[ RadSafe ] Re: Radium Static Eliminator Bar

Ross Brown ross.brown at sympatico.ca
Tue Nov 3 15:51:38 CST 2009

Radium static eliminator bars were distributed in Canada in the 1950s for
use primarily in the printing industry. Records from that era are not good
so the number distributed and their ultimate fate are not accurately known.
Some were returned to the supplier but undoubtedly, some ended up in regular
garbage or scrap metal.  

One radium static eliminator bar was found mounted on a printing machine in
the early 1980s. It was a couple of feet long and had been on the same
machine for about 30 years. An employee had also worked on the same machine
for about 30 years so there was concern about his health. Based on a
detailed survey and an analysis of his work, it was estimated that he
received about 5 rem every year. 

This worker and those who worked in the immediate vicinity were checked in a
whole body counter for internal activity. The results indicated no
significant body burdens, probably due in part to the location of the
printing machine in a large older building that was not air conditioned nor
sealed to current standards for buildings in northern climates. 

Ross Brown
Atomic Energy Control Board [retired]

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