Radiological implications of the use of uranium in vaseline glass

S. J. Watson, J. S. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Uranium oxides have been used as colourants in glassware since the 19th century and this type of glass is commonly referred to as vaseline glass. There are many collectors of vaseline glass in the UK who obtain pieces from the UK antiques market or from abroad. Dose rate measurements were made for a number of items of vaseline glass, and the uranium content of one item was measured. Potential doses to collectors were considered, along with implications for trade and transport due to the uranium content of the glassware. It was concluded that generally items of vaseline glass could give rise to low skin doses from beta radiation, though frequent wearing of necklaces made from vaseline glass may lead to doses in excess of the HPA (Health Protection Agency) dose criterion for consumer products that are not related to safety. Registration under the Radioactive Substances Act will not be required and almost all items of vaseline glass should be suitable for sending through the Royal Mail. For those items not accepted by Royal Mail, it is understood that the transport regulations for radioactive materials would not apply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-544
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


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