Jessup Photoluminescent Exit Signs Provide Safe Alternative to Tritium Signs

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McHenry, IL

Jessup Manufacturing Company offers building owners, architects and construction specifiers a complete line of Underwriters Laboratories UL 924-Listed photoluminescent exit signs that are non-toxic,
environmentally safe alternatives to tritium signs.

The drawbacks to tritium signs, which use radioactive gas to activate the light source, were reinforced in late January when the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission refused to renew the license allowing SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc. (SRBT) to process or use tritium for making signs. SRBT is the primary North American source for tritium used in this type of “glow-in-the-dark” emergency

In a press release announcing the SRBT decision on Jan. 31, the CNSC noted, “The Commission decided not to renew the operating license (sic) based on its opinion that SRBT will not make adequate provision for the protection of the environment when carrying out activities that include the processing of tritium.”

Environmentalists in Canada applauded the decision, according to news reports. The CNSC will permit the general possession, transfer, management, storage and disposal of nuclear substances that are part of the Class IB facility located in Pembroke, Ontario.

“As North America’s leading manufacturer of UL 924 Listed Exit Signs, we offer customers a wide range of styles and colors for these long-lasting signs that are activated by ambient light,” said Alan M. Carlson, vice president marketing support/business development for Jessup.

“We are consistently looking for opportunities to build our technology capabilities and production capacity;” he explained. “With our recent acquisition of General Vy-Coat LLC’s PVC photoluminescent manufacturing and capacity we have proven our commitment to customers and the photoluminescent industry. We continue to offer, ‘The Best Total Value’ through a combination of quality, price, availability and breath of product that no one else in the market can match.”

Berkley, CA replaced existing tritium exit signs in its public buildings with Jessup’s Glo Brite® UL 924 Listed Photoluminescent Exit Signs in March 2006.

“Concerns about tritium signs have been growing over the last 10 years, when an incident in New Jersey exposed some of the dangers of this material,” explained Carlson.

In the New Jersey incident, a tritium sign was broken in a psychiatric hospital, calling attention to the clean up and disposal problems involving the signs. Use of tritium
signs in the United States is controlled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which requires registration of the signs and limits the number that can be shipped at any one time.

Disposal for tritium exit signs can cost up to $100 per sign. Plus, because a tritium sign can last up to 25 years, users may not be aware that it is radioactive and requires
special handling, especially if building management or ownership has changed.

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