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Old 22-04-2021, 03:20   #76
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Originally Posted by Jake Longhorn View Post
... Most people including regulators are very uneducated* about smoke detectors. Household ionizing smoke detectors contain radioactive Americium-241...
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jake.

* Indeed - and bananas kill!

Ionization chamber smoke detectors do contain a very small amount of Americium-241 [source of alpha particles], which does expose people to about 1/100 of a millirem of radiation per year.
This is well below the natural background radiation level of about 360 millirems a year.

The U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements estimates that household smoke detector use causes a radiation dose of 9-50 nSv (nanosievert) per year.
To put this in perspective, the dose received from eating a banana is about 100 nSv, the dose of a typical person in the U.S. from natural and manmade background sources is about 3.6 mSv per year, and a lethal full-body dose is about 5 Sv.
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Old 22-04-2021, 03:45   #77
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jake.

* Indeed - and bananas kill!

Ionization chamber smoke detectors do contain a very small amount of Americium-241 [source of alpha particles], which does expose people to about 1/100 of a millirem of radiation per year.
This is well below the natural background radiation level of about 360 millirems a year.

The U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements estimates that household smoke detector use causes a radiation dose of 9-50 nSv (nanosievert) per year.
To put this in perspective, the dose received from eating a banana is about 100 nSv, the dose of a typical person in the U.S. from natural and manmade background sources is about 3.6 mSv per year, and a lethal full-body dose is about 5 Sv.
Quite so. Perspective is important. There are a hundred things in the average house, or the average boat, far more likely to cause problems than the really rather remote chance of my somehow ingesting the works of my el-cheapo smoke detector. For example, whilst it's rather less likely these days, anyone who's ever changed the mantle of a pressure lantern and not thoroughly scrubbed their hands will also have ingested a quantity of alpha emitting material (seriously, point a geiger counter at one from close range and listen to that squeal). Or, for something a little more likely, for boaties spending a lot of time outdoors, the biggest radiation risk by far is that big yellow thing in the sky. Whilst I haven't got figures to hand, I suspect that if you've ever had even a mild sunburn you're orders of magnitude more likely to develop a potentially dangerous cancer from it than you are from a lifetime of exposure to smoke alarms. And we've probably all copped a sunburn at some point.
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Old 22-04-2021, 16:39   #78
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

Yeah, I am not saying this is a major issue, just one that is avoidable. I would also not use old lantern mantels. I do eat bananas, some radioactive K-40 stays in our body all the time, regardless is we consume more. Insoluble Americium 241 oxide is different. Even in nanograms it should be avoided in situations where their is a fire, or harsh environment.

I like to relax when on the water and in my home. Back to the original question. Are Smoke Alarm Home Units Suitable on Boats? Yes, but get the photoelectric detectors.
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Old 22-04-2021, 16:57   #79
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Jake, you speak with much authority, do you have a background in this subject or is this all sourced from wikipedia/social media and similar sources?
I guess I'll ask again.
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