Wed May 18 15:38:07 CDT 2011
Ionization smoke detectors containing less than 1 Î¼Ci of Americium-241
are exempt from Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations. This means
that Federal Law does not prohibit the disposal of these detectors in
the normal municipal waste stream. There are, however, a number of State
and local regulations and/or laws that do prohibit disposal of
ionization smoke detectors in the municipal waste stream. Contact the
local solid waste management authority for up-to-date information about
local regulations or directives.
Older ionization detectors that contain more than 1 Î¼Ci of
Americium-241 are subject to regulation by the NRC, and they are subject
to more stringent requirements. Smoke detectors with 5 Î¼Ci or more of
Americium-241 should never be disposed of in the municipal waste
Health Physics Technologist
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Radiation Safety Office
750 E. Adams St.
Syracuse, NY 13210
fearp at upstate.edu
>>> <ProRadCon at aol.com> 9/22/2011 2:35 PM >>>
We have a client requesting disposal options for two smoke detectors.
They took it upon themselves to look into options and received
something of a
sticker shock; consequently, I was approached to assist. See their
"We have 2 ionization smoke detectors that we need to get rid of.
descriptions are as follows:
- A 6" (case diameter) unit made by Ademco, model: 590, serial
Radioactive Material = Ra 226 (.05 microCuries).
- An 8" unit made by Pyrotronics Canada Ltd, model #DU-3.
Material = AM 241 (0.8 microCuries max)."
My understanding was that such units were distributed, under proper
exempt distribution licensing, to persons/entities exempt from
therefore, they can be disposed as municipal waste. I fact, I recall
regulatory guidance (NUREG 1717?) that evaluated the entire life cycle
products from a dose standpoint.
Can someone direct me to either the applicable regulations and/or
that supports my understanding, or, in the case of my
viable disposal or recycling options that do not require the
Thanks in advance,
Shane Brightwell, MS, CHP
Professional Radiation Consulting, Inc.
7 Balmoral Drive
Pittstown, NJ 08867
Office: (908) 730-9224
Fax: (720) 294-1153
Mobile: (631) 278-0610
E-mail: proradcon at aol.com
This e-mail contains information that may be Confidential and
Unless you are the intended recipient you may not use, copy,
or disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the
message. If you have received the message in error, please advise the
reply e-mail and delete the message.
You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list
Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood
the RadSafe rules. These can be found at:
For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings
More information about the RadSafe