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Old 08-22-2019, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Idaho Falls (Ammon)
67 posts, read 64,028 times
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This map of radon levels across the US is pretty interesting.

https://www.epa.gov/radon/find-infor...ation#radonmap
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:15 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
3,094 posts, read 2,154,600 times
Reputation: 1104
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanQuixote View Post
Google "Idaho Lorax". I'm sure this article was authored by him. That youtube video linked above is definitely him. He's a local character around Pocatello that's been on about this stuff for years.

Yes, Idaho has Radon-222, which is a decay product of trace amounts of Uranium in the ground, but this is true, as Banjomike points out, across the western US. In fact, it's anywhere that there's granite and shale. There's nothing special or more dangerous about Pocatello in this regard.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Around and about
3,029 posts, read 1,346,428 times
Reputation: 5214
Here is more on the subject from a reliable source.

"Phosphate ores contain elevated levels of natural radioactivity, some of
which is released to the environment during processing or use of solid byproducts. In the Western states, most of the phosphate rock is produced in the
State of Idaho. Four phosphate processing plants are located in southeastern
Idaho. Two thermal process plants, one located near Soda Springs (Monsanto
Co.) and the other near Pocatello (FMC Corporation), produce elemental phosphorus. A·wet process plant (J. R. Simplot Co.) producing phosphoric acid and a
variety of fertilizers is in operation near Pocatello. A second wet process
plant (Beker Industries) located in Gonda near Soda Springs is currently shut
down.
The effect of radionuclides from Idaho phosphate processing operations on
the local communities has been the subject of much research and study. The
literature is reviewed in this report. Two primary radionuclide pathways to
the environment have been studied in detail:
• airborne release of volatile radionuclides, primarily 21°Po, from
calciner stacks at the two elemental phosphorus plants
• use of byproduct slag as an aggregate for construction in Soda
Springs and Pocatello.
The health impact of both pathways has been estimated by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) (21°Po) and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
(slag). The EPA has issued a standard of 21 Cijyear of 210 Po emissions from
calciner stacks. Since 1977, the State of Idaho has forbidden use of slag as a
construction material in habitable structures; it is still used for other construction activities, mainly in road construction and for railroad ballast.
Despite the research, there is still no clear understanding of the population dose from radionuclide emissions, effluents, and solid wastes from phosphate processing plants. Two other potential radionuclide pathways to the
environment have been identified: radon exhalation from phosphogypsum and ore
piles and contamination of surface and ground waters. Recommendations on
further study needed to develop a data base for a complete risk assessment are
given in the report."

https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5811680

--------------------------------
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:11 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
3,094 posts, read 2,154,600 times
Reputation: 1104
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlulu23 View Post
Here is more on the subject from a reliable source.

"Phosphate ores contain elevated levels of natural radioactivity, some of
which is released to the environment during processing or use of solid byproducts. In the Western states, most of the phosphate rock is produced in the
State of Idaho. Four phosphate processing plants are located in southeastern
Idaho. Two thermal process plants, one located near Soda Springs (Monsanto
Co.) and the other near Pocatello (FMC Corporation), produce elemental phosphorus. A·wet process plant (J. R. Simplot Co.) producing phosphoric acid and a
variety of fertilizers is in operation near Pocatello. A second wet process
plant (Beker Industries) located in Gonda near Soda Springs is currently shut
down.
The effect of radionuclides from Idaho phosphate processing operations on
the local communities has been the subject of much research and study. The
literature is reviewed in this report. Two primary radionuclide pathways to
the environment have been studied in detail:
• airborne release of volatile radionuclides, primarily 21°Po, from
calciner stacks at the two elemental phosphorus plants
• use of byproduct slag as an aggregate for construction in Soda
Springs and Pocatello.
The health impact of both pathways has been estimated by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) (21°Po) and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
(slag). The EPA has issued a standard of 21 Cijyear of 210 Po emissions from
calciner stacks. Since 1977, the State of Idaho has forbidden use of slag as a
construction material in habitable structures; it is still used for other construction activities, mainly in road construction and for railroad ballast.
Despite the research, there is still no clear understanding of the population dose from radionuclide emissions, effluents, and solid wastes from phosphate processing plants. Two other potential radionuclide pathways to the
environment have been identified: radon exhalation from phosphogypsum and ore
piles and contamination of surface and ground waters. Recommendations on
further study needed to develop a data base for a complete risk assessment are
given in the report."

https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5811680

--------------------------------
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Around and about
3,029 posts, read 1,346,428 times
Reputation: 5214
This is from the summary on page 18 from the USGS report on Environmental
Implications of Element Emissions from Phosphate - Processing Operations in Southeastern Idaho

"Cadmium, chromium, fluorine, uranium, vanadium, and zinc had
unusually high concentrations within 4 km of the processing sites. Concentrations of fluorine and uranium were highest at Pocatello; those of cadmium and zinc
were highest at Soda Springs. Element content in
plants decreased most precipitously within about 4 km
of the processing sites and continued to decrease
steadily but less dramatically as far as 16 to 32 km
from the sites."

https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1083/report.pdf

-----------------------------------
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Around and about
3,029 posts, read 1,346,428 times
Reputation: 5214
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman427 View Post
Would this include the Idaho Falls area too?
Since you mentioned Idaho Falls specifically I thought I'd show you this.

"The Department of Energy announced last week that processing high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) stored at Idaho National Laboratory will not have a significant environmental impact."

"The fuel was generated decades ago in the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II at the INL site west of Idaho Falls, and is stored there now. The Department of Energy proposes processing the high-assay low-enriched uranium into fuel that can be used for research and development for companies experimenting with small mobile reactors"

https://www.postregister.com/news/lo...495c88e2e.html

--------------------------------------------------

Last edited by mlulu23; 08-22-2019 at 02:00 PM..
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Around and about
3,029 posts, read 1,346,428 times
Reputation: 5214
Just for general interest. Here is a list of Superfund sites in Idaho including two in Soda Springs. That should be enough to keep us busy for awhile, lol.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...sites_in_Idaho

---------------------------------------------
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
25,836 posts, read 17,273,954 times
Reputation: 19766
If you want to know what the radon level in your house is, do-it-yourself kits are available at local hardware stores or on the net.

A homeowner should use the short-term test, as the long-term is used for different purposes.

The gas is heavy, so it settles in the basement or crawl space of a home. If detected, an small exhaust fan will take care of the problem. Once the air begins moving steadily, the radon dissipates.

Eastern Idaho doesn't have as much natural contamination as the panhandle or most of Montana. The gas slowly collects as it oozes out of the rocks or collects gradually in low, sheltered pockets, usually just below ground surface. It can collect anywhere, but as it's a heavy metal byproduct, it tends to be more concentrated in mines or immediate mine surroundings. Anywhere there are veins of metal ore, radon will be present. It's also present in coal deposits.

In Montana, realtors are required by law to notify a prospective home buyer of possible radon contamination. If a home hasn't been checked, the notification is given.

I don't know if that is a requirement in Idaho, but I didn't ever get one whenever I bought a home here.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:01 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
3,094 posts, read 2,154,600 times
Reputation: 1104
Thanks for that info
Looks like from Boise to the Panhandle might be better.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Around and about
3,029 posts, read 1,346,428 times
Reputation: 5214
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman427 View Post
Thanks for that info
Looks like from Boise to the Panhandle might be better.
Good luck in your search. I had focused mainly on Pocatello, and don't know where to go from here now that it's off my list. It was a little on the dry side anyway. I'm glad others have chimed in on the matter though, as it was interesting.
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