POLONIUM 210 (ALPHA PARTICLE): 0.1 uCi or 3.7 kBq (+/- 1)
Some years ago, Americium 235 was the normal Alpha source used in the classroom. This product is now banned from being used as an Alpha source, however it is used in millions of domestic smoke detectors. The replacement is POLONIUM 210 which has a very short half-life of 135 days. NOTE: About 18 months after purchase, the item is useless for experiments. Therefore we normally do not carry stocks of this item.
The school grade radioactive sources are mounted in a 25mm diam. x 5mm thick plastic disc with the symbol printed. Although radioactivity level is very low, the sources should not be carried around for long periods or placed in pockets of clothing against one’s body.
CAUTION TO BE FOLLOWED:
These school grade radioactive sources have a very low level of activity and do not require licensing, however they should be handled with care. The following rules should be followed:
• Unnecessary handling of sources should be avoided. Do not place into pockets of clothing or carry bags etc..
• As general practice, radioactive sources should always be handled with tongs or forceps to keep them at least 30cm away from user.
• Handle the alpha source with special care to avoid damage to the fragile metallic coating over the material.
• For Alpha sources, a thin aluminium sheet provides sufficient absorption.
• For Beta sources, about 4 to 6mm thick lead is required for full absorption.
• For Gamma sources, 25mm thick lead is required to absorb 80% of the radiation.