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Attention Owners: Type F & Type AM Metascopes

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sleeplessnashadow View Drop Down
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    Posted: Mar 22 2020 at 12:04am
In regards to radiation levels I've examined 4 Type AM metascopes. Recently I was able to examine a Type F metascope, the first I've examined.

Explaining the readings from a Geiger counter can get confusing. Particularly when trying to equate those readings to safe and various degrees of unsafe. See my prior post on these two metascopes for links to reliable reference sources. A disclaimer: I'm no expert on this subject. If you see something here that is incorrect please let us know.

This is a nutshell version with the intent of conveying a general concept and soliciting your help.

Of most importance and the reason for this post .... radiation levels from the Type F metascope I examined recently were far greater than the 4 Type AM metascopes I've examined. The "safe" distance with each of the 4 Type AM's individually was 18" (12" was in the safe level, but being cautious here). Having more than one Type AM the radiation levels were additive. Meaning 36" for two together. The "safe" distance with the single Type F metascope was 6 feet. Why so much greater than the Type AM I don't know. I have not found info on how much radium was used in either device. The type of radiation detected and measured was gamma radiation.

I don't know if every Type F has this level of radiation. I've only examined the one. I'm hoping others will get access to a Geiger counter, learn how to use it, and share what they learn so we can determine consistencies and/or inconsistencies.

For the moment,  if you own a Type F metascope it would be very wise to have it no closer than 6 feet to any human or animal. It may require more distance as we have yet to determine if the readings are consistent with all Type F metascopes.

A bit about Geiger counters....

The Geiger counter I have is the GQ GMC300EPlus. Purchased on Amazon. Currently selling for $75. It detects x-ray, beta, and gamma radiation. It does not detect alpha radiation. The Geiger counters that also detect alpha are more expensive. However, if beta radiation from radium is present you can assume alpha radiation is also present.Keep reading.

Alpha and beta radiation are physical particles. If your scope is sealed these should be contained inside. If exposed to the environment outside the metascope these particles can contaminate items they are exposed too.  Beta radiation is highly dangerous as it is easily absorbed thru human skin and will remain in the body. With a half life of 1600 years.

Gamma radiation is a wave length. Meaning it goes through most everything. There are several substances that can block it to various degrees (see below). Gamma radiation doesn't transfer to items around it.

The Geiger counter I have doesn't separate or identify x-ray vs beta vs gamma. I don't know if such devices exist but if they do I suspect they are far more expensive. Since gamma doesn't contaminate items around it I separated the boxes, packing, cases and/or all possibilities from the metascopes and examined them for radiation. I found none. Indicating the radiation previously detected was gamma.

The two things that will protect us from radiation are keeping a safe distance and the eliminating or minimizing the amount of time we are exposed to it.

As mentioned above, there are a few substances that will block gamma radiation to varying degrees, depending on the amount of radiation and the thickness of the substance. Lead is often the first thing that comes to mind. But the amount of lead it would take to block the gamma radiation from these metascopes is weight prohibitive with lead having it's own dangers. A lead weighted X-Ray lab technicians coat was of little value with these metascopes. The containers used to transport radium safely are designed for transporting small amounts. They are cost prohibitive and too small for the entire metascope.

Water is very effective at blocking gamma radiation. I've used 1 gallon water jugs and 24 packs of 16 oz bottled water. Water jugs 360 degrees around one Type AM metascope the safe distance was a few inches from the water jugs. With the Type F I used 24 16 oz water bottle packs. At 4 bottles deep the safe distance was 4-5 feet. So add water thickness and distance accordingly.

Again, the purpose of this post is to advise you of what I found with the Type F Metascope so you can take safety precautions. Also to solicit your assistance in sharing whatever information you can regarding the safe distances for the Type F Metascope(s) you own. Which requires a Geiger counter you can buy or borrow (mine is already on loan).

Keeping in mind the CDC protocol for radiation exposure is ANY exposure is unsafe given our bodies accumulate the damage over time. You can share the Geiger counter readings at various distances but of more value is the minimum distance the radiation is equivalent to the ambient radiation readings without the metascope. That distance is a good clue as to how dangerous the level of radiation is.

If someone knows of a laboratory that can and will separate the radium from the metascopes and arrange for it's safe and proper disposal please let us know.

Thanks much


Type AM Metascope

Type F Metascope

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