Radioactive Antiques2021.01.29 ｜ Yuki Rea
This is a table containing uSv/hr and CPM readings of various antiques taken with my Geiger counter. Some glassware, electronics, clocks, and other antiques were made using materials such as uranium and radium for their interesting visual properties. These items were mostly produced before the general population knew the dangers of radiation. This page is meant to be a curiosity into the dangers of common household objects of years passed, and as a warning to anyone who may own some of the hotter pieces on this list.
Each piece is tested with a NetIO GC10 Geiger counter utilizing the Russian SMB-20 Geiger tube. The tube itself is housed in a custom plastic enclosure that holds the tube about 2mm above the surface of the item under test. The Geiger tube remains unshielded for all tests. Readings are taken over a 2 minute period, the fist minute is to let the CPM value stabilize. The second minute I begin taking 3 readings each 30 seconds apart, the 3 readings are then averaged. The background radiation level of the test area is measured at 0.194 uSv/hr or 32 CPM. Any reading below 40 CPM can be considered negligible over background radiation levels and within margin of error. While great accuracy is not necessary for these test, I like to standardize the process as much as possible. Please note that these readings are not a definitive measurement. Geiger counters and dosimeters will vary from device to device in their construction and calibration. Different individual samples of the same product can also have varying levels of radioactivity.
For more information about my Geiger counter, please go here: Custom 3D Printed NetIO GC10 Geiger Counter Case
Antique Radioactivity TableSorted Most > Least Radioactive
Click to enlarge images