posted on Oct, 29 2008 @ 08:45 PM
reply to post by Choronzon
I beg to differ. Many clocks and watches and industrial dials were made with it. google "radium girls". Horrible.
The active material in those guages is usually radium 226. It's mixed with special paints. The paints' phosphors "burn out" leaving the instrument
It has a very long half life and so do its children. The end is an isotope of lead I believe. But the bad part is that it first decays to radon, a
gas, that then decays to the other children. This leaves a radioactive dust coating on everything inside the instrument. due to the outgassing. Never
store these old dials in an enclosed space due to the radium gas. They can be safely kept in the (drafty) garage or outdoor shed. They are excellent
for checking your geiger counter.
The (banned in US) glow sticks use tritium, a gas with a short half life of a few years. It is not as dangerous as all the nosy old hens running our
great nanny state claim. If you break the ampoule, the gas escapes upward and disperses immediately, being an isotope of hydrogen. Just don't break
it and inhale the tiny amount of gas, the act of which would take some doing anyway (a funnel jammed up the nostril? I'd pay $1 to see that).