TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 18.42 DATE: October 21, 2018
SUBJECT: KNOW YOUR EQUIPMENT
A few years ago it was discovered that a piece of old communications equipment had Radioactive material in it. The device was a teleprinter manufactured by RCA during the second world war for use by UPI. When it was manufactured no one thought about it being a health hazard.
Since it came to light about old equipment, it might be worth while looking around your radio room, and your house, for other devices that might have hazardous material in, or on, them.
Did you know that some of the old "Dummy Loads" antennas, used for tuning up your transmitter off the air, has, or had, transformer oil in them which is, or was, used as a cooling agent? Some of the old transformer oil contained a chemical known as Polychlorinated Biphenyls, ID number 2315, better known as PCB, a cancer-causing substance.
Another device is sealed relays. Some of the sealed relays have Mercury in them and are called "Mercury Wetted Relays". The Mercury makes a good conductor and keeps the contacts clear of tarnish.
Mercury yes, the same stuff that we played with as a kid, making nickels and dimes shiny, is now on the hazardous material list and hard to dispose of in a proper manner.
How about some of those old heating devices such as space heaters, toaster, and irons, that used Asbestos insulation on the wires due to its high heat and fire resistance ability. Asbestos needs to be handled by properly trained personnel.
As you can see, some of the devices that are in use today, may be hazardous to your health if still in use and not disposed of properly.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV