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  • Is uranium legal to own?
    Yes, uranium is legal to own. NRC regulation state that any individual is exempt from licensing if the source material is in natural quantities.
  • Is uranium dangerous?
    Uranium is a mildly radioactive heavy metal. The radiation coming from natural uranium is a mix of alpha, beta and gamma radiation. It might cause a health hazard if one was to ingest a large portion of uranium or breath in dust from the ore samples. Handling the ore samples with gloves is recomended.
  • Are items that have uranium added to them dangerous?
    No, the level of radiation coming from uranium glass is very low. The level of radiation coming from ceramics with uranium glazes can be much higher than glassware but they are still safe to handle. A person could use these items as they were intended but we personally do not recommend that as small amounts of uranium could be ingested over time, which could have adverse health effects on the person. Our recommendation is to treat these items as collection pieces which can be on display.
  • How can I safely store uranium ore, uranium glass and uranium glazed ceramics?"
    Uranium ore can be safely stored in a container such as a display case or a sample jar. Radiation will still be detected from a Geiger counter because uranium ore has a couple different isotopes mixed in with it from the uranium decay chain that emit a small amount of gamma radiation. Because uranium ore has a tiny bit of natural radium mixed in, the ore will emit radon gas. If that is a concern you can keep the sample sealed in a container or have in an area that has good air circulation. The level of radon gas is very minimal and harmless. Uranium glass and ceramics that have used uranium in the glazes can be safely displayed in a glass or plastic display case. Glass and plastic will block most of the alpha and beta radiation coming from these items.
  • How radioactive are the uranium ore samples and the other uranium items?
    The radioactivity is measured in CPM (counts per minute). Its the rate at which energy emited from radioactive decay is measured. Everytime a decay happens in a radioactive element a particle is emitted. This can be in the form of alpha, beta or gamma radiation. The reading in CPM is a combination of all these particles hitting the detector and added together. With some items gamma measurements will be made and posted with the item.
  • How is the radioactivity of items measured?
    First items are found out in the field using a Radeye B20 detector. During cataloging we use the Radeye B20 again along with a Ludlum Model 14 with a 44-9 pancake probe to verify readings from two different sources. Each items CPM (counts per minute) is a combination of three different types of radiation...alpha, beta and gamma. Measurements are taken from surface of item.
  • What Geiger counter should I get to have similar readings from objects listed?
    The Geiger counter should be equiped with a pancake style detector. A good budget friendly one is the Ludlum Model 3 with a 44-9 probe. These can be found on bidding sites used for a couple hundred dollars. Or you can buy one new directly from Ludlum. Other cheaper Geiger counters that only use a Geiger Muller tube will not give you the readings that were documented with the object as most can't see alpha radiation or low energy betas. Also the surface area is much lower with the GM tubes, which will give you a lower reading.
  • What kind of UV light should I have to get the same results as pictured.
    A strong UV-A light at 365nm is recomended. The stonger the light and closer the light frequency is to 365nm the better.


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