Radiation Exposure from Household Items Containing Uranium
(last updated 8 Sep 2004)
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- Enamel powder: concentrations of 10% of depleted uranium were found in yellow enamel powder currently produced in France (see details).
Exposure of Workers Manufacturing Household Items
- Inhalation of enamel powder dust
The effective dose from inhalation of 1 mg powder containing 10% uranium depleted to 0.2% is 11 µSv. The 20 mSv annual standard for workers is equivalent to 1.82 g. This would correspond to a dust concentration in air of 0.63 mg/m3. (See also: Uranium Radiation Individual Dose Calculator)
If the uranium were recycled from spent fuel, the inhalation dose from 1 mg were 17 µSv. The 20 mSv annual standard for workers were equivalent to 1.18 g. This would correspond to a dust concentration in air of 0.41 mg/m3.
(based on ICRP68 dose factors for insoluble compounds, breathing rate of 1.6 m3/h, worktime 1800 h/a, burnup of 39 GWd/tHM, storage time of 5 years after unload, tails from enrichment to 3.5%)
- Ceramic dinnerware: the glaze of orange-colored ceramic dinnerware may contain up to 20% of uranium by weight [Sheets1995].
- Ceramic tiles:
- Uranium glass: contains approx. 1% of uranium
- Enamel jewelry: concentrations of depleted uranium of 10% were found in yellow enamel powder currently produced in France (see details).
Exposure of Users of Household Items
[ICRP60] 1990 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, ICRP Publication 60, Oxford 1991
[Landa1992] Leaching of uranium from glass and ceramic foodware and decorative items, by Edward R. Landa and Terry B. Councell, in: Health Physics Vol. 63 No. 3, 1992, p. 343-348
[NUREG-1717] Systematic Radiological Assessment of Exemptions for Source and Byproduct Materials, Final Report, NUREG-1717, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2001
> Download final report
[Sheets1995] Accidental contamination from uranium compounds through contact with ceramic dinnerware, by Ralph W. Sheets, Clifton C. Thompson, in: The Science of the Total Environment Vol. 175 (1995) No. 1, p. 81-84
[WHO2004] World Health Organization: WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality, third edition, 2004
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