Hazardous Waste Class 7: Radioactive Materials

Posted by author Richard Espinoza on Thu, Dec 15, 2016

Many Californians are well aware of the radioactive tuna arriving on West Coast shores after being exposed to a radiation leakage from Japan’s Fukushima Daichi plant, and the ecological implications of such an event.

However, radioactive waste also presents a unique problem for several local Los Angeles industries.

If your organization regularly deals with hazardous waste class 7: radioactive materials, then learn more about how a professionalhazardous waste management company can help you dispose of hazardous waste products easily, legally, and safely.


Sources and Types of Radioactive Waste

Most radioactive waste, both low-level (LLW) and high-level (HLW), comes from nuclear power plants, most of which use uranium as the primary resource in fission.

Currently, there are 104 active nuclear plants in the U.S. which produce approximately 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity supply.  

Other sources of LLW include certain hospital medicines such as chemotherapy drugs, pharmaceutical testing labs, and medical research facilities.


Properly Disposing Radioactive Waste

The radiation within LLWs is generally no higher than normal environmental levels, and the radioactivity in most waste generally fades within 100 years—though it may take as long as 500 years for more hazardous samples.

While most LLWs do not pose an immediate threat upon exposure, radioactive waste disposal is still regulated by federal and state governments to limit continued exposure and prevent possible environmental contamination.


Hazards of Class 7 Waste

Radioactive emergencies are especially serious, as exposure to even moderate levels of radiation could lead to a variety of health effects such as cancer, mutations, and in severe cases of exposure, acute poisoning.

Radioactive contamination could also partially or completely shut down your facility until a thorough decontamination is performed.

Due to the hazardous nature of radioactive waste, hiring a regular waste removal crew simply isn’t an option in most cases. hazardous waste class 7


Experience Matters

When you start looking into your options for a hazardous waste disposal company, remember that finding a company with the experience to handle your waste streams is important.

Not a lot of companies  are equipped to properly handle these dangerous kinds of waste. 

Make sure to perform your due diligence when screening these companies. Make sure they have the experience, expertise, and knowledge necessary for disposing of hazardous waste in general and these special classes of hazardous waste in particular

Make sure to: 

  • Determine the qualifications of anyone who will potentially pack or prepare the shipment of your especially dangerous hazardous waste.
  • Ensure the hazardous waste disposal companies know proper transportation protocol. This includes what legally can and cannot go on the truck, essential safety rules (such as never putting an oxidizer next to something corrosive), and so on.
  • Determine the hazardous waste management companies have the proper equipment (respirators, masks, gloves, and so on) and the knowledge and experience to know how to use them.
  • Ensure the companies have specific experience, knowledge, and training dealing with radioactive materials.


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