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New radiation warning symbol

  1. Feb 16, 2007 #1
    The IAEA and ISO have introduced a new radiation warning symbol meant to be used on high activity Category 1, 2 and 3 radiation sources (which includes RTGs, irradiators, teletherapy, industrial radiography and well logging sources).

    From the IAEA press release:
    Most people will probably never see the new symbol, but I think if they do it definitely gives a much better impression of danger than just the classic symbol alone.

    IAEA press release
    New radiation symbol

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2007 #2
    <--------should change that symbol to red and people fleeing from posts

    Isn't the traditional symbol seeded enough into popular media (movies, tv shows, etc) that the average joe would assume it has to be synonymous with "don't go in here!" or "danger!"?
  4. Mar 1, 2007 #3
    Indeed, you'd have to be pretty dense to not realise that the old one was a warning sign for something, even if you didn't know what.
  5. Mar 1, 2007 #4
    I think the main idea is something that will be clear even 1000 years from now long after our collective memory is gone. I don't think our present signs are clear in that sense.
  6. Mar 1, 2007 #5
    The idea is that while the original trefoil symbol indicates the presence of radiation to most people, it doesn't convey any sense of how lethal the source might be. There have been more than several incidents in the recent past where someone has disassembled a high activity radioactive device to take it for scrap metal resulting in radiation induced deaths of many people. Either these people didn't know what the trefoil symbol stood for or didn't realize how much radioactivity was contained in the device they were disassembling. One of the more infamous incidents (but hardly the only one) was the Goiania incident.

    The trefoil symbol is easy for anybody with an education to recognize, but what about those others in the world who have access to little or no education?
  7. Mar 1, 2007 #6

    D H

    Staff: Mentor

    Here is what Keith Cowing at NASAWatch had to say about the new symbol:
    Personally, this symbol makes me think that big ceiling fans can send flaming arrows down to kill pirates and people crossing the street.
  8. Mar 7, 2007 #7


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    That's precisely what I was thinking! :tongue2:
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