Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bicycle Baskets Imported from China Found with Cobalt-60, Bridgestone to Recall

It was first reported to Bridgestone by a buyer of the bicycle, alerting the company that the basket attached to the bicycle was emitting radiation. Bridgestone had the baskets tested, and found the source of radiation to be cobalt-60. The baskets were imported from China, according to Bridgestone.

From the press release by the Ministry of Education and Science (MEXT) on April 18, 2012:

  • Report from Bridgestone Cycle Company to MEXT at about 4:10PM on April 17 that radiation was detected from the baskets installed on the bicycles that the company sells.

  • The bicycles were assembled at the Ageo Factory [in Saitama Prefecture].

  • 7.5 to 10.6 microsieverts/hour radiation was detected on the surface of the baskets at 1 centimeter.

  • The baskets were imported from overseas.

  • 86 bicycles out of 1,145 in the inventory were also found with radiation. The bicycles were assembled between November 2011 and January 2012. 20,000 bicycles with the same baskets have already been sold. Of these 20,000, 3,200 were assembled during the same period.

  • The source of radiation was cobalt-60.

  • A customer who bought the bicycle alerted the company of radiation detection.

According to Bridgestone's website,

  • Stainless-steel baskets were made in China.

  • 9405 baskets may have the same cobalt-60.

  • Bicycles with the baskets were assembled between August 2011 and February 2012.

If you are in Japan and bought bicycles made by Bridgestone, go to the website to check the model numbers and lot numbers.

Cobalt-60 in the bicycle baskets did not come from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, the company says.

So the export dealers of Japanese used cars scrub the cars to make sure the radiation coming out of the cars is less than 0.3 microsievert/hour. And radioactive components like these baskets are freely imported without any radiation check at the port or by the importing company?

11 comments:

elbows said...

Radioactive scrap metal is gaining more attention these days but sadly I do not expect Japan to lead the way when it comes to detecting this stuff.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-19/nuclear-risks-at-bed-bath-and-beyond-show-hidden-danger-of-scrap

Anonymous said...

these were meant for North Korea

Hikarius said...

According to a report (see link below) Japan is the second largest steel producer in the world and the second largest steel exporter in Asia, accounting for 40% of steel import in Asian countries (including China), so the probability that the baskets are made of contaminated steel from Japan cannot be ruled out IMHO.

http://www.beroe-inc.com/Insights/WhitePapers/White%20Paper%20on%20Impact%20of%20the%20Japan%20Earthquake%20on%20the%20Steel%20Industry_March%202011.pdf

Maju said...

For what I'm seeing Co-60 is used at hospitals and labs, some industrial applications and can also be produced by irradiation of steel and other structural materials.

However it seems that the main origin is "orphan" industrial or medical equipment which should have been disposed some other way. Nowadays all recycling workers should have geiger counters: the risks are too big, for them and for whoever is next in the recycling chain.

Anonymous said...

I find that people are generally aware of only their own surroundings and won't try to extend their attention outside of that. I wouldn't expect authorities from any country to consistently and properly check for radiation. As has been evidenced by various behaviours reported on this blog, people only check for what they're told to and won't use common sense to determine otherwise. They probably assume that radiation only affects what they've been told to check, or they expect their employers to have properly researched the danger for them instead of finding out themselves. Maybe it's just that they won't do anything extra unless they're paid to do so. Money, again.

Anonymous said...

It may be time to rethink our assumption that someone responsible is monitoring radiation.

Maybe we can learn from Japan that it needs to be local area inhabitants that test for radiation as they are the only ones who will care enough.

Maybe all workers should have geiger counters in their kit.

It use to sound extreme but not any more.

Anonymous said...

The monitoring aspect is the most disturbing. See how many they sold until a CUSTOMER notified them? Imagine how many people's hands those baskets passed through before anyone noticed. Now imagine that this could be happening with everything else. It's truly sad and disturbing.

Anonymous said...

The bigger question is actually where is the rest of this batch of steel from the furnace that got contaminated? I guess these few baskets are just the tip.

Would not be too surprise, if you trace back the steel, you might end up at the same steel mill from where also the tissue holders ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2086870/Bed-Bath-Beyond-tissue-holders-recalled-contaminated-radioactive-cobalt.html ) came from. I know that steel is from India, but we only know that the baskets are from China, so the raw steel might still originate from the same furnace.

Just wondering which houses have been built we the rest (remember the case in Taiwan a long time ago).

Thus nowadays, even if you are lucky to be outside of Japan, always check new homes, bikes, cars... that you just bought for possible contamination. What a happy present we leave for our kids and the future generations...

Anonymous said...

With so much nuclear waste being recycled legally into metal products, perhaps women who wear underwire bras should check the wire for radioactivity?

I remember years ago a theory that underwire bras possibly contributed to the rise in breast cancer in women (at least, in the United States.) The theory was that the wire was somehow cutting off healthy circulation under the breast.

However, knowing what we now know about contaminated metals being used in consumer products, it wouldn't surprise me that the real reason underwire bras contributed to breast cancer was due to the wearer being constantly bombarded by radioactive decay.

In this crazy post-Fuku world, nothing would surprise me anymore...

helena said...

Now a bike shop is no longer the only place to find a great bike, you can find one online and have it shipped to your door and assembled in under ten minutes.

bike grips

municipal vehicle hire said...

If you're shopping, a bicycle basket you can lift off and carry over your arm makes sense, providing you keep your cargo to a weight that you can manage. While a bike can carry quite a bit, cargo that's too heavy can hinder performance.

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