Saturday, 18 January 2014

Diapers in dump truck trigger radioactive alarms

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian hazmat specialists called in after Geiger counters showed alarmingly high readings for a dump truck arriving at an incinerator have found the problem — radioactive adult diapers.

After unloading the truck, firefighters from the hazardous materials unit of the city of Linz found nearly two dozen diapers from a hospital that had become contaminated with radioactive iodine. The substance is swallowed during some medical and diagnostic procedures.

While radiation levels were substantially above normal, unit leader Dieter Jonas says no one was in danger during Tuesday's incident.

Austrian officials, however, are tracing the truck's route. And the truck will stay in a metal container at the incinerator for eight days — the time it takes for the emissions to reach safe levels.(

How daycares make diapers disappear

Kids get brand new personalities, it seems, when they trot off to daycare. At his “school,” my four-year-old son, Leo, puts on a snowsuit without protest, washes his hands after being asked once, and cheerily puts away his toys. He’s so not like this at home.

And (surprise, surprise) it was at daycare where he sat on the toilet for the first time, discovered the joy of flushing and learned what it felt like to “go.” Before age three, this wilful, dreamy child was fully trained. Although my husband and I had put him on the toilet from time to time and bought him Thomas underwear, his daycare providers did the real work of making bathroom visits a regular part of his life.

To find out more about the magic skills daycare workers seem to have in the land of diapers, I asked some early childhood educators across the country how they do it. First, they admitted that simply not being a child’s parents has its benefits. “We have a very different relationship with the kids. We’re able to hold the line,” says James Barker, site director of the Front Street location of Kids & Company in Toronto.