Tritium Keychains.. Watchout.

Tachikoma

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:faint: Tonight I've noticed that my tritium vial (the big one mounted on my edc) emits 1/10 of the light it used to, so I'm really afraid it's broken :poof:
Now I don't care at all for the €12 (as long as 30mm vials are still available) that I shall spend to replace it, but I hope it didn't happen when I had it on me, I'm already beginning to feel :sick:
Should I ask my doctor a specific check-up?
 

[email protected]

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If it happened while you had it on you, you probably were doing something, not sitting stil. By the time the tritium could have reach your nose/mouth it would have been diluted so much the hazards are virtually non existent.
 

65535

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Why do I get the feeling that the thought of being radiated has scared people so much.

I honestly don't think anyone's tritium will hurt them. Inhaled or otherwise. The amount of beta radiation present is minuscule. Keep in mind 99% of the tritium you guys have is covered in an adhesive around 1 mm thick. FOB's are usually a minimum of 1 mm thick up to a few mm's. How much radiation actually passes that?
 

Bradlee

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Why do I get the feeling that the thought of being radiated has scared people so much.

I honestly don't think anyone's tritium will hurt them. Inhaled or otherwise. The amount of beta radiation present is minuscule. Keep in mind 99% of the tritium you guys have is covered in an adhesive around 1 mm thick. FOB's are usually a minimum of 1 mm thick up to a few mm's. How much radiation actually passes that?

I don't think anyone here is paranoid, despite what the thread may suggest. It's just a matter of understanding and wanting to quantify the risk associated with them. You may be right, it may be negligable or nonexistant, but it would be nice to be able to show that. I say this in light of the fact that some of us to carry a substantial amount of tritium.

That said, I'm starting to feel that a detailed analysis may not be possible, because not only us but the whole nuclear industry is uninformed when it comes to this topic. I haven't seen a single good (maybe I should say decisive) study on the effect of tritium beta exposure. But that's just my $0.02 :shrug:.

Edit to add: I'm hoping to take some readings on one of these 2Ci/74Bq sources in the next few weeks if I'm able to. Note that it does have a thick plastic covering.
 
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Ken_McE

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:faint: Tonight I've noticed that my tritium vial (the big one mounted on my edc) emits 1/10 of the light it used to, so I'm really afraid it's broken :poof:

If it breaks it will stop working entirely.

I'm already beginning to feel :sick: Should I ask my doctor a specific check-up?
The normal way to check for Tritium exposure is a urine test. You'll need to locate someone who knows how to do it, or perhaps your doc can find them.
 

Casebrius

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I don't think anyone here is paranoid, despite what the thread may suggest. It's just a matter of understanding and wanting to quantify the risk associated with them. You may be right, it may be negligable or nonexistant, but it would be nice to be able to show that. I say this in light of the fact that some of us to carry a substantial amount of tritium.

That said, I'm starting to feel that a detailed analysis may not be possible, because not only us but the whole nuclear industry is uninformed when it comes to this topic. I haven't seen a single good (maybe I should say decisive) study on the effect of tritium beta exposure. But that's just my $0.02 :shrug:.

Edit to add: I'm hoping to take some readings on one of these 2Ci/74Bq sources in the next few weeks if I'm able to. Note that it does have a thick plastic covering.

How have you determined this is a 2Ci/74Bq source?

If it breaks it will stop working entirely.

I've seen members report them slowing quitting over a couple day period. Slow leak I assume.
 

Tachikoma

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The normal way to check for Tritium exposure is a urine test. You'll need to locate someone who knows how to do it, or perhaps your doc can find them.
Do I have to ask my doctor for a specific (eg for radiations) or a generic test?
[email protected], could you tell how much tritium (in grams) is contained in the 30mm white vial?
 

clyffepypard

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Surely the tiny amount of gas in one of these will be massively diluted by the atmosphere immediately it leaks out, since the gas will rise (hydrogen is lighter than air etc).
Also, as a weak beta particle emitter, it is virtually harmless in the gas form. Only when it is ingested as part of a compound could the beta radiation be hazardous to the internal organs.

So, why exactly are you worried about this?
 

Tachikoma

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I wasn't actually, but then I heard about it forming tritiated water with the human's body internal water...
 

Tachikoma

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No, actually it was just a way of saying, like "I'm beginning to feel sick just thinking about the consequences I may encounter..."
 
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Ken_McE

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Do I have to ask my doctor for a specific (eg for radiations) or a generic test?

The appropriate thing to do would be to describe your concern to them and then follow their advice. I don't pretend to know exactly what they would say, but I would follow it.

Casebrius: I've seen members report them slowing quitting over a couple day period. Slow leak I assume.
Agreed.

clyffepypard, the medical concern is that the Tritium, which chemically is just Hydrogen, would combine with passing Oxygen, form tritiated water, and then be breathed or eaten thus entering the body and possible lingering for a while.

Tachikoma No, actually it was just a way of saying, like "I'm beginning to feel sick just thinking about the consequences I may encounter..."
Tachikoma, The odds are that you are in perfect health, but if you are uncomfortable with the technology then you should give it a pass. You could easily give away or sell any items you have to other CPFers who are OK with these items. There are other things that can give high quality GID results.
 

AvidHiker

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I worked in a school a while ago and tried their Geiger Muller tube and counter over the holidays. I put 8 or 9 of the 1.5mm [email protected] phails near the tube and, as experienced above, the count was several times above background levels. I also placed a friend's commercial tritium key-ring fob in front of the counter and obtained lowed counts than just one of [email protected] 1.5mm tubes.

The upshot is that [email protected]'s tubes are very good value! I have one of the large titanium/tritium fobs now and am keen to see what is coming off of it.

As for risk, I am not especially concerned, when these items are in your pocket, the emissions usually have at least a few layers of fabric until they contact your skin, and then at least several mms of dead skin cells until anything capable of being damaged by them. I don't think the risk from direct emissions is even worth considering.

As for inhalation dangers, some time ago I ran through the calculations, percentage of hydrogen recombined to water, percentage water absorbed, half-life within the body etc - again, this was purely for interest, I don't consider these to be a tangible risk. The results were quite comforting, for the occasional one that breaks, it isn't worth thinking about. If you were to inhale a few hundred, you might be advised to increase your water intake for a week.

Andrew

This is a very interesting result, and makes a good point - not all tritium light sources are created equal. I would also agree with you that most small vials (like the standard 5x1.5mm markers) should be of no concern. This is partly because there is a limit as to how much tritium could be contained in this volume, probably much less than 25 millicuries (mCi), but I'm just guessing. Many watches containing tritium markers have a similar total tritium content, 25mCi or less in fact, which used to be the limit for watches sold in the US (I think Ball now can sell ones up to 100mCi).
Anyway, I would also like to point out that there is a significant difference between these markers and the 4x20mm high pressure vials which were used in Bart's TiGlow. These are spec'd to contain 1+ curie of tritium (i.e., 1000+ mCi) which could be the equivalent of 50-100 of the small markers. From what I've read, I feel like this is beginning to enter a bit of a grey area considering how poorly understood the health effects are, thus I would feel it prudent to handle a damaged vial of this, or similar, type with an abundance of caution - especially if it was in close proximity to your body. Again, my intent is not to scare people away from this stuff but to simply try and educate so that they can make informed decisions.

I would encourage anyone with doubts NOT to shy away from lights which use the small markers, I think the benefit far outweighs any possible risks (which, IMO, are virtually nil for such small vials). I'm at the point where I would like a marker on every one of my lights, they're that handy!
 

AvidHiker

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Do I have to ask my doctor for a specific (eg for radiations) or a generic test?
[email protected], could you tell how much tritium (in grams) is contained in the 30mm white vial?

Tachikoma - I agree with Ken_McE, you should be just fine so try not to worry. I managed to shatter my first TiGlow a couple feet away from me, but never had any symptoms. Do wash everything that has come into contact with the broken fob just as a precaution, the phosphor can be toxic as well.

Judging by the dates of your posts, your body has most likely removed more than half of the tritium that might have entered your system, as the biological half life is the same for anything waterborne (10 days). Your doctor can test you and may recommend staying well hydrated for a week or two, but beyond that, there isn't likely much they can do. Of course, it doesn't hurt to be on the safe side and see your doctor if you feel the need.
 
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