Nuclear watchdog orders Amazon to halt sales of product containing radioactive materials


The Nuclear Regulation Authority has ordered the Japanese arm of Amazon.com Inc. and two other companies to suspend sales of products containing radioactive tritium in excess of the legally allowable limit, the country’s nuclear watchdog said Wednesday.

Amazon Japan K.K. and the two companies in Gifu and Saitama prefectures sold key chains and compasses containing tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, without reporting it to the NRA, in violation of the radiation hazard prevention law, the NRA said.

There have been no reports of damage to health so far, it said. The watchdog also ordered the three companies to retrieve the products that were sold around March this year.

The products contained tritium 4 to 11 times higher than the legally allowable limit of 1 billion becquerels. Electrons emitted by tritium are used to generate a glow in such products through interaction with a fluorescent substance.

The companies in Gifu and Saitama are currently retrieving the sold items — 15 key chains and a compass that were manufactured in China and the United States, respectively.

Amazon Japan will adopt preventive measures such as introducing a system to automatically detect sales of tritium and other restricted substances in excess of legal limits and setting a rule to prohibit sales of such products, the watchdog said.

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