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Re: Plastic and radiation damage

I have also had experience with failure of HDLE carboys used for storing
liquid wastes for decay but it is impossible for me to imagine that
radiation damage contributed to these failures. Most of our damaged carboys
were used for uCi or low mCi amounts of P-32 and S-35, emitters which would
be substantially shielded by the liquid content of the jugs. Normal aging
and chemical content seem much more likely causes. We often found visible
"crazing" at rounded corners of carboys which had not failed. I abandoned
the heavy "nalgene" type carboys which might be used for several decay
cycles and went with a much lighter and inexpensive HDPE carboy which we
use once, wash, and discard as regular trash. No problems to date although
we will always use secondary containment as insurance.

Andy Mattox amattox@mbl.edu

Andrew Mattox, CSP
Environmental Health and Safety Manager
Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL street
Woods Hole, Ma 02543