Originally posted by shadowncs
reply to post by m.red
I live rather close to Pickering plant as well. Being sick since Tuesday (nausea, no appetite) I was wondering if it had something to do with this
release. Due to your post I'm now somewhat relieved. Thanks.
nuclear related education should be mandatory in high school. People don't understand it (see post above) and worry for no reason. Look up the uses
of radiation in society, you will be surprised. Also did you know your smoke detector has a small radiation source in it? Here's some info:
Most residential smoke detectors contain a low-activity americium-241 source. Alpha particles emitted by the americium ionize the air, making the air
conductive. Any smoke particles that enter the unit reduce the current and set off an alarm. Despite the fact that these devices save lives, the
question "are smoke detectors safe?" is still asked by those with an inordinate fear of radiation. The answer, of course, is "yes, they are safe."
Instructions for proper installation, handling, and disposal of smoke detectors are found on the package.
Watches and Clocks
Modern watches and clocks sometimes use a small quantity of hydrogen-3 (tritium) or promethium-147 as a source of light. Older (for example, pre-1970)
watches and clocks used radium-226 as a source of light. If these older timepieces are opened and the dial or hands handled, some of the radium could
be picked up and possibly ingested. As such, caution should be exercised when handling these items.
Ceramic materials (for example, tiles, pottery) often contain elevated levels of naturally occurring uranium, thorium, and/or potassium. In many
cases, the activity is concentrated in the glaze. Unless there is a large quantity of the material, readings above background are unlikely.
Nevertheless, some older (for example, pre-1960) tiles and pottery, especially those with an orange-red glaze (for example, Fiesta® ware) can be
Glassware, especially antique glassware with a yellow or greenish color, can contain easily detectable quantities of uranium. Such uranium-containing
glass is often referred to as canary or Vaseline glass. In part, collectors like uranium glass for the attractive glow that is produced when the glass
is exposed to a black light. Even ordinary glass can contain high-enough levels of potassium-40 or thorium-232 to be detectable with a survey
instrument. Older camera lenses (1950s-1970s) often employed coatings of thorium-232 to alter the index of refraction.
Commercial fertilizers are designed to provide varying levels of potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen. Such fertilizers can be measurably radioactive
for two reasons: potassium is naturally radioactive, and the phosphorous can be derived from phosphate ore that contains elevated levels of
Food contains a variety of different types and amounts of naturally occurring radioactive materials. Although the relatively small quantities of food
in the home contain too little radioactivity for the latter to be readily detectable, bulk shipments of food have been known to set off the alarms of
radiation monitors at border crossings. One exception would be low-sodium salt substitutes that often contain enough potassium-40 to double the
background count rate of a radiation detector.
Gas Lantern Mantles
While it is less common than it once was, some brands of gas lantern mantles incorporate thorium-232. In fact, it is the heating of the thorium by the
burning gas that is responsible for the emission of light. Such mantles are sufficiently radioactive that they are often used as a check source for