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Old 09-29-2019, 10:33 AM
 
88 posts, read 44,758 times
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Smoke detectors contain Americium-241 in tiny doses (0.9 microcuries). I've heard that they are mostly inert when held on the skin and the alpha/beta/gamma radiation is not readily absorbed however if you were to inhale 50 ground pellets of americium, what would happen?
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:22 PM
 
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You would either turn into Captain America or a werewolf.

You don't want to know what would happen if you ground up a granite countertop and sniffed it like cocaine.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:16 AM
 
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https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q7445.html

"NUREG-1717 evaluated several scenarios: (1) a residential fire involving two smoke detectors, (2) a transportation fire involving a typical shipment of 7,200 smoke detectors, and (3) a manufacturer's warehouse fire involving 36,000 smoke detectors (which was also used to assess the potential health effects if these devices were used as a radioactive dispersal device). Even in the latter case, for a firefighter wearing a respirator at this warehouse fire, the individual dose from 36,000 smoke detectors was estimated to be about 3 microGray (still a fraction of what we receive daily from natural background radiation). Remember we each receive about 10 microSv per day of natural environmental background radiation, an extremely low amount relative to the natural environmental radiation around us."

I think you'd be fine. Or turn into a werewolf. Depends on the phase of the moon I guess.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Mars City
7,559 posts, read 3,972,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticseas View Post
Smoke detectors contain Americium-241 in tiny doses (0.9 microcuries). I've heard that they are mostly inert when held on the skin and the alpha/beta/gamma radiation is not readily absorbed however if you were to inhale 50 ground pellets of americium, what would happen?
Are you talking about rubbing dozens of smoke detectors on your skin?

As to what would happen, why don't you try it and get back to us? LOL
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:54 PM
 
Location: King County, WA
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The radiation exposure from smoke detectors is about 1/100 of a millirem per year.

Airline pilots get an annual exposure of 500 millirem per year.

You probably get more exposure from the radon gas trapped in your house. Unless you grind up the detector and swallow it, of course.

https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiat...ily-lives.html
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Maryland
2,278 posts, read 1,131,488 times
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^^^

This. Radon should be more of a concern. One of our neighbors was VERY high and had to install a remediation system. We’ve had ours checked twice by two different companies and our levels are negligible but our home did have a passive radon remediation system installed when it was built, probably because the foundation sits in a pocket of rock they had to blast out so they figured it was a smart precaution I guess.
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Old 10-02-2019, 04:40 AM
 
14,386 posts, read 7,993,503 times
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Originally Posted by LesLucid View Post
^^^

This. Radon should be more of a concern. One of our neighbors was VERY high and had to install a remediation system. We’ve had ours checked twice by two different companies and our levels are negligible but our home did have a passive radon remediation system installed when it was built, probably because the foundation sits in a pocket of rock they had to blast out so they figured it was a smart precaution I guess.
Curious - how high was the level?

I put in a remediation system as my level was just above the EPA level of 4.0, but that was more for piece of mind than any worry about cancer.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
Curious - how high was the level?

I put in a remediation system as my level was just above the EPA level of 4.0, but that was more for piece of mind than any worry about cancer.
One was 400+ just down the road. The guy doing the work said the highest he had seen was a house about 15 miles away that read 1,200+.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LesLucid View Post
One was 400+ just down the road. The guy doing the work said the highest he had seen was a house about 15 miles away that read 1,200+.
400 pCi/L (where 4 is the EPA action level)?

Or 400 Bq/m3 which is a bit more than 10 pCi/L?

If it's in pCi/L that's insane.

** Edit ** I looked it up and there are areas with 600, 800, more. Wow.

In retrospect the difference between 4 and say 3 is miniscule.
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