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Alert on radioactive boxes
Originally published:  13/04/2012
The UK P&I Club has alerted members to a growing problem relating to containers arriving at US ports that have been held because of unacceptable levels of radiation. The problem seems to be caused by the use of scrap metal containing with cobalt-60 in the manufacture of bath products in China and India. US CBP has processes in place to detect such containers and will order them to be returned to their origin. The Club is offering some advice on how to placard and stow any contaminated containers.
"Shipping lines' containers become caught in the crossfire and it could be several months before the containers are back in circulation," the Club says. "Costs for storage at the port and return ocean freight must be borne by the shipper. We recommend that after the containers are returned empty, that the containers are checked for radiation exposure by qualified personnel prior to being placed back into service."