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Subject: Survey on radioactive materials

Survey on radioactive materials

From: Sally Shelton <libsdnhm>
Date: Monday, August 12, 1996
Some of you may have received a survey earlier in the year from
Barbara Skryja, who is doing a thesis on the problems associated
with radioactive specimens/objects in museums. She is interested in
what, if any, protocol people use to identify, isolate, control
access to, and monitor radioactive materials in collections.

This affects some fossil collections a great deal, but she has had
very little response from the natural history community. She has a
very interesting thesis going, which will result in a guidebook for
dealing with these materials. She wants to be sure that our
interests are represented, but she has to hear from you first.

On Barbara's behalf, I am sending out this renewed request for any
information you may have on how you deal with the following types of
materials:

    *   Radioactive or suspected radioactive fossils and/or sediments

    *   Irradiated gemstones with suspected residual radioactivity

    *   Radioactive sites

I am also interested in finding out if anyone has developed a vented
case design for storing radon-emitting specimens (as opposed to a
vented room). In other words, has anyone developed a design that
would create a sealed case microenvironment that could keep radon
levels at or below threshold values?

Finally, has anyone who knows that radioactive specimens are in the
collections had a visit from a health physicist or other specialist?
Have you set up a program for isolation and monitoring that meets
governmental standards?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give. I will send all
responses directly to Barbara, who does not have email.

Sally Shelton
Director, Collections Care and Conservation
San Diego Natural History Museum
P.O. Box 1390
San Diego, California  92112
619-232-3821
Fax: 619-232-0248

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:18
                 Distributed: Tuesday, August 13, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-18-012
                                  ***
Received on Monday, 12 August, 1996

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