“Radioactive” roads made of potentially cancer-causing mining waste could be headed to Florida under new bill

Florida lawmakers are pushing a new bill that permits the state’s Department of Transportation to use phosphogypsum, the waste left in the back of from mining phosphate rock, in “road construction aggregate material.” This subject material, which is recurrently used for generating fertilizer, comprises “radioactive material,” together with small quantities of uranium and radium that decay to radium, a “potentially cancer-causing, radioactive gas.” The EPA calls for that phosphogypsum be controlled in engineered stacks to restrict public publicity from emissions of radon and different radionuclides within the subject material. The bill, which awaits a signature from Gov. Ron DeSantis, would allow the Department of Transportation to “undertake demonstration projects” the usage of phosphogypsum to resolve its feasibility as a paving subject material. The bill additionally contains different “recyclable materials” like tire rubber, ash residue from coal combustion byproducts, blended plastic, development metal, and glass, however phosphogypsum is banned via the EPA to be used in tasks and is simplest reserved for garage in gypstack methods. Critics have raised issues in regards to the possible environmental and public well being dangers, together with publicity to radon, the gasoline emitted from phosphogypsum, which trails smoking because the second-leading reason of lung most cancers. Environmental advocates like Ragan Whitlock, a group of workers legal professional for the Center for Biological Diversity, are skeptical of the learn about’s efficacy and the state’s talent to organize the waste subject material’s use, mentioning many years of mismanagement of phosphogypsum stacks.

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