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  1. #31

    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: Kevin W.)

    In poor taste, yet...



    As with all memes, there is an error- "everyday" should be two words.
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  2. #32
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    Default Re: In 1979 I bought tritium (T or 3H) backlit quartz LCD watches as gifts (By: THTanner)

    What a wonderful combination of technologies!
    In darkness one could even read part of a page by the greenish glow.
    Tritium emits low energy beta particles, I recall, which strike a phosphor coating causing it to fluoresce.
    Tritium half-life is 12 years. Would love to know what happened to that watch and see how bright it is now.
    Confucius say: "Man own clock know time. Own two, never sure."

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by novicetimekeeper View Post
    It's cumulative though, so it does all add up.
    Actually that is not true. It is an odds problem, not an accumulation that counts.
    The cumulative is just the way the government sets practical limits.

    For a radium dial, since the old ones will be burnt out, one way is to use a Geiger counter
    but there is another way that can be done with simple materials.
    One can make a foil leaf electrometer.
    There are many examples on Youtube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIiuWalYKtU

    and

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JsVZwc1dOo

    If you charge it up and watch how quickly it drops, you can then
    bring a radium dial close and it will drop quite fast. You'll easily see the
    difference.
    Tinker Dwight
    Last edited by Tinker Dwight; 03-16-2017 at 04:36 PM.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    Actually that is not true. It is an odds problem, not an accumulation that counts.
    The cumulative is just the way the government sets practical limits.
    Tinker Dwight
    Sorry,I was unclear. I agrree it is the odds that are cumulative, not the radiation.

    Edit> Though thinking about it in the case of ingesting radium and smoking it's both, as radium is accumulated in the bones and polonium from smoking tobacco in the lungs.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: In 1979 I bought tritium (T or 3H) backlit quartz LCD watches as gifts (By: Robert Gift)

    Yes - and today tritium guns sights in all sorts of colors are available. Vials of tritium are used to control the yield in thermo nuclear devices- which I hope we never hear about except as a test. I guess most tritium today comes from splitting Lithium 6.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gift View Post
    What a wonderful combination of technologies!
    In darkness one could even read part of a page by the greenish glow.
    Tritium emits low energy beta particles, I recall, which strike a phosphor coating causing it to fluoresce.
    Tritium half-life is 12 years. Would love to know what happened to that watch and see how bright it is now.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: novicetimekeeper)

    Quote Originally Posted by novicetimekeeper View Post
    Sorry,I was unclear. I agrree it is the odds that are cumulative, not the radiation.

    Edit> Though thinking about it in the case of ingesting radium and smoking it's both, as radium is accumulated in the bones and polonium from smoking tobacco in the lungs.
    Some specific isotopes can be incorporated into the body. But even those are an odds game.
    They do tend to flush out over time, as long as your living.
    What I was referring to was specific exposures to non-ingested or non-absorbed chemical radiation.
    This is such as you'd get from an Xray or a airplane right.
    Chemically active radioactive substances are another issue entirely.
    Tinker Dwight

  7. #37

    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: Robert Gift)

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gift View Post
    Radium emits alpha and gamma radiation, I recall.
    Radium also decays into radon gas which I believe is more dangerous to humans because it can be
    moreadily absorbed.

    Has anyone taken a Gieger counter to a radium-painted clock dial?

    Thank you.
    My recollection was that the real danger was to the young women who were painting the dials.

    They would put them in their mouths to obtain a fine point on the brush. They then developed radiation poisoning.

    One of the early reports of occupational disease which lead to passing laws. So, some interesting history behind these radium painted dials.

    See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium_Girls

    RM

  8. #38

    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    Some specific isotopes can be incorporated into the body. But even those are an odds game.
    They do tend to flush out over time, as long as your living.
    What I was referring to was specific exposures to non-ingested or non-absorbed chemical radiation.
    This is such as you'd get from an Xray or a airplane right.
    Chemically active radioactive substances are another issue entirely.
    Tinker Dwight

    I don't think we are in disagreement here, though I didn't think radium was flushed once it had replaced calcium in the bone structure. I fully agree that any effects from ionising radiation are an odds game, What I was saying is that those odds aren't an either or, just because, for instance, you might be more at risk of injury driving to an airport than catching a plane doesn't mean that there is no risk catching the plane.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: rmarkowitz1_cee4a1)

    Yes - they licked the brushes and also painted their bodies, like eye liner, to glow in the dark at parties - -or so the stories go.

    Quote Originally Posted by rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 View Post
    My recollection was that the real danger was to the young women who were painting the dials.

    They would put them in their mouths to obtain a fine point on the brush. They then developed radiation poisoning.

    One of the early reports of occupational disease which lead to passing laws. So, some interesting history behind these radium painted dials.

    See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium_Girls

    RM
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  10. #40

    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: THTanner)

    Quote Originally Posted by THTanner View Post
    Yes - they licked the brushes and also painted their bodies, like eye liner, to glow in the dark at parties - -or so the stories go.
    That's what I learned, too.

    Apparently the dangers of radium were known (the inventor of radium paint died of radiation poisoning) but these women/girls were made to believe it was safe.

    When they did become ill, the company doctors apparently told them that their problems were due to other causes, including syphilis! Well, in those days, you can imagine the stigma attached to that illness. Would certainly discourage anyone from coming forward. Lead to the passage of laws protecting people from hazardous work.

    RM

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: rmarkowitz1_cee4a1)

    The reason workers unions were formed was to break the laws that prevented them from having a right to a safe work place. Yet we still see governments today attempting to take the right of protest back from the workers.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: rmarkowitz1_cee4a1)

    This is a good read on the subject, it was a group of 5 women who took their employer to work.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  13. #43
    Registered user. stewey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: Kevin W.)

    A similar condition occurred in people, mostly women, in the 1800s who worked in the match-making factories. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phossy_jaw

  14. #44

    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern?

    Come to think of it, there are other routine consumer products that are now collectible about which there have been concerns about them being a source of radiation exposure.

    Vaseline glass was made with uranium. See this: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/arti...oactive-glass/

    In some instances, people ate and drank form this stuff.

    I also recalled that certain colors of Fiesta Ware also contained uranium. I found this: https://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/...cts/fiesta.htm

    This link talks about that as well as some other American ceramics where the glazes contained uranium.

    This stuff was popular and widely available. It was used as tableware, for food serving and storage.

    So much for worrying about clock and watch dials.

    RM

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Radium-painted clock dials a radiation concern? (By: rmarkowitz1_cee4a1)

    Interesting read on Uranium 235 and 238 and their real dangers to man.

    http://www.radioactivity.eu.com/site...um_238_235.htm

    I am on the water board for our community which sits on mostly decomposed granite which contains a fair amount of uranium. Our aquifer flows through the decomposed granite and the uranium. We constantly monitor our water for all the usual and required substances. We are far below the federal standards on all items except two - uranium and alpha particles. On both of those items we are below the standards, but at times, when the aquifer drops, we get close to the limits. When we get close to the standard we send out notices that infants, women who are, or may become pregnant in the near future, and seniors with serious health issues, may wish to obtain drinking water from other sources, but that there is no danger from external contact. The 1/2 life on U238 is 4.5 billion years and of U235 is 700 million years. Given the choice of drinking from glass containing uranium, platinum or lead I would choose uranium. Of course I would choose none of the above given the chance.


    Quote Originally Posted by rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 View Post
    Come to think of it, there are other routine consumer products that are now collectible about which there have been concerns about them being a source of radiation exposure.

    Vaseline glass was made with uranium. See this: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/arti...oactive-glass/

    In some instances, people ate and drank form this stuff.

    I also recalled that certain colors of Fiesta Ware also contained uranium. I found this: https://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/...cts/fiesta.htm

    This link talks about that as well as some other American ceramics where the glazes contained uranium.

    This stuff was popular and widely available. It was used as tableware, for food serving and storage.

    So much for worrying about clock and watch dials.

    RM
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

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