Household Hazardous Waste
This item should never be put in a curbside bin. For more information visit our household hazardous waste page.
Tritium is a radioactive gas found in nature that can also be produced in a nuclear reaction. It emits ionizing radiation (low energy beta particles) that can produce light by interaction with a phosphor on the inside of the glass tubing of an exit sign. The tritium will lose half of its energy in about twelve years resulting in a significant decrease in the light output from the exit sign. Tritium exit signs can be useful because they require no electrical power or maintenance for many years.
Permanent warning label will mention tritium, 3H or H-3, display the three-bladed radiation warning symbol, and state "Caution-Radioactive Materials." Click here for information on identification and handling. Tritium exit signs cannot be disposed of in the ordinary trash or given to another individual not specifically licensed by the CDPH or Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Persons installing and removing exit signs should take caution to minimize their exposure in the event the glass tubes are broken.
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