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Subject: Radioactive contamination of records

Radioactive contamination of records

From: Loren Charles Pigniolo <loren>
Date: Friday, November 5, 1993
In response to Karen Motylewski's request for information on dealing
with contaminated records, the following appeared recently on the
ARCHIVES listserv.  It appears here without the knowledge or consent of
the author.

I would like to see a follow-up of this case posted if you would be so
kind.  Hope this helps.

  Date:    Thu, 4 Nov 1993 10:07:00 -0500
  Subject: Archival Workplace Hazards

  Here in Atlanta, we have 151 boxes of contaminated records from a
  closed pesticide manufacturing plant that may be used in a criminal
  case against the former owners.  We set up a shed lined with plastic
  on the parking deck for the records storage and put a copier out there
  with "clean" paper supply and output. Everyday, a person from the
  Emergency Response Team puts on a moonsuit and copies documents for
  about two hours.  When the process is complete, we'll take the
  contaminated records and copier to an appropriate disposal site and
  clean up the parking deck.

  Fortunately, EPA has the expertise and the funds to handle something
  like this.  If anyone suspects they may have contaminated records, try
  to identify the source and contact a regional office of the EPA for
  instructions.  We have databases full of info on chemicals and how to
  handle them and treat exposures, as well as experts on most of the
  really bad stuff.

  Someone from NARA should send in a post on how the radioactive records
  from DOE were handled.  The NARA approach seems much more feasible
  then the EPA one for archival institutions.

  Jim Whittington
  EPA, Region IV

Loren C. Pigniolo
Photographic Preservation Specialist
Photographic Preservation Services
800/484-9808 x7841

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:38
                 Distributed: Monday, November 8, 1993
                        Message Id: cdl-7-38-002
Received on Friday, 5 November, 1993

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