TIL Phosphogypsum is a common byproduct of fertilizer production. It has very few pratical uses and is radioactive, containing uranium, thorium, radium, radon and polonium. For this reason they are stored indefinitely in Stacks. ONE ton of phosphoric acid produces FIVE tons of phosphogypsum waste.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphogypsum

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  1. I’m in the trucking industry. Years ago, I worked for a company that hauled, among other things, truckloads of Potash from Saskatchewan to points in the USA. The stuff is a type of salt, comes from deep in the earth, was packaged in 50 pound paper sacks and loaded onto pallets on the truck. That stuff is a bit radioactive as well, and it used to set off the sensitive radiation detectors at the US border. We would always get a secondary inspection when hauling the stuff, courtesy of the US Customs and Border Patrol people.

  2. some more info i couldnt add, but i thought was interesting.

    Annually, the estimated generation of phosphogypsum worldwide is 100 to 280 Mt.

    Central Florida has a large quantity of phosphate deposits, particularly in the Bone Valley region. The marine-deposited phosphate ore from central Florida is weakly radioactive, and as such, the phosphogypsum by-product (in which the radionuclides are somewhat concentrated) is too radioactive to be used for most applications. As a result, there are about a billion tons of phosphogypsum stacked in 25 stacks in Florida (22 are in central Florida) and about 30 million additional tons are generated each year.

    Various applications have been proposed for using phosphogypsum, including using it as material for:

    Artificial reefs and oyster beds

    Cover for landfills

    Road pavement

    Roof tiles

    Soil conditioner

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of phosphogypsum for road construction in 2020, saying that the approval came at the request of The Fertilizer Institute, which advocates for the fertilizer industry.Environmentalists opposed the decision, saying that using the radioactive material in this way can pose health risks. In 2021, the EPA withdrew the rule authorizing the use of phosphogypsum in road construction.

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