Radium Luminous Devices

Radium Luminous Devices

Radium Luminous Devices: Tips for Your Safety

Until the 1960s, various consumer and military products - such as wristwatches, clocks, marine compasses and aircraft instruments - were manufactured using a radium-based, glow-in-the-dark paint. These products are called radium luminous devices.

The most common remaining radium luminous devices are aircraft instruments, and there are tens of thousands of these in Canada today. Although the radium in these devices remains radioactive for thousands of years, their paint usually breaks down chemically after several years and may no longer glow in the dark. When new, the radium luminous paint was often white, but typically tarnished to yellow as it aged. Radium luminous devices are generally not identified or marked as containing radioactive materials. Only a radiation survey meter can confirm if a device contains radium luminous compounds.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regulates the possession, use transfer, and service of radium luminous devices in Canada in order to protect people and the environment. The CNSC has published a new brochure, Radium Luminous Devices: Tips for Your Safety. The brochure is available in both official languages on the CNSC website by following this link: [www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca]

For more information about radium luminous devices or the CNSC and its mandate, please contact:

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Radiation Protection Officer
Directorate of Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment
P.O. Box 1046, 280 Slater Street
Ottawa ON K1P 5S9
Telephone: (613) 995-5894 or 1-800-668-5284
Fax: (613) 992-2915
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca

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