Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 197, Issue 1, pp 195-202

First online:

Incorporation of tritium from wrist watches

  • F. SchönhoferAffiliated withFederal Institute for Food Control and Research
  • , K. PockAffiliated withFederal Institute for Food Control and Research

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Watches are consumer products and are subject to the regulations that control food and consumer products. Elevated concentrations of tritium were found in the urine of persons who wore wrist watches with luminous dials and plastic cases. High emissions of tritium from these watches were observed. In an experiment, a volunteer wore a watch with high emissions and the build up of the tritium concentration in urine was monitored, as well as the decline after removing the watch. Possible pathways for the incorporation and its mechanism are considered. In spite of the relatively high activity concentrations observed, the dose is negligible. On the other hand, the principle “ALARA” can be achieved without any costs by simply choosing other types of watches.