Spoon making from war scrap began in the 1970s when Naphia villagers returned from refuge in Vientiane to find bomb scrap and a crashed jet.
Peacebomb artisans do not work with any live explosives. Aluminum bomb scrap metal we use has either detonated during war time explosions or more recentcontrolled detonations from bomb removal professionals. Because of their light weight, aluminum bombs had a better detonation rate than their iron counterparts. Each lot varies in material source including a mix of non-war and war scrap aluminum such as: the dispenser tube of BLU, stabilization fin of CBU, flare mortar of 60mm, fin of mortar 81mm ILL, part of RGP7, cap of BLU-3B, flare tube, magazine of M16 gun, fighter jet, large cluster bomb case.
Local foundries receive metal from families who own property where metal has been demined professionally and from local scrap collectors.
In 2009, ARTICLE22, MAG and Swiss NGO, Helvetas did three things. First, educated stakeholders against risky behavior and about different types of scrap metal, classified as exploded or unexploded. Next, got the commitment of stakeholders to engage in peer to peer training for anyone along the supply chain that did not receive metal training. Third, got the agreement of artisan and foundry stakeholders not to accept any metal considered dangerous, therefore dis-incentivizing collectors to touch unexploded ordnance.
No. Many bombs were made from iron. Naphia artisans use aluminum metal because it has a lower melting point making it possible to liquefy in their homemade earthen kilns. Because most aluminum bombs detonated on impact, there is a higher prevalence of unexploded iron bombs.
Two million tons of ordnance was dropped on Laos. Unfortunately, there is a large supply. However, ARTICLE22 welcomes the mixing of non-war scrap metal to avoid putting pressure on the supply chain.
W e tested the metal immediately in 2009 in a Swiss laboratory when our collaboration began with Swiss NGO, Helvetas. The lab confirmed that the metal was not toxic. W e continue to test metal lots from time to time, most recently in April 2016 and are confirmed as compliant with CA Proposit ion 65.
W hile the metal is not toxic, the spoons have a rough, porous surface and, as a result, can be difficult to clean. W e recommend using the spoons as decorative objects instead of as functional spoons. If you do use the spoons in the kitchen, stick with dry goods and avoid acidic foods and heat including dishwasher. Handwash with cold water.
There were no nuclear weapons used in Laos.