A batch of metal-studded belts sold by online fashion retailer Asos have been hurriedly withdrawn from sale after they were found to be radioactive.
The peplum leather belts, which have a ruffle attached, could cause injury to the wearer if worn for more than 500 hours, according to an internal report by the retailer. They are being held in a radioactive storage facility after testing positive for Cobalt-60.
Oh dearie me:
It added: \”Unfortunately, this incident is quite a common occurrence. India and the far east are large consumers of scrap metal for their home and foreign markets. During the refining process of these metals, orphaned radioactive sources are sometimes accidentally melted at the same time. This in turn [contaminates the process] and traps the radioactivity in the metal as an alloy or in suspension.\”
It\’s not actually that common. It is a result of extremely bad handling of scrap back at the scrap mill that made the original brass though.
1) There shouldn\’t be any cobalt in brass at all. Cobalt is vastly more valuable than any of the ingredients of brass: so someone, somewhere, wasn\’t sorting material properly in this sense, taking the valuable stuff out of the less valuable.
2) C-60 is a radiation source for hospitals and food irradiation. There\’s no way at all that it should end up in the scrap chain. Vastly dangerous to anyone who tries to handle it: should be segregated and kept in the lead boxes. Whoever comes out to fill up the machine with fresh stuff should be taking the old away with them.
3) No one but an idiot doesn\’t check the radioactivity of incoming metal. Clearly someone didn\’t so there\’s an idiot running a scrap yard/furnace out there.
4) The reason is that having melted down some Co-60 in his furnace to make some brass his furnace is now contaminated. He\’s have to scrap it: for all subsequent melts will also be contaiminated.
5) It\’s a bit tough to blame the belt maker for this. Whoever fucked up it was long before anyone started thinking about belts.