Radioactive Exit Signs Lights The Exits

Radioactive exit signs light the exits

Radioactive exit signs light the exits very effectively using a chemical called tritium. Tritium has a chemical symbol that’s H-3 and is a radioactive isotope of the element hydrogen. This chemical is produced commercially in reactors and is used in other self-luminescent devices like wristwatches, aircraft dials, gauges, and luminous paints. 

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Exit signs with radioactive features

Radioactive exit signs light the exits when the atmosphere becomes dark. At first, these types of exit signs simply look like the word exit placed prominently on a dark background. The letters that are made up of the tritium tubes don’t glow or give off any light until the surrounding area is dark. Once the surrounding area is dark, the lights give off a green glow that’s clearly seen.

Features of radioactive exit signs

The appealing feature of the radioactive exit sign is that no external source of energy is required. These types of lights don’t need to be hooked up to electricity and don’t run off of battery power. The initial cost of radioactive lights is generally higher, but the savings in electricity, battery replacement, and maintenance often makes up for the cost. Another benefit of the way radioactive exit signs light the exits is that since they don’t require electricity to function, they can be put almost anywhere. It’s not necessary to position them in a place where electrical wires are easily accesible. 

Tritium exit signs

Sometimes the term "radioactive" causes concern among people considering using these exit signs. It is true that tritium is radioactive. Special handling guidelines need to be following when these types of lights are installed and removed. There are regulations regarding their safe disposal once the fixture's lifespan has run out. But the radioactive level is low. It will not impact people walking around or underneath the light. Those working in a facility with several of these types of lights are not more prone to illnesses, losing hair, or developing cancer than individuals working in facilities with traditional exit signs.

Radioactive exit signs

Tritium, the chemical used in these radioactive exit signs, can be found naturally in the environment. The chemical is often found in the form of tritiated water that is easily disbursed into the atmosphere including soil, rock, and bodies of water. The majority of people are already exposed to small amounts of tritium daily without realizing it. The chemical, although radioactive, is considered to the least dangerous naturally occurring radionuclide. It emits only a weak level of radiation that has been scientifically proven to leave the body quickly with little to no harm.

Affordable exit signs

Tritium in radioactive exit signs is the same chemical that’s used to light watches and gauges, and has replaced the more dangerous radium that was once used. Radium is considered a hazardous substance and has been banned from use in the United States.

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