The Nuclear Regulatory Commission believes irradiated gemstones now on the market are safe, and it has not requested that jewelers stop selling them.
That was the message delivered by Joe DeCicco, senior health physicist with the NRC’s Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, during a seminar at the American Gem Trade Association’s GemFair in Tucson, Ariz. DeCicco was presenting the U.S. government’s case for licensing and regulating irradiated gemstones.
Irradiated gemstones are not a health concern at this point, but more of a licensing issue, said Cecilia Gardner, of Jewelers Vigilance Committee. Gardner and AGTA’s Douglas Hucker distributed their booklet “The Essential Guide to the U.S. Trade in Irradiated Gemstones” at the seminar.
DeCicco discussed the rules for obtaining a license to distribute gemstones containing radioactive material. For his full PowerPoint presentation, visit the NRC Web site at www.nrc.gov. Look for the Irradiated Gemstones link under Key Topics.
Three licensees have been approved so far for companies to distribute irradiated gemstones: HBM Virginia LLC, c/o HBM Nevada LLC, Henderson, Nev., (702) 292-1701; Ideal Source Quality Assurance LLC, Columbia, Mo., (573) 529-6820; and International Isotopes Inc., Idaho Falls, Idaho, (208) 524-5300.
For a copy of the “The Essential Guide to the U.S. Trade in Irradiated Gemstones,” call JVC at (212) 997-2002 or visit www.jvclegal.org. You also can call AGTA at (800) 972-1162 or visit www.agta.org.