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Thread: Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab toy lab set - photo

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    Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab toy lab set - photo

    Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab toy lab set. Considered one of the most dangerous toys ever made, the kit includes four glass jars containing radioactive uranium ore samples and another four low-level alpha, beta, and gamma radiation sources. About 5,000 were sold between 1950 and 1951.






    Previously:

    Manhattan Project scientist's A-bomb pin - photo
    SEAL SADM portable nuclear weapon - photo
    Goggles for nuclear bomber crews - photo
    The Gadget nuclear device - photo and video
    Starting a nuclear reactor - GIF

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    Duke_of_URL (Dec 18, 2020), nova_robotics (Dec 19, 2020), will52100 (Dec 18, 2020)

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    Supporting Member IntheGroove's Avatar
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    Exciting! Safe!

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    One way to clear the gene pool of budding nuclear engineer wannabes, brilliant strategy.They were EXPORTED .........Ohhhh you did not get the memo!!

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    As a retired health physicist and medical radiation safety officer, I feel comfortable in saying that claims of this toy being dangerous are more than a bit overblown. I was likely exposed to more risk of injury or death playing with my Gilbert American Flyer electric trains than I would have been playing with this.

    Jerry F.

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    Yeah worked in a radiation lab for a few months (fill in posn) years ago.

    Part of my job was to do radiation background checks twice a day around the lab. Naturally around the calibrators and safe where "substances" were kept the readings were a bit higher than the rest of the lab. Anything that was even remotely considered nasty in the safe had a wall of lead bricks around it.

    Mainly looking at Radon gas levels. Background reading was similar to when I took instrument outside on a sunny day and pointed it at the concrete.

    If I did testing with a calibrator I had to switch on the strobe outside to tell the world what I was doing. Never had any of those pesky management types dropping by to see what I was doing.

    I guess folk get the panics with stuff they have limited understanding of.

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    Jerry F (Dec 18, 2020)

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    Still fun to poke a stick at it though....

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    Jatt, Radon in high enough concentrations and inhaled for a long enough period can carry some risk. It depends on where you live, as it is a product of radioactive decay in the earth. Most of the time it collects in basements of houses in those areas, and all one has to do is open a window so the gas can escape.

    I am very curious about what instrument you were using to look at Radon gas levels since you say you could take it outside and point it at the concrete. The usual method is to collect the gas on activated charcoal for a couple of days and then look for the decay products which are much easier to detect than the gas itself. BTW, we inspected our labs regularly (unannounced) and the state inspectors inspected our program every other year (also unannounced). If you didn't see those pesky management types they may not have been doing their jobs.

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    Was followed up by the Documentary; "Why Does Johnny Glow?"

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    I used to do alpha particle testing in an electronics lab (hardened chips). Of course alpha doesn't penetrate plastic so I would carry the source in a plastic box in my pocket. Taking it out, opening the top (AWAY from anyone including me) and bringing it to a counter really upset visitors.

    I also have a tritium tube embedded in thick plastic on my keychain. I was showing it to a young scientist in training in Russia a couple of years ago, he was impressed to see it and realize it was perfectly safe.

    I wonder what the rules are about carrying radioactive substances internationally?



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    Last edited by jdurand; Dec 18, 2020 at 05:49 PM.

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