What is an Atomic Exit Sign?

atomic energy exit signA traditionally popular luminescent, or glow in the dark exit sign, contains a radioactive gas called tritium. Therefore, in essence, tritium exit signs are considered atomic exit signs, and should be considered dangerous, even though some companies still selling these types of exit signs would have you believe the signs pose little to no threat to public health and safety or security.

Tritium is defined as being a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. When infused in exit signs, the gas is contained in sealed glass tubes lined with a light-emitting compound. The tritium gas emits radiation that causes the lining to glow. Defenders of using tritium exit signs will tell you that this type of radiation cannot penetrate even a sheet of paper or clothing, and, if inhaled, will leave the body relatively quickly. Moreover, tritium gas is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Does the idea of inhaling radiation that should leave the body relatively quickly tickle your fancy? Didn’t think so. Furthermore, these sealed glass tubes have been known to easily break and rupture, even at the slightest movement or shake. All you have to do is watch or read the news to know how devastating a rupture, or even a minor disturbance in atomic energy can be to everything around it – plants, soil, water, and people – so why in the world would you want to use exit signs that are considered atomic in your building or structure?

The following will provide additional reasons as to why everyone should stay away from tritium laced exit signs, which are considered atomic exit signs:

  • Tritium exit signs must have a permanent warning label that mentions the use of tritium inside the exit sign, which will be the same three-bladed radiation warning symbol you can at nuclear and atomic power plants. In addition, the label will state “Caution-Radioactive Materials.” Why must it have this warning label? Simple, because tritium is a dangerous gas.
  • Both manufacturers and distributors of tritium exit signs must have a specific license in order to handle and sell these specific exit signs. Manufacturers and distributors have to apply for and receive a radioactive materials license from the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission), or an Agreement State. Any debate on whether tritium is truly an atomic exit sign is quashed due to the fact that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must be involved to get a license.
  • Tritium exit signs are required to have proper disposal protocol, because a damaged tritium exit sign could contaminate the immediate area and require cleanup. Manufacturers and distributors must notify purchasers of this requirement for tritium exit signs.

Please contact GloBrite Systems for an eco friendly, green alternative to hazardous and toxic tritium exit signs.

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