From: Mxsmanic on
Mxsmanic writes:

> The actual radioactivity of a polonium source after 20 years is 1/(2^53), or
> about
> 0.00000000000001.1624731 %

Rrr ... that's 0.000000000000011624731 %, without the extra decimal point.
From: scott nalter on
On Tue, 08 Jun 2010 11:40:40 +0200, Mxsmanic <mxsmanic(a)> wrote:

>It's best not to try to open the polonium source, though, and I recall that
>you weren't supposed to just throw it into the trash to discard it (also true
>of things like smoke detectors, which sometimes contain radioactive sources
>like americium). Unlike polonium, americium stays radioactive for the life of
>the product it's in (half-life over 400 years).

Without going to look this up and wading through tomes of websites, I have
to ask. Could one use the radioactive source from an old smoke-detector to
make an effective anti-static brush? Or are the particles emitted (and rate
of decay) by the americium unable to accomplish the task as effectively? I
was thinking that the americium from this readily available and often free
source might make a nice replacement for all those anti-static brushes that
have lost their "oomph", without having to pay an arm and a leg for yearly
polonium refills, for 400 years.

From: Bruce on
On Tue, 08 Jun 2010 11:51:09 +0100, Bruce <docnews2011(a)>
>I still have my original Zerostat and I still use it occasionally for
>film strips before scanning. Actually I *always* use it on the film
>strips, I only scan film occasionally these days. ;-)
>It is also very useful when loading negatives into the enlarger. But
>I don't suppose very many people subscribing here do that now ...
>The price for the new one seems high. New Zerostat pistols sell in
>the UK for no more than GBP 45.00 which is less than US $70.

Apologies, for a proper comparison I should have deducted UK Value
Added Tax (sales tax) which is included in the price. Without taxes,
the Zerostat costs no more than GBP 38.50 which is less than US $60.

The $100 price quoted therefore seems excessively high.

From: Peter on
"Savageduck" <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}> wrote in message

> Damn!
> You just reminded me. I have two of those brushes packed away with about
> 1500 LPs, turntable, speakers, a Marantz amp, a Denon amp, and plenty of
> dust.
> I haven't gone through any of that stuff in about 20 years.

My Marantz amp=pre amp just sits on a shelf, connected to nothing. At one
time I thought I would use it for TV surround sound, but current systems are
so good and so cheap, that it is not good for anything but an honorable


From: Peter on
"Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic(a)> wrote in message

> The actual radioactivity of a polonium source after 20 years is 1/(2^53),
> or
> about
> 0.00000000000001.1624731 %
> of the original level. It decades into lead, which is not radioactive. So
> after 20 years, a polonium source is no longer hazardous (and it is
> actually
> lead rather than polonium).

That would be two decades


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