SLAC Today logo

Legacy, Abandoned or Hazardous Materials

During a recent building cleanup and inspection several hazardous and low-level radioactive items were discovered. Some of these were abandoned with no known "owner." The Environment, Safety and Health (ES&H) Division was notified and took custody and has now properly packed and stored these materials. While these items did not pose an immediate health hazard, they were not needed for ongoing operations and were not stored, marked or managed in accordance with SLAC ES&H policy and procedure. These items included:

Orphaned chemicals

Cesium-137 source (in center of copper disk)

Quartz lamp tubes containing Thorium


Fluorescent light tubes

Leaking hazardous material containers and old spray cans

Radium dial compass

Thorium-containing welding rods

If you have any items or objects in your offices or labs that you think might be hazardous or radioactive, we in ES&H want you to tell us about them so we can conduct an evaluation and ensure they are properly managed or disposed of.

Routine workplace walkthroughs should include opening cabinets and drawers to ensure legacy, abandoned, hazardous or radioactive materials are not present. If you think you may have some undeclared hazardous or radioactive materials, please contact your Area or Building Manager, or ES&H at x4538. ES&H will promptly send a specialist to conduct a review of your workspace(s) to find and identify any such items.

Lastly, please refrain from bringing items from offsite that may be hazardous or radioactive into your work area . If you need help determining what is okay to bring in and what is not, please contact ES&H beforehand.

Your cooperation helps us keep SLAC a safe place to work.

Craig Ferguson, SLAC Today, April 15, 2008