Homer Laughlin Radioactive Red Video

There was a time when Homer Laughlin china contained lead in it’s glaze. The pieces have been lead and cadmium free for years but the question still comes up because of the history and because China continues to put lead in the china that they make and ship to the US.

hi this is a brief video on vintage radioactive dishes  we frequently refer to as radioactive red Fiestaware.  Homer Laughlin china was first introduced in 1936 and is in production today and offers many colors and has been popular throughout the years.  Here we have a vintage radioactive red plate purchased on eBay and made between 1936 to 1943.  Fiesta red was produced using uranium oxide in the glaze. Estimates are the red glaze dinner plates equalled roughly four grams of uranium 238 1959 to 1969 Fiesta red was produced using depleted ringgit uranium 1969 to 1973.
Red fiesta ironstone was produced using depleted uranium after 1973 the use of uranium oxide in the glaze was discontinued to measure the radioactivity of this sample or Fiestaware plate we’re going to use a
civil defense Geiger counter this is a model 700 B and is one of the more
sensitive of the civil defense air or Geiger counters actually I believe it is
the the most sensitive what we’ve done is replace the standard probe with a
pancake probe and this probe has the advantage of being able to measure alpha particles in addition to gamma and beta the original probe with the Geiger counter would only measure gamma and beta what we’re going to do is turn the Geiger counter on and we’re going to get a background count
the meter scale that you’re looking at on 1x is zero to 300 counts per minute.
It appears from the reading that the background radiation is around 60 counts per minute 6070 in that area we’re going to introduce the plate.  I’m going to hold the probe a few feet above the plate and as you can see the needle is already pinned on 300 counts per minute and we’re going to change to the 10x scale which would now give us a full scale of 300 counts at 3000 counts per minute.  As you can see as I come in with a probe scale pegged again we’re going to go 2 times 100 this now gives us a full scale of 30,000 counts per minute.  As you can see with about twenty seven thousand five hundred counts per minute and if I move the probe just away
from the plate it stops and it goes back close to ambient.
It should be noted that the plate itself is not radioactive it’s the glaze that’s used on the plate that is radioactive the radioactive levels of the earlier fester wear are not dangerous it’s not dangerous to store in your house it’s not dangerous to handle I probably wouldn’t eat off the plate just simply because acidic foods like spaghetti salad dressings etc could potentially leached the uranium from the glaze and you definitely don’t want to ingest uranium so I guess we will have to call this plate radioactive thank you for watching the video.
  • Dexter Feyh says:

    This topic was very informative and well written. I plan to do some more research on this. Thanks for sharing this timely information. We need more like this.

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