Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Radium Infused Bubble Sextant
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2019 Dec 25, 12:06 -0500
    I agree with Frank, when he said:

    Generally, the radiation in small instruments, like old sextants, is not a serious issue, mostly because the total exposure time is quite low (unless you sleep with your sextant under your pillow). It depends on the amount of Radium, but if it's comparable to an old watch or clock face, you should be ok. 

    View and reply to this message

    I do have one very specific concern, which has not been addressed.  Ingestion.  Paint is not permanent.  It can and will degrade, producing dust.  The degradation is neither enhanced nor inhibited by the addition of radium.  As the radium infused dust moves about, it will migrate out of your instrument, onto your hands and then into your body.  One can argue that the amount is minuscule, yet no level of ingestion is safe.  

    So instead of keeping your radium safe in the garage, you store it in your liver.  Instead of under your pillow, its in your internal organs.  Keeping it in the garage is likely to enhance the dust and flake production, due to the unequal thermal coefficient of expansion of the metal the paint is applied to and the paint itself.

    What possible benefit do we derive from a radium containing sextant as opposed to one that is not so infused?  Risk v Reward:  what is the reward??  How is the radium an enhancement that cannot be obtained otherwise?

    In my view, this is the safest method: Far, far away from me.  Being reassured of your safety by some random science journalist for the NYT [we never make fun of science journalists] or a fellow correspondent on NavList may not be the best approach.  

    I won't keep radium in my house.  If you think it safe, keep it in yours.  


    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site