[ RadSafe ] I'm back

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Mar 25 11:03:28 CDT 2013

Hi, Mike.

First, I have to say that my experience with proppant is quite limited.  I have been involved in looking at one product from one manufacturer, in one setting (a transshipment facility, where the proppant was transferred from bags to hopper rail cars).

That being said, one of the things that needs to be considered is what exposure scenario should be used when considering what an "acceptable" or "safe" activity level for proppant?  Almost all exposure scenarios used for soil, etc., assume years or decades of exposure at constant levels.  That clearly isn't reasonable with proppant.  While there is a fair amount of dust while it is being dumped, it drops off quickly, and normal dust control measures work well.  There is no ingestion pathway, either directly or by growing plants in it.  

I don't know the answer, but the questions are worth thinking through.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Cowie, Michael I
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2013 9:20 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] I'm back

First can I say thank you to the Mailing list admin for their patience and cooperation with me! Due to my companies computer system being the victim of a targeted "cyber" attack late last year, we had seriously reduced internet and email access, and things are slowly getting back to normal, but it caused a lot of stress and anguish. A result of this was that mail from external sources and mailing lists was prohibited, hence I lost contact with the RadSafe list. My recent attempts at returning to the list were fraught with difficulties as well, however I am back and looking forward to all that the Radsafe list provides! :-)

I have recently encountered some issues relating to enhanced levels of natural activity in Fracking proppant, and was wondering if others had similar issues or were aware of similar? I am ignorant to the various types of proppant, but assume that the differences are in size/density dependent upon the structure they are being forced into. At the site I visited there were sacks containing different "grades" of proppant, some were just at background radiation level, but others (actually manufactured by Saint Gobain) had slightly enhanced gamma dose-rates up to 0.3micrSieverts/hr where the background in the area was 0.02microSieverts/hr. Analysis of the material indicated total activity of around 3 Bq/g and contained the usual suspects of Ra226, U238 and Th232. I have the following questions:

Is this in line with what is commonly found in certain grades of proppant?
Are there standards that require to be complied with by manufacturers/suppliers of the proppant?

I have some similar questions about abrasive sands.....but let me dig out my data (pardon the pun)



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