - RECOVERED MISCELLANEOUS RADIOACTIVE ITEMS
The following was received from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Radiation Protection (BRP; the Department) via email:
"On Sunday afternoon, September 28, 2020, the Department was notified of radioactive material found in a private residence being cleaned-out for an auction sale. BRP staff responded and found several sealed radium-226 sources and small quantities of uranium ore. The initial investigation revealed an additional nearby property also had radioactive material present. Staff inspected that property as well and discovered several more items. Owners of the houses were related and have passed away. HazMat responder's shoes and gloves were surveyed on September 28, with no removable contamination noted. Ambient dose rates were in the microrem to few millirem per hour range around the sources. The houses were secured that evening and further investigation continued through the week. As of October 7, 45 items have been collected. Note, some items contain multiple exempt sources, pieces of rock, or bottles of circa 1920 quack medical tablets with radium-226. These items include: old quack radium consumer products, exempt check sources, vacuum tubes, a military compass, luminous tubes and deck markers, cans of thorium oxide, and various other items containing radium-226, thorium-232, strontium-90, carbon-14, and natural uranium in quantities ranging from less than a microCurie to a few milliCuries (in the case of two radium-226 sources). An empty 5 gallon pail with 'US Radium, Bloomsburg PA' stenciled on the side was found. It is believed this old manufacturer of radium products, and now an EPA Superfund site, is where these items originated from. No exposure to members of the public above the public dose limit of 100 mrem per year are believed to have occurred during discovery and recovery, as the higher activity sources were within lead containers when found. BRP will update this event if more information becomes available. A complete inventory and activity calculations are underway for proper disposal."
Event Report ID No: PA200020
THIS MATERIAL EVENT CONTAINS A "LESS THAN CAT 3" LEVEL OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL
Sources that are "Less than IAEA Category 3 sources," are either sources that are very unlikely to cause permanent injury to individuals or contain a very small amount of radioactive material that would not cause any permanent injury. Some of these sources, such as moisture density gauges or thickness gauges that are Category 4, the amount of unshielded radioactive material, if not safely managed or securely protected, could possibly - although it is unlikely - temporarily injure someone who handled it or were otherwise in contact with it, or who were close to it for a period of many weeks. For additional information go to http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1227_web.pdf