Chances are that when you think of radioactive energy (like tritium), thoughts of mutation or nuclear explosions may occur. However, this is a myth. Just sit back and think about how the way that it’s used to diagnose and heal illnesses. For the sake of this blog, we’re going to point out how important of a role tritium plays in the emergency lighting area.
The next time you’re in a movie theater, school or stadium hallway or retail store, and glance upward as you depart through the doors. More than likely (if the business is in compliance), you’ll see an EXIT sign with either red or green lettering. Notice the lettering. If it’s glowing then pat yourself on the back because you can lay claim to noticing a Tritium Exit Sign!
Tritium (or Self-luminous) Exit Signs consist of this radioactive gas that’s hermetically sealed in glass tubes that gives off a wonderful glow. While in use, this radioactivity emits a “low-energy” brand of radiation, so it’s harmless. In other words, there’s no worry of being poisoned by these signs, as long as, they are sealed and used properly.
However, there is an expiration date that follows the Tritium Exit Sign. According to the National Regulatory Commission (NRC) , proper disposal is required once they have reached and exceeded their end date. There’s also a process for properly disposing these exit signs in order to avoid leakage of the gas. The NRC maintains the importance of this because if the glass gas tubes are damaged or broken, the risk of danger is heightened.
So, the lesson here is that, radioactive gas can aid in the safe and less stressed emergency escape - Just as long as it’s not exposed.
Now you’re to date!