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Like many other rocks and minerals, zircon is a naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM) that is used in many varied applications including ceramic tiles, sanitary ware, foundry and refractory materials, medical implants, consumer electronics and in the manufacture of jet engine parts. Radiation from zircon is extremely low and is similar to other naturally-occurring sources such as granite. The following publications offer information and guidance on naturally-occurring radioactive material.
More information on how NORM is regulated can be found on our Regulation page.
ZIA has published a best practice guide to working safely with zircon sands.
ZIA has published a comprehensive guide to the procedures and regulations involved in transporting zircon, as well as a best practice guide to the measurement of gamma radiation from zircon and other NORM in transport.
This leaflet, published by the National Radiological Protection Board, offers information about different types of radiation, how radiation is measured, precautions that can be taken to protect workers against exposure and relevant regulations.
Number 51 in the International Atomic Energy Association Safety Reports Series, this report provides detailed information to assist regulatory bodies in implementing a graded regulatory approach to the protection of workers and members of the public against exposures associated with industrial applications of zircon and zirconia.
ZIA has published a radiation risk assessment (RRA) tool for use by zircon millers and zirconia producers. The tool allows the identification of risks within their operation, enabling them to ensure they have appropriate procedures in place to operate safely and in compliance with local regulations such as the EU’s Basic Safety Standards (BSS) Directive.
Published April 2020
The radiation risk assessment tool, developed by industry and radiation experts, offers zircon handlers the opportunity to identify high risk areas within their operations, highlighting areas in which risk mitigation measures should be implemented. The tool’s output also supports data and risk reduction procedures that may be of interest to local regulators during a site inspection. Following a ZIA survey of zircon millers in the EU, a number of ‘better practice’ recommendations were made to support organisations to operate in line with the Basic Safety Standards (BSS). This easy-to-use risk assessment tool complements this safe practice guidance. Together, the guidance and RRA tool support zircon processers in the zircon value chain to comply with local regulations, as well as operate in line with industry safe practice.
Reference: COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2013/59/EURATOM and Working Safely With Zircon SandsDownload RRA Guide Download RRA Tool
We aim to support our members by providing guidance on best practice in the industry. We also represent and support the zirconium value chain by educating and informing governments, industry bodies and other key stakeholders on the uses and benefits of zircon and its derivatives – including in the context of emerging regulatory challenges and industry-wide technical issues.
Factsheets and industry position papers on issues affecting the zircon industry.
The technical handbook providing detailed information about zircon and its applications.
Best practice guides to transporting zircon as a NORM.
Best practice guide to working safely with zircon sands.