Bed, Bath & Beyond Tissue Boxes Found To Be Radioactive

Bed, Bath, & Beyond is recalling its metal tissue boxes after California health officials found a shipment to be radioactive. The boxes made in India appear to have been made from metal irradiated with cobalt-60. The “Dual Ridge Metal Boutique tissue boxes” are not exactly weapons of mass destruction but they do present a health risk.

The hot boxes were discovered when radiation alarms went off around a truck carrying Bed, Bath, & Beyond goods. Officials believe that the metal used in radiation therapy or medical products was mixed in with the metal used by the manufacturer.

The contaminated items are in the Dual Ridge Boutique product line, model number DR9M. They went to 20 different states and were imported through New Jersey. What I find alarming is that we have spent billions on detectors in ports like New Jersey’s but none of those detection devices identified the radioactive shipment.

The press release noted that if a person spent 10 hours within one foot of the holder, he or she would receive a dose equivalent to a single chest x-ray. This would make for a rather intriguing tort lawsuit since most people would be rather peeved to learn that the tissue box sitting on their office desk gave them the equivalent to an unwanted chest x-ray. Yet, there are no measurable damages for recovery.

Customers who believe they may have purchased a tissue box holder from the Dual Ridge Boutique product line should contact Bed, Bath and Beyond at (800) 462-3966.

Source: ABC

18 thoughts on “Bed, Bath & Beyond Tissue Boxes Found To Be Radioactive

  1. “What I find alarming is that we have spent billions on detectors in ports like New Jersey’s but none of those detection devices identified the radioactive shipment.”

    and what is even more disturbing is that the Iranians and others now know are defenses arent any good.

  2. This might give pause to all those folks out there with those ornate Indian made hookahs and bongs…. just say’n.

  3. Made in India – well at least thats a small change from the usual source of contaminated products, China. Its nice to see that all those manufacturing jobs or maters sent overseas are providing additional opportunities for American workers. Probably should shift to the long-term medical care industry, thats where the growth will be.

    The (extremely) high cost of low prices.

  4. Ah those sensors on most major freeways should have alerted the “Agency” responsible for containment…

  5. Gene H:

    now here is a good example of what government should regulate. A simple statute that says the amount of Cobalt 60 allowed in metal is 0 grams or 1 gram per 100 kgs or 1 gram per 1000 kgs, etc.

    Government sets the level based on objective science.

  6. Just a small correction. The metal was not irradiated by cobalt-60, but contained cobalt-60. Exposure to cobalt-60 through radiation would not cause the boxes to be radioactive as the energy of cobalt-60 is too low. For example, food is very safely irradiated with cobalt-60. The problem lies in that the boxes were infused with it.

  7. “The press release noted that if a person spent 10 hours within one foot of the holder, he or she would receive a dose equivalent to a single chest x-ray. This would make for a rather intriguing tort lawsuit since most people would be rather peeved to learn that the tissue box sitting on their office desk gave them the equivalent to an unwanted chest x-ray. ”

    What about employees who were exposed to hundreds of them on a daily basis?

  8. Prof Turley is right about the intriguing law suit part. A dose that small may be a risk, but decades have to go by for measurable harm to be seen. We receive 3 mSv worth of radiation just living on planet earth (up to 6 mSv in some places). Add medical X rays which are worth another 0.2 mSv each worth of ionizing radiation. The peculiar part is that Americans dont mind getting CAT scans for every small niggle which are sometimes worth 50 to 120 X rays in one go….In this case, if a secretary (worst case scenario) sat next to one 230 days a year, her dose is 46 mSv which is the limit for a nuclear industry worker. On the overall, I can see experts arguing this out both ways. Of course, a secretary is not a nuclear industry worker and so a lack of this information itself can be valid grounds for a law suit. I would support the secretary if I was called as an expert for the science. Prof. Turley can tell us more about the tort possibilities.
    The other interesting part is that metal ores from other parts of the world have natural radioisotopes (not just Cobalt 60) in varying amounts. Regulating low levels could be tricky and invite resistance from industry due to added costs for them.

  9. Clarification: We receive about 3 mSv to 6 mSv. worth of ionizing radiation from the background (solar, cosmic, radon, natural radioisotopes etc.) per year. I missed the “per year” in my sentence in the previous post.

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