Radiation Exposure Environmental Contamination
Radiation Exposure Environmental Contamination Side Effects May Be Linked To Cancer Lawsuits
Radiation Exposure Environmental Contamination | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Side Effects: Illness, Risk Of Cancers, Health Problems | Illegal Dumping, Spill, Accident, Release
Have you been the victim of environmental radiation? Environmental radiation can endanger the health of entire neighborhoods. Radioactive contamination is typically the result of a spill or accident, but there have also been instances where illegal dumping of radioactive waste posed a public health threat. Exposure to environmental radiation can lead to higher rates of cancer and other health problems in the areas where it occurs.
Our environmental radiation lawyers are currently offering free legal consultations to any individual sickened because of exposure to radioactive materials. You may be eligible for compensation under a variety of federal and state statutes. If your health or that of a loved one has been endangered by radioactive materials in the environment, we urge you to contact one of our environmental radiation lawyers today to protect your legal rights.
Radioactive (or nuclear) waste is a byproduct from nuclear reactors, fuel processing plants, and institutions such as hospitals and research facilities. It also results from the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and other nuclear facilities that are permanently shut down. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission separates wastes into two broad classifications: high-level or low-level waste.
High-level radioactive waste is uranium fuel that has been used in a nuclear power reactor and is “spent” or is no longer efficient in generating power to the reactor to produce electricity. Spent fuel is thermally hot as well as being highly radioactive, requiring remote handling and shielding.
High-level wastes are hazardous to humans and other life forms because of their high radiation levels that are capable of producing fatal doses during short periods of direct exposure. For example, ten years after removal from a reactor, the surface dose rate for a typical spent fuel assembly exceeds 10,000 rem/hour, whereas a fatal whole-body dose for humans is about 500 rem (if received all at one time). Furthermore, if constituents of these high-level wastes were to get into ground water or rivers, they could enter into food chains. Although the dose produced through this indirect exposure is much smaller than a direct exposure dose, there is a greater potential for a larger population to be exposed.
At this time there are no facilities for permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Since the only way radioactive wastes finally become harmless is through decay, which for some isotopes contained in high-level wastes can take hundreds of thousands of years, the wastes must be stored in a way that provides adequate protection for very long times.
Low-level waste includes items that have become contaminated with radioactive material or have become radioactive through exposure to neutron radiation. This waste typically consists of contaminated protective shoe covers and clothing, wiping rags, mops, filters, reactor water treatment residues, equipments and tools, luminous dials, medical tubes, swabs, injection needles, syringes, and laboratory animal carcasses and tissues. The radioactivity can range from just above background levels found in nature to much higher levels in certain cases such as parts from inside the reactor vessel in a nuclear power plant.
This low-level waste may be highly radioactive, but its half-life is relatively short (tens to hundreds of years). Most low-level radioactive wastes are solidified, put into drums, and buried in 20-foot-deep trenches, which are then backfilled and covered.
Three commercial facilities in the United States currently accept low-level radioactive waste: Richland, Washington; Barnwell, South Carolina; and Clive, Utah. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) also operates seven other disposal facilities for low-level radioactive wastes produced by the Department of Defense and its contractors.
A number of incidents have occurred when radioactive material was disposed of improperly, shielding during transport was defective, or when it was simply abandoned or even stolen from a waste store. In other cases of radioactive waste accidents, lakes or ponds with radioactive waste accidentally overflowed into rivers during exceptional storms. From 1971 through 1998, in the United States, there have been 401 transportation accidents involving radioactive material.
Legal Help for Victims of Environmental Radiation
If you or a loved one sustained a radiation related illness as a result of exposure to environmental radiation, you may have valuable legal rights. We urge you to contact our environmental radiation lawyers today by filling out our online form, or calling 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636) today.
Radiation Overexposure Links:Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA)
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