AW: [ RadSafe ] Uranium grinding wheels

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Wed Jun 10 07:09:19 CDT 2009


There is not the slightest doubt that grinding wheels contain uranium,
thorium, K-40 and decay products. Your body as well as mine and foodstuff
contains all these long-lived radionuclides and additionally shorter lived
ones like C-14 and tritium, not to talk about more exotic ones - of natural

Abrasives may contain naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM),
depending on their origin. Best known are the zirconium containing sands.
Those compounds are mostly used because they are very hard, very resistant
to mechanical wear, and last extremely long before having to be replaced. 

You do not specify what "HSS" means, further I miss a description of what
substances are ground - dry or wet operation. In the latter case the air
borne particles would really play no role. In the first case: Do you eat
grinding wheels dust?

Best regards,


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag
von neildm at
Gesendet: Dienstag, 09. Juni 2009 23:51
An: radsafe at
Betreff: [ RadSafe ] Uranium grinding wheels

There is an HSS bulletin out about grinding wheels containing uranium
potentially causing surface contamination and/or airborne particles.

I had never heard of this, nor can I find any reference to uranium
containing abrasives on the internet.  Undoubtedly, it is present as a
trace material, but this would not seem to me to be of any concern at

Does anyone have better information? 

Thank you,
Dave Neil

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