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toxicity (fwd)

updated tue 4 aug 98


Monona Rossol on mon 3 aug 98

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 16:15:17 EDT
From: Laura Conley
Subject: toxicity
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Hamer states that strontium is not toxic. I've heard rumors otherwise.
Does anyone know?

Also, I have heard that uranium, strontium, vanadium are all a bit
radioactive. Is this true? How radioactive? Are there any others?
Laura Conley

Metals can have radioactive isotopes. Strontium's well known radioactive
isotope is Sr90. It is created by atomic bombs and such and is not a
significant constituent of other sources of Strontium.

Strontium compounds are usually of very low toxicity. The exceptions are
those which combine Strontium with toxic radicals. For example, strontium
chromate is one of the most strongly cancer-causing chemical ever tested in
experimental animals. It has as a result and extraordinarily low TLV (0.0005
mg/m3). But other strontium compounds such as carbonates and sulfates don't
even have TLVs.

All the isotopes of uranium are radioactive--significantly so. U235 is the
one that is used in bombs because it is also of the perfect weight for an
atomic reaction. But all the other isotopes, are also emitting.

I don't know off hand of any naturally occurring radioactive vanadium

There is even significant radiation hazard from potassium from sources that
concentrate potassium40 such as phosphgypsum waste from manufacture of
plaster. About two years ago after a great deal of risk analysis and debate,
EPA granted farmers the right to spread phosphogypsum as fertilizer under
certain conditions so that it will be greatly diluted over a large area of
soil. There are environmental groups that are not happy about this.

There is a brilliant man named Ralph W. Sheets at the University of Missouri
who does research on ceramics and glassware. He has written a number of
scientific articles on radioactive dinnerware, leaching of lead, cadmium,
uranium and other metals from historic ware, and other very odd but wonderful
subjects. He is currently writing a small book on the hazards of historic

I ask Clayarters to think about helping Dr. Sheets find a publisher for this
unusual subject. I have already contacted mine who just might do it. But
any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

If anyone would like to get in touch with Dr. Sheets, let me know.

Monona Rossol, industrial hygienist
Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety
181 Thompson St., # 23
New York NY 10012-2586 212/777-0062