Determination of heavy metals and their leaching characteristics in DOE lead-lined gloves
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Lead has been the bulwark of radiological shielding primarily because of its excellent attenuating properties, abundance, and cheapness as compared to other elements. Lead is now a federal regulated element under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and is potentially perilous material to deal with, expensive to decontaminate and stabilize, and environmentally difficult to bury at any approved sites. Leaded gloves are used in gloveboxes as a form of protection for the hands and arms from radioactive contamination and penetrating radiation from radioisotopes. The reduction of lead, mandated by United States Congress because of its hazardous and toxic characteristics, has required a substitute for the red lead oxide (Pb<Subscript>3</Subscript>O<Subscript>4</Subscript>) in the leaded-neoprene hand glove. We have performed heavy metal analysis on several proposed alternative materials using neutron activation analysis. To assess potential environmental impact the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) was also employed on the current leaded-neoprene glove. These TCLP results using ICP verified that lead leached out at a concentration higher than allowed by US EPA RCRA act. Other heavy metals that leached out were either below the US EPA limits or not on listed of regulated heavy metals.
KeywordsNeutron Activation Analysis Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure Compton Suppression Mixed Waste Toxicity Characteristic Leach Procedure Test
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