Radiocarbon dating Contamination may have occurred during the burial of the bones, or as the result of carbonates that have washed into the sample from the soils. Even poor handling during collecting and packaging of the sample can create cross-contamination between samples or add modern carbon to the sample.
What are the drawbacks of radiocarbon dating?
Radiocarbon dating is therefore limited to objects that are younger than 50,000 to 60,000 years or so. (Since humans have only existed in the Americas for approximately 12,000 years, this is not a serious limitation to southwest archaeology.) Radiocarbon dating is also susceptible to contamination.
Is nuclear waste a real problem?
Nuclear waste is hazardous for tens of thousands of years. This clearly is unprecedented and poses a huge threat to our future generations. Most nuclear waste produced is hazardous, due to its radioactivity, for only a few tens of years and is routinely disposed of in near-surface disposal facilities (see above).