Tritium vials

htn740

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Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

Hello dear members of the forum.
As an avid flashlight collector, I have some with tritium vials in them (I am sure you do to...) and I also have some pendants, key chains and even a ring with tritium.
Until now, I felt very safe, having tritium vials close to my body, because they emit only beta radiation that cannot escape the vial.
Now I found that the beta radiation is only part of the story. I found out the the vials emit x-ray due to the Bremsstrahlung effect, as you can see in this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8l0sUfN89A
Nothing about the danger of the x-ray is mentioned in the Wikipedia page of the tritium vials and I wonder why?
Clearly, you can see in the video above, that these vials emit x-ray and I wonder if any you can comment about my discovery.
Thanks :)
 

htn740

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

Thank you very much for the info. I didn't see this thread before. I read many posts regarding the beta radiation but not about the x-ray.
Looks like that after all it is not "perfectly safe" as many people think. and not only a broken vial can be dangerous (to a degree of course).
 

thedoc007

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

Thank you very much for the info. I didn't see this thread before. I read many posts regarding the beta radiation but not about the x-ray.
Looks like that after all it is not "perfectly safe" as many people think. and not only a broken vial can be dangerous (to a degree of course).

Actually, from what I have read, it is a stretch to call even a broken vial dangerous. It may give you a tiny dose of radiation...but people get exposed to radiation ALL THE TIME. Background radiation is part of living on planet earth. If you are comfortable going to the beach, there should be no reason to worry about tritium vials. You get a LOT more radiation from the sun than you ever would from tritium vials.
 

htn740

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

Since I am not a scientist, I can not make the numbers...
wearing a 5 large tritium vials (2.25x3) pendant on my neck, only a shirt is separating it from my skin, is as dangerous as walking outdoor?
 

TEEJ

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

The amount of this effect is something to think about though...

For example, an ordinary banana might be giving off ~ 800 - 1,000 counts per minute simply because it has potassium, and, potassium has radioactive isotopes that are typically present in trace quantities, etc. The attached video shows a fob pressed against the face of the detector giving ~ 6,000 counts per minute....and a background count under ~ 1,000 cpm.

So, given a banana being many times larger than a fob (For most fobs at least...), the keychain fob, with NO shielding, would be about as dangerous as putting bananas in your pocket.

So, while a fob in your pocket might help you find your room keys, the banana in your pocket might help you get someone ELSE's room key. :devil:


The DANGER posed by these two scenarios might be more related to false impressions/STD consequences than radiation.

Food for thought.

:crackup:
 

htn740

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

Thank you TEEJ,
what about the accumulation effect? these numbers don't add up?
Let's say, I don't ware the pendant 24/7, take it off at night. 6000x15. that's 90,000 ! What this number means, and how is it measured when you add it to a full year? is this number neglectable? and 5 tritiums pendant is 5 times as much...
 

TEEJ

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

Think of it this way:

To do DAMAGE, essentially, the radiation has to damage some genetic material, and, that material has to stay unrepaired.

The higher the dose itself, for any given time, the more likely that is to happen.

The more times it occurs, the more likely that is to happen.


BUT, you still have to keep the SCALE of this in mind, or you live in a cave wrapped in Al foil, etc.


Think of it this way for a moment:

A banana is about as "radioactive". Your granite counter top in your kitchen can be MORE radioactive sometimes, and so forth.


If you EAT a banana, the potassium becomes PART OF YOU. It is now used in your bones for example. Every banana you ever ate is, to an extent, still with you...in that regard. That radioactive potassium you EAT is inside your body, against your mucous membranes where there is the least shielding/most sensitive tissue....until the food is broken down, and the calcium, potassium, and so forth, are removed to be used to make YOU.


No one, to my knowledge at least, has ever shown that a life time of eating bananas and having the potassium from them (Or any other food with potassium), incorporated into your body, has ever caused harm.


I would therefore be inclined to believe that foods that contain potassium are universally considered to be healthy, and not dangerous. I would NOT condone EATING tritium fobs of course, not even as a light snack, and, you'd simply need to glow to the bathroom afterwards.
 

KDM

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

Logically added exposure adds risk. Comparing apples to oranges, bananas to tritium, natural to ionizing is well.... not really a comparison.
 

desmobob

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

The amount of this effect is something to think about though...

For example, an ordinary banana might be giving off ~ 800 - 1,000 counts per minute simply because it has potassium, and, potassium has radioactive isotopes that are typically present in trace quantities, etc. The attached video shows a fob pressed against the face of the detector giving ~ 6,000 counts per minute....and a background count under ~ 1,000 cpm.

So, given a banana being many times larger than a fob (For most fobs at least...), the keychain fob, with NO shielding, would be about as dangerous as putting bananas in your pocket.

So, while a fob in your pocket might help you find your room keys, the banana in your pocket might help you get someone ELSE's room key. :devil:


The DANGER posed by these two scenarios might be more related to false impressions/STD consequences than radiation.

Food for thought.

:crackup:


^ This is one of the best posts I've read on any forum in a long time. :thumbsup:

Take it easy,
Bob
 

MMD

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Re: Tritium vials safety, something new that may be concerning.

^+1 TEEJ, you are hilarious and enlightening. I'm going to go tell my friends some tritium banana jokes. Wait...better not
 

KDM

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I'd rather have a lung hit of lead than a nose hit of plutonium. That guy better keep his mask on! LOL
Radioactive isotopes aren't generic they all can't be treated equally.
 
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