NSWMA Says Tritium Signs Should Not Be Placed in Landfills

In comments filed with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) says that tritium exit signs should not be placed in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. According to an NSWMA press release, “tritium exit signs, used in many commercial and high-occupancy residential buildings, contain a radioactive form of hydrogen.”

In its comments, NSWMA said that NRC should ban the disposal of the signs in MSW landfills in part because exposure to tritium increases a person’s risk of developing cancer. “A damaged exit sign likely will have relatively high levels of tritium in it, and should not be handled or disposed in a” MSW landfill, the press release says.

“America’s solid waste industry provides an essential service that helps protect the environment and public health. We support all efforts to keep potentially harmful materials out of landfills,” said Bruce Parker, president and CEO of NSWMA, in a press release. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to express our support for this potential rule change by [NRC].”