Tritium Recycling For The Environment

Tritium recycling for the environment

Tritium recycling needs to be done correctly to make sure the environment is protected and safety codes are observed. There are very strict guidelines regarding the disposal of tritium that need to be followed because this chemical is considered to be radioactive.


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Exit lights

Tritium is sometimes used in certain types of exit lights. The chemical is popular for this type of use because it doesn’t require an outside source of energy to function. Tritium exit signs, or any type of tritium light, do not require electricity to glow, neither does it need battery back up power.

Recycling tritium

It’s important to complete the proper tritium recycling process so that the substance doesn’t get into drinking water, soil, or other places that it can be considered toxic. Sometimes it can be difficult to know if an exit sign contains tritium. However, lack of knowledge isn’t an acceptable excuse to forgo complete tritium recycling. It is the user’s responsibility to find out if the light source in their exit sign is tritium powered.

Not dangerous to handle

Even though tritium is radioactive, it’s important to note that it’s not dangerous to handle exit signs containing this chemical. Checking to see if a light contains tritium will not endanger the health of the person conducting the examination. The process is simple. At first glance, it may not be easy to recognize if an exit sign is tritium powered. A little bit of effort might need to be put into the process to make sure the sign is properly disposed of and that tritium recycling for the environment is completed.

Self-luminous exit signs

If a sign is self luminous, there’s a good chance that it contains tritium. If you suspect that a sign contains tritium, there are a few things you can easily do to verify what you suspect. The steps are simple and should be done by anyone who comes across a tritium sign that needs to be disposed of.

Tritium signs work well

One of the easiest ways to identify a sign as being powered by tritium is to inspect it closely. Tritium signs have a dark colored background and the lettering tends to be clear or white. When the letters are in bright conditions, they do not glow and are easily visible on their own. Once the letters are exposed to the dark, they will start to glow. A clear green glow in the dark is a good indicator that the exit sign contains tritium.

Important to recycle tritium

To encourage proper tritium recycling, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has also clearly labeled signs containing this chemical. Often there is an NRC sticker on the back or side of the sign's housing. Other times there’s a common radiation symbol that is easily recognized - it is magenta and yellow trefoil that’s very clear and easy to see. The radiation symbol is usually placed on the side, edge, or back of the fixture.

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