FYI! Americium Sourse from Smoke Detector

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Joined: 25 May 2019, 11:16

FYI! Americium Sourse from Smoke Detector

Post by Grandpa1018 » 08 Jul 2019, 10:22

I saw on USA. The offering from China. Americium from Smoke detectors. It came in a plain paper mailing bag. Customs listed it as gas valve. It had no radiological markings on the package.

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: FYI! Americium Sourse from Smoke Detector

Post by Steven Sesselmann » 08 Jul 2019, 11:34


Still there, eBay item 183738565735

Maybe this should be reported, rules might differ by country.


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Re: FYI! Americium Sourse from Smoke Detector

Post by sgt_bear » 08 Jul 2019, 16:41

Yes, rules differ very by country, and in most cases the buyer is responsible for the shipment. And even if the seller is responsible, its hard to do anything against asian or western europe sellers on ebay or generally online.
- Jonathan from Switzerland

Conor Whyte
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Re: FYI! Americium Sourse from Smoke Detector

Post by Conor Whyte » 09 Jul 2019, 17:10

Those Am241 ion chambers are legal as they are sold as a sealed Ion Chamber source. They meet the requirements for international shipping and are both legal in Canada and the US.
If these chambers had their sources removed and the sources sold by themselves, this would constitute a breach of NRC and CNSC licensing. There is no exempt amount of Am241 that can be sold as a unshielded source in either the US or Canada or any other country. - Why you don't find spectrum techniques selling Americium alpha sources.

Story I should tell you about -
About ~3 years ago a fellow in Quebec was caught selling the exposed sources on Ebay (for what purposes is unknown). He was selling older 10uCi foil sources and 1uCi (buttons). I reported the listing the CNSC and they took immediate action, removing the ebay ad and fining the vendor significantly (I do believe the vendor had to appear in federal court.) The foil sources were of significant concern because of their nature to flake off their Americium oxide coating. This was explained by the CNSC and would likely become an airborne contamination hazard. The foil sources are the same ones used in the industrial Pyrotronics detectors from the 70's- to early 80s.
Each of those detectors contained 80uCi.

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Re: FYI! Americium Sourse from Smoke Detector

Post by stamasd » 10 Jul 2019, 22:11

Even sources with much higher activity are legal to mail not marked as radioactive if you follow the rules. In fact you are specifically instructed not to mark them as radioactive. For instance when I renew my polonium source on a yearly basis, the source I mail back has at that point about 0.8mCi or 800uCi of alpha activity. There is a special code, UN2911, which has to be applied on the package - but it doesn't say "radioactive" anywhere. This is valid for sources with activity up to 9mCi. An extra code RQ must be applied if the source in the package has an activity greater than 9mCi, and up to 540mCi. Yes, half a Curie can be mailed and still there is no mention of radioactivity as such anywhere on the package. ... PP2000.pdf
This only applies to polonium alpha sources though.

And yes I have bought on ebay from China exactly this type of smoke detectors, and they came in a plain paper envelope. It's legal AFAIK.
Real name: Silviu Tamasdan

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