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The Controversial "Radioactive Roads" Bill Signed in Florida

By rishabh raj

A bill authorising the construction of roads using radioactive waste was approved by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The state Legislature expanded its list of "recyclable materials" for constructing roads to include phosphogypsum

Like the majority of those things, phosphogypsum is not aggregated in landfills.

It is known as a "radioactive substance" by the EPA. 

Known as "possibly cancer-causing," phosphogypsum contains trace quantities of uranium and radium.

Florida is a significant state for processing and mining phosphate rock. 

For the first time in years, phosphogypsum use on American roadways may be permitted following a state study and federal approval.

According to opponents, the law is more about a powerful industrial player making money off of a waste product that poses health hazards than it is about research.

The law is more about a powerful industrial player making money off a waste product that poses health risks than research, according to opponents.

"Reckless handout to the fertilisers sector," said Elise Bennett, Florida and Caribbean director and attorney for the Centre for Biological Diversity.

How harmful is phosphogypsum?

The gas released from phosphogypsum, radon, is the second-leading contributor to lung cancer after smoking.

Due to this risk, the EPA has for many years barred the use of phosphogypsum in projects.

The phosphogypsum problems in Florida

Phosphate mining has long been contested in Florida. The 27 phosphate mines in the state have experienced leaks, sinkholes, and other issues.

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