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Disposal Of 'radioactive Watch'.


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I have inherited a pre-war Oris watch which has a permanent luminous dial.

The date, habit and appearance ( dial has gone brown) means it is almost certainly painted with radium.

It is emitting alpha particles and probably limited but increasing gamma radiation.

It is intact and 'protected'  and in lead film bag.

 

I was very surprised to find advice that the suggested solution was landfill!

 

 

Any better solutions anybody is aware of?

 

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31 minutes ago, Annie Bynnol said:

I have inherited a pre-war Oris watch which has a permanent luminous dial.

The date, habit and appearance ( dial has gone brown) means it is almost certainly painted with radium.

It is emitting alpha particles and probably limited but increasing gamma radiation.

It is intact and 'protected'  and in lead film bag.

 

I was very surprised to find advice that the suggested solution was landfill!

 

 

Any better solutions anybody is aware of?

 

Could it be worth a few bob, you know collector, or antique shop etc.

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I’ve tried to dispose of school radioactive sources on a few occasions. It isn’t cheap, or easy.

 

I’d be inclined to leave well alone. If you bin it, it could well break and expose someone to radioactive dust. The risk from that is probably quite low, but I wouldn’t be queuing up to breathe radium dust. 

 

You’ve got four choices really.

 

Leave in the lead lined bag in a safe place.

Sell it to a collector.

Bin it.

Contact one of the specialist chemical waste disposal companies.

 

The first two choices would be where I would go. The last one is likely to cost quite a bit and will probably generate a fair bit of admin.

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47 minutes ago, Pettytom said:

I’ve tried to dispose of school radioactive sources on a few occasions. It isn’t cheap, or easy.

 

I’d be inclined to leave well alone. If you bin it, it could well break and expose someone to radioactive dust. The risk from that is probably quite low, but I wouldn’t be queuing up to breathe radium dust. 

 

You’ve got four choices really.

 

Leave in the lead lined bag in a safe place.

Sell it to a collector.

Bin it.

Contact one of the specialist chemical waste disposal companies.

 

The first two choices would be where I would go. The last one is likely to cost quite a bit and will probably generate a fair bit of admin.

Putting it in the bin might mean that the material goes up the incinerator chimney. 

I think selling means finding a licenced dealer.

 

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8 minutes ago, Obelix said:

If the dial is behind glass it's safe.. Alpha emissions are very short range and need little sealing.

 

If you cannot get rid of it and are reluctant to keep it I'd be happy to curate it for you.

The paint is pretty safe too, as long as it isn’t flaking.

 

I suppose Annie could always ask this lot for advice:

 

https://allthatsinteresting.com/radium-girls

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13 minutes ago, Obelix said:

I doubt that she is licking the paint though...!

Have you seen any of the radium ads, or the footage of those poor women? It is quite odd looking back at such a cavalier attitude to radioactivity.

 

It’s good that we now have people who are concerned about disposing of just one watch.

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