US Decontamination Technology Used in Japan to Remediate Contaminated Schools

Little Lamb Kindergarten studentsDeconGel® nuclear decontaminant (www.decongel.com or http://www.decongel.com/jp) is a novel polymer-based decontamination technology developed by CBI Polymers for radiological, nuclear and chemical threats. According to CBI Polymers, DeconGel “is a safe, water-soluble, peelable hydrogel, with unique capacity to bind, encapsulate, and remove surface radioactive and chemical contaminants. DeconGel nuclear decontaminant is used by U.S. Department of Energy sites for remediation of radiological, nuclear, and hazardous chemical substances. It’s also useful for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) first responder units concerned with immediate clean-up after major hazardous materials (HAZMAT) incidents. In addition, DeconGel nuclear decontaminant removes toxic elements such as lead, beryllium, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and iron oxide.

CBI Polymers has donated DeconGel nuclear decontaminant and the manpower to apply the blue gel to affected areas of the Little Lamb Kindergarten. Once dry, the gel is peeled away, taking harmful radiation with it.

DeconGel nuclear decontaminant is unique compared to traditional decontamination solutions, which mostly consist of soap and water. Multiple laboratory tests and customer field deployments have demonstrated near-100% decontamination of hazardous materials ranging from uranium and cesium to PCB oils and beryllium. DeconGel allows for waterless remediation, eliminating the environmental impact of liquid runoff and significantly reducing waste volume and disposal costs by up to 90 percent.

Little Lamb Kindergarten headmistress Tamiko Kokubo was uncomfortable allowing her students to play outside for the past four and a half months because of the fear of radiation exposure from the fallout generated by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which suffered a catastrophic breach of its containment facilities after the March 11th earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The release of radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere contaminated much of the surrounding area.

To protect her students from exposure to radioactive particles, Headmistress Kokubo chose not to open the playground and outdoor surfaces to the children. While necessary for safety reasons, this closure of the outdoor facilities deprived the school’s pre-school children and elementary level students of all outdoor activities, which are important to their physical development, as well as being one of the most enjoyable parts of their day.

CBI Polymers initially provided assistance to the Fukushima disaster relief with a donation of product and technical services. But individual stories, such as the plight of the Little Lamb Kindergarten, encouraged the company to become directly involved.

 

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