[ RadSafe ] Disposal/Recycle Options for Smoke Detectors

Stroud, Ed Ed.Stroud at dphe.state.co.us
Thu Sep 22 16:03:27 CDT 2011

Hello Shane,
I looked up the device sheets for the smoke detectors you mentioned. The Pyrotronics DU-3 is exempt (SSD # NR-829-D-802-E). So, in Colorado and most states, you could dispose of it in ordinary trash just like any smoke detector you could buy at Wal-Mart. I haven't been able to find a device sheet for the Ademco - it must be very old. Perhaps someone else on Radsafe has come across one. 

Ed Stroud, Compliance Lead
Radioactive Materials Unit
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

-----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 12:36 PM
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 #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

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