Radium Girls & Radiation in the Home

Book of the Radium Girls

Do You Have Radioactive Material in Your Home? The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History says you do. Come with us as I reminisce about when I was a geophysicist; while telling you the story of the Radium Girls. We will also look at some everyday household items that are radioactive. You won’t believe the radioactive dishware we found at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History on a visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico. See how to make glow-in-the-dark paint below.

Do not miss the video about the Radium Girls & Find Out
About Radiation in the Home

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How to Make Glow in the Dark Paint

You will want to do this when you are ready to paint. Because glow in the dark paints should be used immediately or within the hour. It can be stored. As long as you pour it into a seal-able container and be sure to stir it well before using it again.

  1. First you need glow in the dark or phosphorescent powder. You can find a variety of colors and particle sizes. You will find that the larger particles are brighter. This yields a rougher and speckled look. Where the smaller particles create a smoother paint. But they tend not to glow as brightly.
  2. Next you will need a paint medium. If you want it to be invisible in light, you will need a clear paint. Like an acrylic gel. Otherwise, choose an acrylic or tempera paint in a color of your choosing. When choosing paint here are some rules of thumb:
    • Water-based medium: you will need “coated glow powder” also known as “coated phosphorescent pigment.” Such as these
    • Solvent or oil-based mediums: you can use standard or uncollated glow powder.
  3. In bowl, add your phosphorescent powder. Use the ratio 1-part powder to 5-parts paint. For example, if you use 1 tablespoon of power. You should use 5 tablespoons of paint.
  4. Gradually add your paint into the bowl of powder. Carefully stir the mixture. You can add more paint if you need it thinner.
  5. Stir until the mixture is combined and no lumps remain. You will see that the power does not dissolve in the paint.

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