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How toxic is strontium 90 (lab use)?

  1. May 24, 2012 #1
    Out of curiosity and maybe needless concern, how toxic is strontium-90? I was working with some plastic poker-chip like samples containing sr-90 for a lab class, and I just really don't like the prospect of exposing myself to radiation otherwise avoidable?

    Edit: Oh and the same about cobalt-60?
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    If you were to break open the chip and ingest the material it would not be good.

    Of course, the same thing can be said for batteries.
  4. May 24, 2012 #3
    Are your affairs in order? Not because of that sample, but because any of us can get hit by a meteor at any time. As for the sample, don't worry about it. It's too late. I mean, we don't know what the actual radiation level was, and you wouldn't want to bet your life on those so- called facts anyway, would you. So just enjoy every moment that you can. Call everyone on your contact list and tell them you love them. That red sports car (or oscilloscope) that you always wanted, buy it today. Not that you're sick, but consumer spending is supposed to be good for the economy. So relax and enjoy yourself. Just don't buy any green bananas.
  5. May 24, 2012 #4


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    How many curies are the sources? Typically those types of plastic lab sources used for educational purposes contain such minute quantities as to be completely harmless.
  6. May 24, 2012 #5
    Sources used in classrooms are usually exempt sources, which for Sr-90 is 100 nCi and Co-60 1 uCi. Ant professor who allows students to handle non-exempt sources without appropriate radiation safey training is in violation of the RAM license (at least as far as the US is concerned).

    Exempt sources are those that are of such low activity that they do not pose an unreasonable risk to the public (in other words, you could order one from the manufacturer without a RAM license).
  7. May 24, 2012 #6
    That's evil..
  8. May 25, 2012 #7
    I know its probably so little danger, thanks for the responses, cept for you BobHamilton.
  9. May 25, 2012 #8
    OK. I am Sorry! I was tired. I'll try again. Here is a link with some good info.
    (The program would not let me include the link until I have 10 posts, so I'll write out everything http colon slash slash epa dot gov slash rpdweb00 slash radionuclides slash strontium dot html)
    Most of my previous answer was correct, wasn't it? Worrying about some things is many times worse than the actual danger they present. But of course you were correct to at least double check to learn what you were dealing with. So you can go ahead and buy green bananas for a very long time. Inshallah.
  10. May 25, 2012 #9
    Oh alright! I like your input too Bob, Thank you for the link :)
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