Moscow Grit Radioactive with 1.3 Billion Year Half-life

Radioactive grit

From Ridus.ru:

Moscow’s streets are being covered in radioactive material with a 1.3 billion year half-life

Ecologists from the the Interregional Public Centre “For Russian Road Safety” have brought out an analysis undertaken by the Soil Science Department on the substances scattered on Moscow’s streets in the fight against snow and ice. The chemicals halite and SPB was amongst the anti-freeze reagents found.

The ecologists took a sample of the substance housing workers in Moscow were spreading on the streets of Moscow’s central region during the period from the 9th to the 20th of January, 2013. It is likely that they are continuing to do so. And not just in the central region.

“Behind the Wheel” reports that the use of the yellow mineral substance is not only not included in the city’s guidelines on “Winter Cleaning Technology”, but it is generally not permitted because it is considered harmful to all life. The publication suggests that the Moscow municipal authorities may be using old reserves that need to be disposed of.

Last week, representatives of the Department of Housing and Utilities, claimed on the radio, that only environmentally-friendly, pure table salt was in use in the city. Professionals from the Soil Science department studied the sample delivered to them and came to the conclusion that it is absolutely not salt and not the legally permitted “bionord”.

Experts have identified that Muscovites and visitors to the capital are walking and driving around in SPB – a substance, which was accepted as an anti-freeze chemical initially, but was banned five years ago. Five years ago, Moscow was covered in “black snow” for a number of seasons in a row, a direct result of the use of SPB. It is known that a vote took place on its disposal, but it is not clear why it is being disposed of on Moscow’s streets.

“In the office we sprinkled a little of it on the floor, so that people in a rush wouldn’t fall over. But it burned a hole in the carpet”, the head of “For Russian Road Safety” Dmitry Leontev said.

The expert explained that SPB is electrolytic sludge (from the German: Sсhlаmm – dirt: waste from refining ore) from Solikamsk magnesium plant, and is a substance that carries a third-class radiation risk. It also contains toxic elements including heavy metals and the radioactive element Potassium-40 which has a half-life of 1.3 billion years.

Comments from Ridus.ru:

Aryan_Zebra:

Fallout: New Moscow

ZhukovskiyEF:

You’ll be able to see Moscow glowing from space, probably. They’ll save on electricity.

DemonSensey:

We should cover the whole of the Kremlin and the State Dumba with this sludge.

spnn: (responding to above)

Not the whole Kremlin, it’s a historical monument at the end of the day, but all of the cabinet departments and other buildings, yeah, that’d be good!

Александр-7283:

We knew this 20 years ago in Perm. The former Environment Minister knew as well.

1000-pochemu:

I suppose no-one will be punished for this? And obviously no-one will man up and resign over it (are there any men in the government, or are they all subject to the law on gays?)

Aryan_Zebra:

Your understanding of gays is wrong.

asinch:

What is there to be punished for? Apart from the crap in the article, nothing. Just more waffle about “the country going to the dogs”.

Paang:

Listen, halite is rock salt. Of course it’s dirty, technical, with gravel and sand. It’s not radioactive, of course, but it’s caustic, bad for your skin and bad for your tyres.

pol-black:

This is called genocide! They’re killing everyone indiscriminately. So, who is it that’s working for the Yanks?

partybabka:

In my childhood saboteurs would poison wells, steal livestock, but today they’re throwing radiation on to the pavement, what’s a simple peasant to do???

Nera:

I feel sorry for shoes more than anything.

александр-2613:

Recently researchers discovered a dangerous chemical in our water system. This chemical is colourless, tasteless, and odourless. The Government has not made any attempt to control this dangerous contamination. This chemical is called dihydrоgen mоnоxide. The chemical is used for the following:
As a solvent and coolant in production
In nuclear reactors
In the production of styrofoam
In fire extinguishers
In chemical and biological laboratories
In the production of pesticides
In artificial food additives
This chemical is the main component of acid rain
It helps cause soil erosion
It accelerates corrosion and hurts most electrical appliances
Prolonged contact with the chemical in its solid form leads to serious damage to human skin
Contact with the gaseous form of this chemical leads to severe burns
Getting even a small amount of chemical in your lungs can be fatal
And you lot are all banging on about salt :))

okorvinREw:

Next, they’ll be asking why cancer is going up.

What do you think? Is there a crisis around snow clearing in Moscow after this and the news that they’re using Photoshop to clear snow from pavements?

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  • lonetrey / Dan

    Holy crap, they are walking on radioactive stuff?! How has such a health risk made it past all the whistle blowers, doublecheckers, and whoever’s watching out for the Russian people?

    • Ruaraidh

      A half-life of 1.3 billion years means it’s not very radioactive, the higher the half-life the slower it releases radiation. Our bodies contain about 170g of Potassium-40, which with a half-life of 1.25 billion years, is slightly more radioactive than this stuff.

      • Paul M

        Even natural stones, particularly granite, is radioactive.

      • lonetrey / Dan

        Oooh. Thanks for explaining it to me! I was slightly alarmed by the words “radioactive” and “harmful to all life”. Guess it was slightly exaggerated, huh.

        • http://www.russiaslam.com/ Joe Innes

          As sensationalist as the story is, that grit stuff is terrifying – you should see what it does to shoes! The comment about Moscow glowing from space is probably a little misguided though :P

  • elizabeth

    That should up the sales for anti-radiation clothing retailers.

  • http://twitter.com/KenLayIsAlive KenLayIsAlive.org

    What is wrong with Russia? Aren’t you trying to grow the population? Seriously, you need more healthful living areas, less drinking, less smoking. Come on Russia.

  • carmouflagger

    Fallout: New Moscow

    Muahahahahah!

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