INVESTIGATIONS IN ORE DRESSING
. . . The hazards involved in the handling of high-grade radioactive materials make necessary the adoption of certain precautions.
Recent investigations in the field of radium poisoning have led to the conclusion that precautions are necessary even in the handling of substances of low radioactivity.
The ingestion of small amounts of radioactive dust or emanation [i.e. radon] over a long period of time will cause a building up of radioactive material in the body, which eventually may have serious consequences.
Lung cancer, bone necrosis, and rapid anaemia are possible diseases due to the deposition of radioactive substances in the cell tissue or bone structure of the body. . . .
TWO MEMORANDA (1932)
Ottawa, February 10th, 1932
From: W. B. Timm, Chief, Division of Ore Dressing & Metallurgy To: Director, Mines Branch
I beg to submit herewith . . . a memorandum received from Mr. W. R. McClelland, giving a summary of the results of his visit to Dr. Herman Schlundt, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., and to Dr. S. C. Lind, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., authorities on radioactive elements.
Respectfully submitted . . .
Ottawa, February 8th, 1932.
From: W. R. McClelland, Engineer To: W. B. Timm, Esquire, Chief of Division Re: Visit to Columbia, Mo., Minneapolis, Minn., and Toronto, Ontario.
The writer spent six days at Columbia . . . in the discussion and study of the numerous problems involved in the extraction of radium. Dr. Schlundt has for the past fifteen or more years been actively engaged either in the commercial or scientific study of the radioactive elements.
The commercial crystallizing of both radium and mesothorium salts are being carried out at the University. Six persons are actively engaged on some phases of this work, while others are engaged upon further scientific aspects of radioactivity. . . .
The study of precautions in radium refining is receiving very close study at the university. Dr. Schlundt is a member of the commission appointed by the U.S. Public Health Service on Hazards in the Radium Industry. . . .
It is necessary to adopt very rigorous regulations regarding precautions and a careful check on all workers is maintained. The writer has very full data on this subject obtained from careful observation, personal discussion and a number of published reports and papers. The hazard of dust, both as ore or concentrates, was brought to the writer's attention. . . .
The information obtained covered more or less almost all phases of our investigation and should prove of great value in the work of this Division. . . .
On February 1st the writer visited Dr. S. C. Lind, Director of the School of Chemistry, University of Minnesota. Dr. Lind is recognized as one of the outstanding radioactivity chemists of America. . . . He believes that precautions against ore dust should be considered in view of the high concentration of the Great Bear Lake pitchblende and the recent information that a large number of the miners of the Bohemian Mines[exposed to uranium-bearing ores in Czechoslovakia] have developed sarcoma of the lung. . . .
On the return journey to Ottawa the writer spent a day in Toronto and interviewed Prof. Burton, head of the Physics Department at the University of Toronto. . . . Prof. Burton kindly offered the services of his laboratory. . . .
A complete detail report of the subjects mentioned in this memorandum are on file. . . .
W. R. McClelland,
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