radium luminous paint
Like Tree6Likes

Thread: radium luminous paint

Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 65
  1. #1
    Member joelchan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    172

    radium luminous paint

    Recently, I have a chance to acquire this 29j Shanghai military watch. The watch case has been sent out to repair. It carries an original un-relumed dial which contains radioactive radium. According to the watch case serial number, it shows that it is the lastest 29J military dated 70's. I was so shock to found that this substance is still active after almost 30 years...


  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    8,921

    Re: radium luminous paint

    Radium hs a half life of 1600 years! So, theoretically it should be glowing with only half it's intensity after 1600 years...in 40 or 50 years it should still be bright.

    This watch has not seen much moisture inside it or the glow would have disappeared long ago. Moisture is the worst enemy of the radium paints used in watches. The moisture breaks down the paint pigments that are caused to glow by the radium.

    If you want to restore the lume on the dial and hands, I would recommend going with one of the non-radio active modern products like Luminova or Super Luminova. You probably won't find anyone to work with radium paints any more.

    Is that the watch I missed on ePay a few weeks ago?

  3. #3
    Member GuySie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    3,815

    Re: radium luminous paint

    Just curious... is it dangerous to wear a radium-painted watch? My knowledge of radioactivity is at the level of high school physics so I have no real clue what level of radiation would be harmful.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    8,921

    Re: radium luminous paint

    Quote Originally Posted by GuySie View Post
    Just curious... is it dangerous to wear a radium-painted watch? My knowledge of radioactivity is at the level of high school physics so I have no real clue what level of radiation would be harmful.
    Generally speaking there is little risk to the wearer from wearing the watch. The radiation levels apparently fall within the safe limits for exposure.

    There is a real danger though to any one opening the watches. There will always be paint dust from the markers/hands floating around inside the watch. Handling the radium parts should also be done with full precautions to skin contact and breathing filters.
    Even if the radium paint doesn't glow any more it will still be radio active for thousands of years!

  6. #5
    Member Marte's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Italy - Friuli Venezia Giulia
    Posts
    190

    Re: radium luminous paint

    Quote Originally Posted by HuPuTan View Post
    Generally speaking there is little risk to the wearer from wearing the watch. The radiation levels apparently fall within the safe limits for exposure.

    There is a real danger though to any one opening the watches. There will always be paint dust from the markers/hands floating around inside the watch. Handling the radium parts should also be done with full precautions to skin contact and breathing filters.
    Even if the radium paint doesn't glow any more it will still be radio active for thousands of years!
    Opening the case-back is a dangerous operation or i can do that? (i have some radium watch)

  7. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    8,921

    Re: radium luminous paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Marte View Post
    Opening the case-back is a dangerous operation or i can do that? (i have some radium watch)
    Personally, I wouldn't risk it without a good breathing mask and adequate protection from getting it on my hands or clothing.

    This is why military issue watches have the requirement of proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials...they are safe while being worn but all bets are off if you open them up

  8. #7
    Member Marte's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Italy - Friuli Venezia Giulia
    Posts
    190

    Re: radium luminous paint



    my watch repairer said that the risk of contamination is quite low if you don't work with the dial, and he told that the radium paint (or tritium) doesn't develop in fine dust but still heavy dust, difficult to inhalate

    personally, i only open the caseback of one, see the date of production and close soon after, but i will never do it again

  9. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    8,921

    Smile Re: radium luminous paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Marte View Post


    my watch repairer said that the risk of contamination is quite low if you don't work with the dial, and he told that the radium paint (or tritium) doesn't develop in fine dust but still heavy dust, difficult to inhalate

    personally, i only open the caseback of one, see the date of production and close soon after, but i will never do it again
    I wouldn't worry about having briefly opened up a single watch. It's the watchmakers or hobbyists who opens many who really needs to be cautious.

    Your watchmaker is correct, the dust from the paint will be heavier as it is hygroscopic(absorbs moisture) and not as easily blown around.

    If I have to have any work done on a watch with a radium dial, I just send it to someone with the correct tools and knowledge about handling it

  10. #9
    Member M4tt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    10,693

    Re: radium luminous paint

    As usual Wikipedia covers it.

    Personally, I think it is a bit like playing delayed action Russian roulette.

  11. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    8,921

    Re: radium luminous paint

    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    As usual Wikipedia covers it.

    Personally, I think it is a bit like playing delayed action Russian roulette.
    In deed it is.

    It took years before the 'Radium Girls' developed cancers...but they all did

    Smoking cigarettes is almost as deadly but people continue to do it

Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •