[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Re[2]: Exempt Smoke Detectors

Jay (and everyone following this), 

Note that it depends on what you call "cleaning and maintenance".  If 
you are merely cleaning/refurbishing the physical housing, electronic 
contacts, etc..., then I don't believe (e.g., I am not making an 
"official" opinion on this subject) any additional authorization is 
necessary.  My response was aimed if you are actually cleaning and/or 
refurbishing the radioactive source.  You have my apologies if I 
mis-understood the exact nature of your question.

Texas Regulations for Control of Radiation (TRCR) 40.4(c)(3) [Note 
that I can only speak for Texas, however, 10CFR30.20 is essentially 
equivalent] provides an exemption for Gas and Aerosol Detectors 
Containing Radioactive Material and reads:

    "Except for persons who manufacture, process, or produce gas and 
    an aerosol detectors containing radioactive material, any person
    is exempt from these rules if that person receives, possesses, 
    uses, transfers, owns or aquires radioactive material in gas
    and aerosol detectors designed to protect life or property from 
    fires and airborne hazards"...(and they are manufactured and 
    distributed under a license that authorizes such for exempt 

In other words, if you are using it as a smoke detector, you are 
exempt.  If you are using/handling the radioactive material for any 
other purpose (e.g., refurbishing sources), you are not exempt.  For 
example, you can't "mine" smoke detectors for its Am-241 content.

Note that this interpretation hangs on the words "use" and "process". 
However, look at it this way: is it something you feel safe letting 
your next door neighbor do with no instructions?  If so, it probably 
is exempt.  If not, it probably isn't.

Of course, if you want an "official answer" for your operation, you 
should direct the question, in writing, to the regulatory agency that 
has jurisdiction.  However, you should make sure you clarify exactly 
what "cleaning" entails.  The exemption and general license 
regulations are not very well understood, so it isn't any surprise to 
me that different people, even those who happen to work for 
regulatory agencies, have different answers.

I hope this helps.


> Date sent:      Mon, 26 Aug 96 07:06:04 -0500
> Send reply to:  radsafe@romulus.ehs.uiuc.edu
> From:           "James P. Tarzia" <tarzijp@naesco.com>
> To:             Multiple recipients of list <radsafe@romulus.ehs.uiuc.edu>
> Subject:        Re[2]: Exempt Smoke Detectors

>      Wes, 
>      Thanks for the reply.  I'm glad you feel confident in your answer. I 
>      have received replies from many people around the country, including 
>      gov't agencies who have interpreted this issue in different ways.  
>      Many people have cleaned the detectors without considering the need 
>      for specific authorization.  Pyrotronics information merely says that 
>      maintenance on the detectors should be performed by trained personnel. 
>       Do you have a requirement in your state regulations (or know of one 
>      in federal regs) that requires specific authorization for cleaning of 
>      smoke detectors (or maintenance on items distributed as exempt)?  I 
>      would appreciate a reference if you have one.
>      Thanks,
>      Jay Tarzia, CHP
>      tarzijp@naesco.com

Wesley M. Dunn, CHP                        512-834-6688
Deputy Director, Licensing                 512-834-6690 (fax)
(Texas) Bureau of Radiation Control        wdunn@brc1.tdh.state.tx.us