Radium ?.

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Radium ?.

New postby micky0121 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:24 pm

Hi all
Just reading an article on this group in Military watches, concerning radium :roll: . What is the actual danger concerning these watches as I find military articles interesting and this sort of scared me .I was looking at starting a little collection but do not like the idea of glowing ;) .
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Re: Radium ?.

New postby richiec » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:27 pm

Not enough radium to worry about as long as you don't snort it or lick it. Be careful when taking a watch apart so the stuff doesn't scatter too much but the threat is very minimal.
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Re: Radium ?.

New postby veritas » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:34 pm

I agree with Richie as well, its very over blown some of the statements made about this on the internet.
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Re: Radium ?.

New postby micky0121 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:04 pm

Veritas and richiec Thank you for the input again :D. I got a bit worried looking at the cases that have been discoloured by the radium but they have been in close contact for a long time . Sorry no pun intended :roll: .
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Re: Radium ?.

New postby Marty101 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:47 am

Mick I think those guys said it all. The big danger is restoration. The old dried radium is on skeletal hands and when scraped/brushed of makes a powder you probably don't want to inhale. I've never looked up the actual half-life or danger myself...but everyone has heard of the "Radium Girls" right?
http://www.npr.org/2014/12/28/373510029 ... ies-at-107
Keep winding things,
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Re: Radium ?.

New postby micky0121 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:29 pm

Hi Marty101
I don't think I intend to deal with as many or lick the dials of any watches I can collect .Though I have ordered the book as it does sound very interesting.
Thanks Marty101
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Re: Radium ?.

New postby 4brokenow » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:55 pm

Dried radium inhaled is VERY BAD. And batches of radium where mixed very inconsistently. Some radium paint is very radioactive and some is not. Treat all suspected radium painted parts as being dangerous.

I personally wear a mask and bag the dial and hands as soon as they come off the movement. I work over a piece of paper so radium dust tends to land on the paper. Keep the mask on atleast until movement parts go through an initial bath. I usually bathe parts (Not the dial and hands!) in 99.9% isopropyl in a small shallow cup to rinse parts of any dust that may have migrated into the movement.

Once disassembly is done and all parts are initially bathed I wipe out the cup (Still with alcohol in it) with a few paper towels and fold the damp towel up in the piece of paper I have been working over and dispose of it. Fold the paper up carefully as to not launch the dust into the air. You can use the damp towels to wipe the paper carefully before folding it up also. Wet radium is safe because it won't go airborne.

Wear the mask on re-assembly of the dial and hands again over paper so you can clean up after yourself. Of course dispose of the empty bags that had radium parts in them also. I usually use little sealable 4x4" bags.

Few people know the truth about Radium. Just give it respect is all I'm saying. It is far safer to eat it then inhale it. This is because if it somehow makes it to your lung it's there forever. Your body forms a nodule around it. Radium half life is 1000's of years so your are exposed to radiation for the rest of your life. If you eat it in theory it passes through and exposure is limited. BTW. Don't eat it :cry:
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Re: Radium ?.

New postby veritas » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:44 pm

I say respect it, but use common sense like you pretty much said Phill.
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