November 11, 2008
Chad Love: Glowing Budweiser
By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love
The peak of deer season is almost upon us. Strange bucks are showing up in my back yard, nervously eying my patio door as they cast come hither looks at the neighborhood does. And, as I pointed out recently, this means hunters across the nation are gearing up to get sloshed and keel over dead.
But not so fast, my friends. That frosty beverage that gives you a warm, tingly glow inside may really be giving you a warm, tingly glow inside.
From the story:
Radioactive Beer Kegs Menace Public, Boost Costs for Recyclers
Improper disposal of industrial equipment and medical scanners containing radioactive materials is letting nuclear waste trickle into scrap smelters, contaminating consumer goods, threatening the $140 billion trade in recycled metal and spurring the United Nations to call for increased screening.
"The world is waking up very late to this,'' said Paul de Bruin, radiation safety chief for Jewometaal Stainless Processing BV in Rotterdam, the world's biggest stainless-steel scrap yard... Abandoned medical scanners, food processing devices and mining equipment containing radioactive metals such as cesium-137 and cobalt-60 are often picked up by scrap collectors and sold to recyclers, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear arm. De Bruin said he sometimes finds such items hidden inside beer kegs and lead pipes to prevent detection.
Considering how radiation affects the body, this poses some interesting questions for the imbibing deer hunter: Is it a hangover or an acute case of radiation sickness? Does my UV blocker also work on the subatomic level? Do I still need a flashlight to find my stand or will the yellow glow from my skin light the way? And my personal favorite: "Hey! I really DO have eyes in the back of my head!"