Waltham Aircraft Clock

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by JoyF, Feb 15, 2017.

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  1. JoyF

    JoyF Registered User

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    How would I remove the movement? I can set the hands but when I try to wind, I only feel a springy resistance. Thanks.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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  2. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #2 roughbarked, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
    They all looked much the same from outside. Most of those I've seen were made by Smiths.
    There is a ring around the glass. It clips in and out. There are two screws on the back. When the screws are undone and the ring is removed, the lot falls through the front.
     
  3. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    I don't have experience with this particular clock, but I would try removing the two screws at the back, and see what comes loose.
     
  4. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    You missed my edit.
     
  5. dickstorer

    dickstorer Registered User

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    That "springy resistance" probably means that the click spring is broken.
     
  6. dad1891

    dad1891 Registered User

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    Any chance this one has night-glow paint on the hands and face that contains radium? Personally, I would not mess with it and take a chance.
     
  7. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    The amount of radium is negligible. It has mostly deteriorated. If you don't lick things and take care not to breathe any dust, There should be no harm.
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    It has a half life of about 1600 years, the only thing that will have deteriorated is the paint itself so yes don't lick it and don't breathe in any dust.
     
  9. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User
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  10. dad1891

    dad1891 Registered User

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    #10 dad1891, Feb 15, 2017
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    I usually try to be nice....but sometimes.

    1. "It has mostly deteriorated." The half life of radium is 1600 years, so if there is radium on the hands and face, the activity has deteriorated less than 5%

    2. "The amount of radum is negligible" I'm glad that you know how much radium it contains......I don't.

    3. I avoid messing with it, so I don't have a lot of personal experience, but I have heard many times that the pigments and binders in the paint can deteriorate over time, causing the paint to flake off. If a little flakes off on your workbench and you don't notice, you drag it around on your tools, arms and hands, it's a gift that keeps on giving.

    I still remember an auto shop teacher I had back in the 70's that flatly said that breathing asbestos doesn't hurt you at all.
     
  11. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I guess because it isn't glowing he thinks it is because the radium has deteriorated.
    Of course, that is wrong thinking.
    Any way, you don't need to spend 275 USD. You can use one of those cheap detectors that looks like a
    earphone plug for a smart phone. They aren't particularly good but will easily show you a radium dial
    is active.
    Even opening a clock that has been sealed needs caution. Radium creates radon gas that decays
    to other things that are like dust particles that have half lives in the hundreds of
    years as I recall. These are especially bad as they are biologically active. Opening one up should
    be done out doors with a dust protective breathing mask.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  12. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User
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    I only posted it in jest, cause it was a quick photo to grab of an older looking Geiger Counter.
    I think opening it outdoors might be a good idea, and maybe work in front of a desk fan on low blowing away from you. beyond that? I think I'd be more concerned bout how much radiation I get from eating fish that swim through Fukishima contaminated waters.

    But that's just me, and in no way a recommendation on anyone else's risk/comfort level.
     
  13. novicetimekeeper

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    As part of my job I leak test the ionising sources we keep under strict H&S protocols. One part of that is to test the lead pot that contains the radium source for contamination from decay products. I don't have to wear a dust mask nor carry out the test out of doors. (I do wear disposable gloves, a lab coat and safety specs)

    It is only 5 mCi though, so it probably isn't as much radium as an old military instrument.

    The problem with radium based paints is really the paint, the binders become friable after time and inhaling or ingesting an alpha source is very bad news.

    The level of risk with a larger clock or instrument is much higher than, say, with a trench watch, because there is so much more paint involved.
     
  14. glenhead

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    I respect your choice to avoid radium, just as I respect people who choose to not eat meat. However, here are some facts for those who are concerned but undecided or unsure.

    Yes, there's radium in the paint. Yes, it has a half-life of 1600 years. Yes, if you ingest or inhale measurable amounts of it over an extended period of time it can cause problems.

    However, the amount of paint on the markers of the 2-inch dial in a cockpit clock (we'll call it that for simplicity) is very small. Eight dots, four bars, five numerals, and three hands - not a lot of paint. I have two Bergeon modern luminous paint kits. The thinner bottle leaked in shipment on the first one, so I have an empty vial for seeing how much everything weighs in the bottles. The luminous powder material in the kit weighs out at 70 milligrams (0.070g) and the binder weighs 80 milligrams (0.080g). You're supposed to mix them in visually-even quantities, so that makes it about 53% binder and 47% powder by weight.

    The radioluminescent paint (called Undark) used on cockpit dials had zinc sulfide (ZnS) as the fluorescent agent and a bit of radium to emit the alpha particles needed to cause the ZnS to fluoresce. The amount of radium had to be small to keep from using up the ZnS too quickly. The British Admiralty set the ratio at 215 micrograms (ug) of radium to one gram of ZnS. (0.000215g/g) I was unable to find a ratio for what was used by United States Radium, other than that it was "somewhat less". Let's use the Admiralty's ratio for simplicity. As with modern luminous paint, the radium-activated ZnS powder was mixed with a binder. (As a point of comparison, 215ug is about the weight of a one-inch-long (25.4mm) human hair. Meaningless factoid there.)

    The formerly-luminescent paint on a cockpit clock is pretty thick compared to new luminous paints. Instead of guessing how much there is, I used an Xacto knife to scrape the paint off the hands and dial from one of mine. (I'm going to refinish it anyway.) It weighed 17 milligrams. (Dang, that means only ten clock dial-and-hand sets per Bergeon kit. Ouch!) If we start with the 53:47 binder-to-powder ratio and subtract a bit from the binder for drying, it seems reasonable there might be in the neighborhood of 10 milligrams of powder; likely less.

    So we have 0.000215g of radium per gram of powder and 0.01g of powder. That gives us 0.00000215g of radium (2.15ug) on the entire clock. Now we have a guesstimate of "how much", and I tend to agree it falls in the category of "negligible". If you're dealing with tiny flakes of part of the paint, it gets even negligible-er.

    The Radium Girls all directly ingested or inhaled "several hundred to several thousand" micrograms of radium. Many of them developed cancers, many did not. As with all cancers, genetics plays a big part.

    The annual limit for the inhalation of radium is now set at 0.6ug per year. (It's actually 0.6 microCurie, but a Curie is based on radium's output.) That's inhaled, not simply being in the vicinity. That's 28% of the postulated amount of radium-based paint in a cockpit clock. For ingestion (actually eating it) the limit is 5ug per year, the equivalent of 2.32 clock dials.

    Don't eat the paint from clocks or watches with radium, and don't grind and snort the powder from them, either. Don't pick your nose while you're messing with radium-painted things. Wash your hands when you're finished. If you do your work on a sheet of aluminum foil and wad up and throw away the aluminum foil when you're through, you'll be protected. (Notebook paper is actually enough, but aluminum foil sounds like it has more oomph.)

    Again, if you choose to err on the side of caution, then rock and roll with that, too.

    Glen
     
  15. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #15 roughbarked, Feb 16, 2017
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    Humans can tolerate a certain amount of radiation. The watch contributes less radiation to our bodies than the soil.

    I'm not trying to play it down but science has looked at all of this due to the fact that dial painters who licked their brushes did suffer severely. It is why the chemistry of luminous paint was changed. However, as has been stated you do have to ingest enough of it in the first instance.

    The likelyhood of this is very low. Though I'd always suggest to err on the side of caution in everything, science has looked at this and stated that watch repairers are not in any great danger. A certain number of them smoke and this is far more dangerous for radiation poisoning than standing in Chernobyl.

    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/177468/why-arent-we-affected-by-radium

    https://xkcd.com/radiation/
     
  16. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #16 roughbarked, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    Semantics is one thing. You can pick the words and play with them but the science is another tale.

    Lies about asbestos are deplorable same as lies about anything. However, it has been found that all humans have asbestos particles in their lungs at times. The people who have suffered from exposure to asbestos are those who regularly worked in unprotected conditions with asbestos and even those who lived with asbestos workers. The knowledge of this has exposed the fact that asbestos was and still is everywhere in our environment and that certain practices may expose you to dangerous quantities, even around your home DIY efforts.

    There are people who bring home old railway sleepers and cut them up for firewood to burn in their house. Trains dropped a lot of asbestos from brake linings. Same thing as the dust seen on every ledge on city buildings. A lot of this is asbestos from the brake linings of cars.

    https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=28&tid=4

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263869
     
  17. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Yes. Always err on the side of caution.
    It is a very good first rule in everything.
     
  18. novicetimekeeper

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    I agree, the risk from radium dials is low but those links are not entirely accurate either. Alpha particles don't accumulate anywhere, they are the nuclei of Helium and will manage to pick up a couple of electrons along the way and become a stable helium atom.

    Radium, however, is treated by the body as calcium which it will use in the bones. There the radium will continue to decay producing alpha particles which can cause far more damage from within as their low penetrating power is no longer an issue.

    It's very much a numbers game and I saw tinker explain that in a previous thread better than I've ever seen it explained before as it really comes down to probabilities. Everything is relative and you need to keep all of this in perspective. Radiation is a fact of life, we are all being affected by it, in the air we breathe, the food we eat, it varies according to where we live and what we do. (A cornish airline pilot is going to be far worse off than me)

    The risk from radium paint is low but treat it with respect, risks are cumulative, just because you are more at risk from smoking doesn't reduce the risk from anything else.
     
  19. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    #19 roughbarked, Feb 16, 2017
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    all true.

    But given that, If the risks were really real, I'd have noticed it between the almost 70 years of watchmaking usage of items that contain Radium that I've been party to for 55 of those years. I've been in personal contact with the shop the parts of the shop, the people who handled the watches or the dust on the bench, the floor, the air.

    OH&S wasn't really ever applied seriously. Yes we did keep getting better vacuum filters on the polishing buffs and the like but nobody ever wore a dust mask. I recall as a first year apprentice my dad told me that if I was handling acids I needed acid resistant aprons and stuff. But no. I was told about the radium girls in my first year but I was also told that it wasn't an issue to worry about since I wasn't going to be painting radium on dials.

    My master has a wry sense of humour. If I tried to bring anything about my rights up he'd say something along the lines of. "it wasn't so long ago that I was allowed to tie you to the leg of the bench overnight".
     
  20. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    The risks are real, but they are risks, not certainties. Rutherford spent ages firing alpha particles at gold leaf, it isn't very often one comes back at you. Everything is made up mostly of nothing us included.
     
  21. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    The explantion is acceptable.
     
  22. nsc5

    nsc5 Registered User

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    In addition to an interest in clocks I also restore vintage radio gear and radium is one of the many potential risks that must be managed and risk management doesn't just mean risk avoidance. Radium paint was used to paint meter markings, indicator lines on knobs, and in a few cases panel markings. Knobs and panel markings are the worst since they were unprotected providing a good probability of flaking and inhalation and/or ingestion. By the 1980s the concern over this small risk was high enough that military gear with radium painted knobs and/or meters had these parts removed before being sold into the surplus market making it difficult to find equipment with the original indicators and knobs. Many types of voltage regulator tubes were also "doped" with small amounts of radioactive material to ensure reliable ionization when the tube was cold, prior to that some equipment used a light bulb to excite the tube. These tubes have a small radiation warning symbol that often causes people to panic but like the radium paint as long as you don't breath or lick the residue from a broken tube it is safe. Some large transmitting tubes, particularly from around the WWII era, have treated glass around the seals (to resist heat) that is radioactive. Other risks include heavy metal poisoning from cadmium plated chassis (not a good idea to grind or sand these chassis), lead poisoning from solder, exposure to high voltage and the ensuing high current which is actually what kills, and simply having a radio that may weigh upwards of several hundred pounds fall on you. More recent concerns are exposure to RF energy fields.

    What all of these have in common is they are risks that are easily managed but if not managed they can certainly harm you and others. I like keeping my old radio gear as factory original as possible but I do make minor reversible changes when necessary to protect the health of the owner and the equipment. Radioactive knob markings are coated with clear lacquer to seal it in place. A piece of gear that didn't come with a fuse gets one added in an easily reversible method. Exposed high voltage gets managed, for example one transmitter I have brings 1,600 volts out from the main plate supply to exposed terminals on the back and it got a cover for those terminals. Mercury vapor rectifiers are pretty to watch in action but they are one flashover away from taking out irreplaceable power supply parts and although rare the sudden change in pressure that occurs with ionization can crack the glass envelope and breathing mercury vapor isn't good. I replace these pretty old rectifiers with proper plug in solid state replacements.

    I spent a number of years doing risk management consulting and pretty much any human activity involves some risk but reasonable people don't simply avoid and run scared from anything involving risk. Proper practices allow us to enjoy activities without excessive risk. I retired last year and my retirement gift to myself was a new Corvette Z06 and part of risk management with it is knowing that the accelerator isn't an on/off switch. With 650HP and 650 pound feet of torque instantly going to full throttle on the street will create interesting results, especially if the electronic nannies are turned off. And if this stupid behavior doesn't result in an immediate crash it will result in felony level speed in around 4 seconds. But driven properly and in the proper place the car is tremendous fun and is sufficiently docile to be driven normally.
     
  23. JoyF

    JoyF Registered User

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    Well, I think you have convinced me not to bother opening it. I was hoping to confirm what the movement is and perhaps find out the winding issue but can live w/o it. I am no expert. On dial it is marked "AN5743-tia."

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the information.
     
  24. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    There was no intention to frighten you off. In most, any particles will fall out with the movement when it drops out of the case. Catch it and dispose of it while holding breath and wearing a wetsuit if you wish.
     
  25. R. Croswell

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    The radiation risk from servicing a clock with a Radium dial is difficult to assess but can never be reduced to zero. The main factors I believe are; the duration of exposure, how close one is to the Radium, and whether the material is ingested and/or inhaled.

    Most clock shops (including mine) are not properly equipped to decontaminate a clock having an old radium dial. It is unrealistic to assume that one can "catch it and dispose of it while holding one's breath". One may be able to capture a few of the larger flakes but there may also be 'contaminated dust' and fine particles trapped in oil and additional material sloughing off during the course of the repair and reinstallation of the movement in the case. Just a small breeze can scatter the stuff and it can easily get into cracks in flooring or carpet or be inadvertently inhaled when one takes that big breath after holding. Of course the Radium continues 'radiating' all the while. Then there is the question of disposal. In most places it is illegal to "dispose of" radioactive material by ordinary means.

    I also have "no intention to frighten you off", or to minimizing the risk, but I also believe that it is unrealistic and creating a false sense of security to assume that one can effectively capture and sequester the radioactive debris associated with servicing a clock with a radium dial using ordinary methods while holding one's breath. One either accepts the risks or not and if one accepts the risks one should do whatever one can to minimize the risks and avoid contaminating the surrounding environment.

    RC
     
  26. dad1891

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    #26 dad1891, Mar 18, 2017
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    VERY well said, RC.

    I thought this one was dead long ago!
     
  27. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Oh, and about your shop teacher, I breathed asbestos brake fibers from 1968-1999, I am still living and breathing just fine, I was more worried about the chlorinated stuff in the brakleen and the gasoline we used to clean the backing plates.
     
  28. dad1891

    dad1891 Registered User

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    Yeah, there is no science behind the laws and regulations surrounding asbestos. Companies are spending millions and millions of dollars on abatement for entertainment. Lawyers and plaintiffs are getting rich off the myth.

    Do you know anyone that has had mesothelioma? I did and she died comparatively young. They never could figure out where or how she was exposed, but the autopsy was conclusive that it was caused by asbestos.

    I guess that my point was a little to obtuse for some. Let me state it more succinctly: I have a big problem with stupid people saying that something is safe when they have no idea what they are talking about. It seems to me that it is appropriate to let people know when there may be some risk in handling something, advise them of the best practices to do it safely and let them make the decision of whether the risk is worth the reward. The ONLY reason that I brought up the radium is that 99% of the general public has no idea that radium was used in some clock dials.

    By the way, there are NO chlorinated solvents in brakleen or gasoline.
     
  29. glenhead

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    I have just as big a problem with "stupid people" inciting panic and unnecessarily freaking people out "when they have no idea what they are talking about", when the *actual* risks involved in something are lower than day-to-day environmental risks. The "ohmygawd chemicals!!! FLEEE!!!" and "ohmygawd radiation!!! FLEEE!!!" crowd. If we try to warn the general public about everything that can harm them, we end up with a situation like California's Proposition 65, warning everyone that french fries cause cancer and birth defects. It rapidly becomes a joke, and another reason for label makers to charge for ink. The general public is at roughly the same level of risk from a radium clock dial as from a Sonic-Size order of fries. Go ahead, yeah, be obtuse and parse that sentence - it doesn't change the fact. Yes, there's an identifiable risk if you mess with lots and lots of radium paint from clock and watch dials. You're at a far higher risk of being hit by a bus.

    Radium paint CANNOT cause permanent damage unless it is ingested, inhaled, or in near-direct, high-concentration, relatively long-term contact externally. (Like carrying around a vial of it in your pocket, for example.) One microscopic fleck does not a doomsday scenario make. Yes, the effects are cumulative, but in working with timepieces you'd have to do one helluva lot of accumulating for it to cause actual identifiable harm.

    Don't lick the radium paint or paint dust from a timepiece or the inside of the case. Don't scrape off and eat the radium paint or paint dust. Don't scrape it off and snort it. If you want to be really thorough, wash your hands when you're finished messing with the timepiece. (And don't go all high and mighty when someone sarcastically suggests holding your breath and wearing a wetsuit, either. That's really tiresome.)

    If you CHOOSE to steer clear of radium paint altogether, do so from a standpoint of knowledge and an analysis of whether you consider the risk too high. Just be sure to watch out for buses.

    Glen
     
  30. novicetimekeeper

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    I keep all our old radium paint sources for cloud chambers in a jar in our ionising sources store. They aren't used any more because there is a small risk that the paint will be flaking (and I can't access dry ice) but I keep them on the actively in use list because otherwise we have to pay to dispose of them. Every so often the regs change and a window of opportunity opens to dispose of things in a sensible low cost way, we keep our eye on the regs and use them to our advantage when possible.

    The problem is the regulations are produced in the main to deal with industrial scale disposal, I have a few dabs of paint.

    We get caught with unintended consequences with other legislation too, we used to use a small toy steam engine but now it is classified as an industrial pressure vessel and needs an annual boiler certificate so we had to condemn it.
     
  31. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    Send the clock to me, and then no more worries.:coolsign:
     
  32. R. Croswell

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    Same here, but with my luck the thing would set off some package scanner and it would arrive with a squad of paranoid federal agents ready to defuse a nuclear bomb and arrest me!

    It isn't the science (or lack of same) that usually motivates lawmakers but rather who's constituents will have an opportunity to profit by their actions. Most of them, and many regular people as well, simple do not understand all they know about such things. I have a friend who has smoked ever since he was a kid. he is about 77 now until last month he refused to believe the 'science' about the dangers of smoking..........he started chemo this past week for lung cancer. The facts are what they are, not always what we believe they are, or what we wish they were. When radium dials were being made we know what happened with extreme exposure, but people generally didn't live as long then so in all probability those that might have developed symptoms years or decades later from small exposures would likely have died of something else first. The direct science is that we do have is old and with radium dials no longer in used by most of the world, it would be difficult to impossible to establish a control group and track them for 50 or 60 years. So we have to extrapolate what might be the risks based on known dangers of radiation generally. My doctor tells me that the pre-cancer skin 'spots' I occasionally must have removed were from excessive sun exposure when I was much younger. So for those of us over 70, if radium dial exposure causes us to get cancer 30 years from now, so what? All about risk assessment.

    RC
     
  33. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    As a matter of interest, looking around in my old workshop today I came across a small cardboard box with one of these clocks disassembled inside. I didn't shake the box and sniff the contents but I am sure that the box and its contents along with a lot of similar have been in the shed for thirty years and none of the mice that made a godawful mess in there died of radiation poisoning. I had to use other means to dispense with them.

    On a different tangent, simply breathing the air in the outside environment of my garden gave me a microbaterium infection otherwise described as atypical tuberculosis. It is in the soil everywhere in the world. The only reason everyone in the world hasn't died from that is because they have an immune system.
     
  34. GregS

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    Is this a clock you're giving to your grandkids?

    Your other comment reminded me of the phrase: "Science doesn't care what you believe."

    cheers!
     
  35. roughbarked

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    Science already knows that it is in industrial proportions that causes people to suffer and die from such things. The wife of a worker who spends all day cutting asbestos sheets on a factory floor is more likely to die from breathing asbestos fibres than others who also breathe asbestos fibres all day as a part of their environment. Children who play on asbestos dumps also are likely to suffer the same fate.

    As for what we are giving our grandkids, Have a look around you. A lot more children are dying from swallowing lithium battery button cells than have ever died from licking some old clock hands. Millions of people suffer from all sorts of maladies as a result of our impact on the enviroment from modern agriculture. The fallout from nuclear testing around the world, the wastes from places like the Chernobyl and Fukishima disasters, maybe three miile island?
     
  36. dad1891

    dad1891 Registered User

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    Thanks for making my point, Glen.

    I thought the discussion here was about disassembling and repairing a clock. Does your sentence refer to risk associated with disassembling a clock or just having the clock sit on a shelf? Your statement is very succinct and definitive, which I assume is based on research. I am always trying to learn and I would very much appreciate if you would cite the source of this information so I can expand my knowledge of the subject.
     
  37. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
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    There is not one documented case of cancer being caused by the acrylamide generated when cooking french fries. That is a fact.

    People have been repairing watches and clocks with radium on the dials and hands for nearly one hundred years. This activity results in incidental contact with radium-based paint. There are millions of timepieces and other items in general circulation that have radium-based paint somewhere. Despite this proliferation, there is not one documented case of the incidental contact with radium-based paint causing cancer in a person who repairs watches or clocks. That is a fact. There are also no documented cases of the general public developing cancers because of exposure to radium-based paint in consumer items. That is a fact.

    Zero = zero. That is a fact. The same number of people have died from french fry cancer as have died from a cancer caused by being in proximity to the radium on a watch or clock. That appears to be a fact. Therefore, taking the documented cases as evidence, "The general public is at roughly the same level of risk from a radium clock dial as from a Sonic-Size order of fries." ( Perhaps you were pointing out that overindulgence in french fries does, in fact, have a higher propensity for damage because of complications from obesity. If that is the case, please accept my apologies for misunderstanding.)

    In this instance, the complete lack of evidence is evidence in itself. Perhaps my calling either of the above sentences "facts" is indeed out of ignorance; perhaps such cases have been documented, and such documentation is simply unavailable. However, in today's world of "ohmygawd, radiation" and "ohmygawd, we have to tell everyone everything", you can bet your bottom bippy that if radium had been shown to be the cause of a single case of cancer in the groups mentioned in this post it would show up in a simple Google search, or that it would at least be locatable in a deep scholarly search. If you are more successful than I in finding such documentation, I will rescind my statements and apologize.

    Yes, this started off as a simple "what's wrong with my clock" posting. Someone somewhere early on in the thread dragged it off into "ohmygawd, radiation, FLEE", then started belittling reasonable disagreement with his viewpoint, and away we went.

    Glen
     
  38. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    you don't that it didn't kill any of them, nor do you know that the ones who hung out in that box didn't have serious medical issues.

    i had a friend who made speaker cabinets for sound companies. once the boxes were made he would cover them in industrial strength short nap carpet... we called it, coincidentally, 'mouse fur', because that's what it looked like... using contact cement.

    i never thought he had enough ventilation in his shop, and in fact he died in his late thirties, his body riddled with cancer.

    my mom was on a federal commission investigating electromagnetic fields and how they affected human tissue... although there were no definitive answers, everyone (except the industries involved) agreed that 'prudent avoidance' was called for.

    in the case of radiation, everyone gets to make their own choices. mine is to err on the side of minimizing risk... short AND long term.
     
  39. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    It is the rats that would have had the issues, because they got in and ate the mice and each other.
     
  40. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User
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    I love it!
     
  41. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    Regardless of the potential risk, I still feel it is wise to have
    some method of determining when you've done a reasonably
    good job of cleaning up after working on one of these clock.
    I'd covered because I have one of those pocket dosimeters
    left over from Chernobyl. I'd the simple electrometer, I mentioned,
    are easy enough to create.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  42. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    you can make a simple sort of GM tube with a single darlington pair as an amplifier and then measure the ionisation with a multimeter. I have used the circuit to make ionisation chambers but it would work as a GM tube too.
     
  43. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    There are some YouTube videos for these as well.
    You can't see individual clicks like a GM tube but
    you can use it to determine significant radiation.
    The ground is constantly outgassing radon gas.
    It breaks into a number of other radioactive elements
    that are both biologically active and short lived ( minutes, hours and days ).
    One can collect such from the heater filter and see
    if you have significant radon with such a simple instrument.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  44. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    It's radon we use in the ionisation chambers to measure decay. We get the radon from thoriated gas mantles that I keep in wash bottles to puff into the chambers. Works remarkably well at low cost, and at low enough activity to allow safe handling by students.
     
  45. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    yeah, that's what I was thinking… use a single darlington pair… was just talking about that this morning with the little woman, over breakfast.

    You guys know too much… It's really scary :)
     
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