[ RadSafe ] Disposal/Recycle Options for Smoke Detectors

Conklin, Al (DOH) Al.Conklin at DOH.WA.GOV
Thu Sep 22 14:17:40 CDT 2011

Don't these things normally say something like "return to the
manufacturer for disposal"? I know we recently went through this with
some tritium exit signs.

Al Conklin
Lead Trainer and Health Physicist
Radiological Emergency Preparedness Section
Office of Radiation Protection
Department of Health
office: 360-236-3261
cell: 360-239-1237
-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of
ProRadCon at aol.com
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:36 AM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Disposal/Recycle Options for Smoke Detectors

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  
description below.
"We have 2 ionization smoke detectors that we need to get rid of.  Their

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. Radioactive 
Material = AM 241 (0.8 microCuries  max)."

My understanding was that such units were distributed, under proper NRC

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
of such  
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  misunderstanding,
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

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