I’m not sure how we haven’t heard about this yet, but it seems that Bed Bath & Beyond (and a lot of other companies) are pedaling, among other things, radiation. As in, nuclear waste.
Back in January, the house-ware supply giant recalled 200 metal tissue boxes because they may have been made with nuclear scrap metal. And, according to Bloomberg, it’s not the first time that their goods have been considered too hot to touch–because they’re often made from potentially-harmful scrap, which is collected and then turned into medical supplies, weapons, and yes, tchotchkes at BB&B.
Bed Bath & Beyond stated that the tissue boxes didn’t actually pose a health threat–they were simply being recalled due to “an abundance of caution.” However, it’s hardly an isolated incident.
Usually, stuff that’s made from potentially radioactive scrap metal is caught and not allowed to be imported. But on occasion (like the Nuclear Tissue Boxes from Hell), they escape past customs. From Bloomberg (emphasis mine)
More than 120 shipments of contaminated goods including cutlery, buckles and work tools like hammers and screwdrivers were denied U.S. entry between 2003 and 2008 after customs and the Department of Homeland Security boosted radiation monitoring at borders. The department declined to provide updated figures or comment on how the metal tissue boxes at Bed, Bath & Beyond, tainted with melted cobalt-60 used in medical instruments to diagnose and treat cancer, evaded detection.
Yup. Knives. Tools. Things that are in your house all the time. Could be made of nuclear scrap metal. Because few of the scrap metal collectors, who are often low-paid workers in dangerous conditions, rarely use a Geiger counter or other instrument to test for potential nuclear activity, the metal is simply thrown in with everything else.
This radiation situation–which I’d never heard about before today–is being addressed in an upcoming nuclear summit in Seoul. The Nuclear Security Summit, which has been convened by the President, is seeking to curb the flow of nuclear waste, which is often discarded as trash and ends up in landfills.
Image: Nemeziya via Shutterstock