[ RadSafe ] Disposal/Recycle Options for Smoke Detectors

Michael LaFontaine, P. Phys. physics at execulink.com
Thu Sep 22 15:12:03 CDT 2011

Shane, your first point of contact should be your local (municipal 
and state) authorities. Some municipalities have established 
recycling depots for smoke detectors. Provide the date of manufacture 
re. the Am-241 model (t 1/2 = 4.33 years, so disposal may be fairly 
straight forward and inexpensive). Ra-226 should NOT be directed to 
any municipal waste site.


Michael LaFontaine

At 02:35 PM 22/09/2011, you wrote:
>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 #E100475.
>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 licensing;
>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 guidance
>that supports my understanding, or, in the case of my  misunderstanding, to
>viable disposal or recycling options that do  not require the liquidation
>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 Privileged.
>Unless you are the intended recipient you may  not use, copy, disseminate
>or disclose to anyone the message or any information  contained in the
>message.  If you have received the message in error,  please advise 
>the sender by
>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 visit: http://health.phys.iit.edu

Michael LaFontaine, P. Phys.  

More information about the RadSafe mailing list