Self Luminous Exit Sign Disposal

The user of a self luminous exit sign can feel confident that the recycling of that object is safe. At the same time, he or she can relax a bit about the cost involved in any recycling effort. Those who carry out that activity do not have to cover its expense with a large section of their budget.

Long lasting lights

Unlike the beams produced by a flashlight, those that come from a self luminous exit sign do not die off after only a fairly short length of time. Therefore, the sign’s letters continue glowing for quite a while, before any attempt must be made to deal with expiration of the sign’s beaming lights. That fact helps to contribute to the low cost associated with the recycling of those signs, the ones that display a unique luminosity.

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A couple significant chemical findings aided development of safe and low cost recycling procedures. A man named Boyle made those findings and reported his observations to other scientists. For instance, he discovered that by putting a single part of phosphorous in solution, one could utilize the element’s ability to glow, while masking its nasty smell. Therefore, those who handle the recycled luminous signage do not have to worry about the strength of the solution inside of the sign’s tubes.

Recycling radioactive signs

Of course during the days leading up to creation of the first self luminous exit sign, manufacturers gave no thought to problems that might relate to the recycling of those glowing objects. Those same men looked for a luminous substance that could produce beams with a uniform intensity. That need meant that phosphorous could not go on a list of any potential substances.

Placement of glow in the dark signs

Besides, there was a second problem linked to possible placement of a phosphorous solution in the tubes of a doorway’s sign. That concerned the tendency for the beams from phosphorous to blaze out and thus put an end to the element’s delivery of light, while emitting some quite unexpected flashes. In an attempt to prevent the production of such flashes, manufacturers began making signage that relied on the presence of a compound, one called zinc sulfide.

Eco-friendly self luminous signage

While the signs containing zinc sulfide did not produce any unwanted flashes, those same glowing items presented manufacturers with another problem. Back then that second problem had nothing to do with issues surrounding the recyclable nature of the newly-created signs. Instead it concerned the intensity of their glow.


Those signs that held a zinc sulfide solution did not emit a strong glow. Manufacturers realized that their customers would feel reluctant to buy a product with such a weak glow. For that reason, the chemists in the different manufacturing facilities were asked to return again to their laboratories.

Bright glow and safe exit signs

Eventually, those chemical experts began experimenting with a group of chemicals called strontium oxide aluminates. By studying the chemistry of those aluminates, those scientists found a way to make a sign that had a bright glow, but also freed building owners from concerns about unexpected flashes. Luckily, the solution presented to manufacturers by their teams of chemists also proved to be something that was safe to use.

Hazardous location exit signs

If those same chemists had suggested use of a hazardous chemical, then the story about the recycling of exit signs would be far different from the one being told today. Manufacturers do not like to use hazardous materials, unless it is absolutely necessary. A long and costly procedure is required during the recycling of something that contains a hazardous material. Today’s safe and self luminous exit sign relies on the chemistry of strontium oxide aluminates. Its red glow has a pleasing light fastness, a fastness that enhances the ease with which that same sign can be re-used.

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