Naturally-occurring radioactive material, or NORM, is often found in rocks or sand. NORM can also be associated with oil and gas production residue, coal ash (produced from burning coal) and on filter media (such as the used filters from drinking water treatment plants).

The amount of NORM is usually low and the risk is minimal; however, safe handling of the material is necessary since higher concentrations of NORM can result during processing - often referred to as technologically enhanced NORM, or TENORM.

Some industries may regularly come into contact with NORM – for instance, those engaged in, the production of oil and gas, phosphate fertilizers, forest products and thermal electricity; mineral extraction and processing; tunnelling and underground workings; metal recycling; waste management; and water treatment.

NORM can also be found in consumer products, including building products (like brick and cement blocks), granite counter tops, glazed tiles, phosphate fertilizers and tobacco products.

The transport, handling and disposal of NORM is subject to a variety of regulatory regimes at supranational (e.g. the European Union), national and regional levels.

Please contact ZIA if you have any questions on the subject of NORM with respect to zircon and zirconia. Useful documents can be found on the Zircon and NORM page.

Need more detail?

ZIA Members can participate in market development, technical and R&D programmes and get access to our full Knowledge Bank and Zircon Academy.