Recently when cleaning, I opened the cover of our ionisation smoke detector and as I was touching all around the inside of the smoke detector with my bare hands and most importantly including all the sides of the ionization chamber with the radiation symbol on it which contains the radiation, for around 5-6 minutes, have I:-
- Increased my risk of taking cancer now or in future from touching the outside of the ionization chamber with the radiation-would there have been a lot of exposure?
- By touching the ionization chamber (which is black on the outside-perhaps hard plastic) could I have loosened it in any way allowing the radiation to be exposed and to escape into the house? This is a big concern for me.
- Can the radiation easily become loose or fall out of the ionisation chamber?
- Would dust on my hands afterwards just have been household dust or was it from the radiation? More to the point does the decay of americium-241 produce dust
- As there are slats on the side of the ionisation chamber, could dust from the americium escape here?