Radioactive Consumer Products

Products Analyzed

In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed a shipment of pendants that was detained at the U.S.-Canada border and found that the items contained radioactive and toxic metals Uranium-238 and Thorium-232. The FDA asked us to review their lab analysis and we found that most of the pendants and the included “energy cards” contained more than 10 times the amount of thorium that would require a state license for radioactive materials. These items were disposed of as radioactive waste.

In early 2016, a shipment of “BioCards,” intended to be carried in a pocket, was held at the Port of Seattle because radioactivity was found. We required that the shipment be returned to the sender in China. We found many of these products can be purchased on the Internet and when we become aware of those vendor, we are actively contacting them.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I have one of these products, is my health at risk?

Although being exposed to these items for short periods of time do not pose an immediate health threat, we want to make sure people are not exposed to unnecessary radiation. Overexposure to radiation is dangerous. Because there are unknown risks of individual products, we recommend not wearing these items.

If I have one of these products, what should I do?

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommends disposing of individual items in your household trash. If you are a distributor with an inventory of these products and your business is located in Washington State, you will be responsible for disposing these products at a licensed radioactive waste facility.

If the minerals used in making these products are commonly found in nature, doesn't that mean they're safe?

No. When Uranium-238 and Thorium-232 are used in manufacturing, they become more concentrated. That increases the radiation exposure beyond what is found in nature.

How can I tell if something I have is radioactive?

The only way is to use an appropriate radiation detection device. Examples can be found on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services radiation emergency website.

What is Thorium-232?

Thorium-232 is a radioactive metal that is found at very low levels in soils, rocks, and water. It has been used in gas lantern mantles, because it glows bright white when heated. It has also been used in ceramic glazes and welding rods, and has been explored as a nuclear fuel. There is no evidence that thorium has any health benefit. More information about thorium:

What is Uranium-238?

Uranium-238 is a radioactive metal that is found at very low levels in soils, rocks, and water. The main use of uranium is fuel for commercial nuclear power plants. Depleted uranium is used in helicopters and airplanes as counterweights on certain wing parts. Uranium has also been used in ceramic glazes, some light fixtures, and photographic chemicals. There is no evidence that uranium has any health benefit. More information about uranium:

More Resources