Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who Made That Radiation Symbol?

For hundreds of years, the image of a skull and crossbones was all we needed to communicate the concept of poison. That is, until we started experimenting with radioactive compounds. The symbol we commonly associate with radiation or radioactive materials was devised in late 1946 by an unspecified group of individuals working at the RADIATION LABORATORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY (now Berkeley Lab). At the time, the negative effects of radiation were only beginning to be understood well enough to warrant any kind of warning label. In fact, the symbol was originally intended only for local use at Berkeley, primarily in the form of hang tags (like the one above) and stickers. More>