[ RadSafe ] CRT monitor radiation "scare" at Newark airport

Hansen, Richard HansenRG at nv.doe.gov
Tue Dec 21 12:29:01 CST 2010

Here are two more references for television sets with CRTs causing
radiation alarms.


The U.S. Department of Energy Handbook for Response to Suspect
Radioactive Materials (May 2005, PNNL-SA-4394) lists the following under
"Items and Products that may contain radioactive materials:"

"Television sets-thoriated tungsten in cathode-ray picture tubes"


Thoriated-tungsten might be the cause of the radiation alarm on the CRT
in New Jersey.


Article on work funded by Department of Homeland Security Customs and
Border Protection,

and the US Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


Naturally occurring radioactive materials in cargo at US borders

by R. Kouzes, J. Ely, J. Evans, W. Hensley, E. Lepel, J. McDonald, J.
Schweppe, E. Siciliano, D. Strom and M. Woodring

Packaging, Transport, Storage & Security of Radioactive Materials, 2006,
VOL 17 NO 1


It is common to find NORM and TENORM radioactive

materials in cargo, and the types of products that

may be frequently observed to be somewhat radioactive,

especially in bulk quantities, include agricultural products,

ceramic glazed materials including antique

pottery and dental ceramics, camera lenses, polishing

compounds and abrasives, propane tanks, cat litter,

road salt, ore, rock, vulcanised rubber, TV and

computer monitors, medical isotopes and smoke detectors.


In a comparison of the approximate relative percentage of cargo loads
causing an alarm that contain listed radioactive materials

observed at three (unspecified) US border crossings, the number one
cause of alarms was television sets (27% of alarms), which was second
only to Ceramics/tile/toilets (28% of alarms). At the other two border
crossings studied, televisions sets caused less than 1% of the alarms. 


I do not have any information on the expected radiation levels from such
television sets or computer monitor CRTs. 


Best regards,



Rick Hansen

Senior Scientist

CTOS - Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training at the Nevada National
Security Site

National Security Technologies, LLC

Contractor to the United States Department of Energy

Office: 702-295-7813 

Cell:    702-630-1131

hansenrg at nv.doe.gov <mailto:hansenrg at nv.doe.gov> 


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