Radioactive Doohickies Found At Olympic Park

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 122 months ago
Radioactive Doohickies Found At Olympic Park
1019_olympic.jpg

Phosphatic rock. A radium-luminised gauge dial face. Radium paint. It sounds like an amateur nuclear hobbyist's shopping list, but these are just some of the scary-sounding radioactive materials found recently at the Olympic Park site in east London.

Contractors uncovered the objects whilst clearing a 100-year old waste tip near Stratford last month. A subsequent survey, ordered by the Olympic Delivery Authority, revealed "low level" contamination and hotspots of the highly poisonous heavy metal radium-226. However, the ODA stressed that there was no risk whatsoever to public health.

The site stands on the grounds of a former factory that produced radium paint, which was used to make 'glow in the dark' markings on aircraft dials and watches. It was banned in the Fifties after around 100 painters contracted radiation poisoning - so don't get any clever ideas about daubing it all over your body for Halloween

Image courtesy of diamond geezer's Flickrstream

Last Updated 19 October 2007

mjohnson

My Grandad used to have a compass painted with this stuff, he probably still does. It is much better than the glow in the dark stuff you get these days, which only glows for a short time after you turn the lights off. This stuff glows all the time. I always found it pretty impressive especially since it was radioactive.