Japanese company to start production of radiation-blocking paper

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Toppan Printing Co announced Thursday it has developed a paper with a high density of tungsten that blocks radiation, making it the first company in the world to incorporate tungsten into paper in high density.

The paper is expected to replace lead as it has few adverse effects on the environment and is easy to make into products such as interior materials for radiological examination rooms and protective clothing for workers exposed to radiation.  Like ordinary paper, it can be cut and folded.

The paper has similar blocking properties to lead, but is easier to process and not harmful to the human body. Three sheets of the paper are almost as effective at blocking X-rays as a 0.25-millimeter lead sheet used widely by hospitals.

Toppan Printing anticipates wide use for the paper, including protective gear for workers dealing with radiation-contaminated debris left after last year’s nuclear disaster, and as a shield against hazardous materials. The paper could also be used for walls and curtains in radiation rooms.

Tomoegawa Paper Co., based in the city of Shizuoka, will undertake production of the paper. Each sheet, which will be priced at 7,000-8,000 yen, is 50 centimeters square and 0.3 millimeter thick.

During the paper production process, Toppan Printing is able to evenly incorporate radiation-shielding tungsten particles. The standard thickness of the paper is roughly 0.3mm. Tungsten accounts for 80% of Toppan Printing’s paper, up from 10-20% to date.

Toppan Printing has already started sample shipments. A 500mm square piece of the paper will go for 7,000-8,000 yen, with the company aiming for sales of 5 billion yen in fiscal 2015.

Source: JiJi Press

Source: Nikkei 

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