Jessup Manufacturing Company's Glo Brite Eco Exit photoluminescent sign line is increasingly being used by building owners as a safe, energy-efficient alternative to radioactive tritium technology.
Tritium, a hydrogen isotope in gas form that emits radiation in the form of beta rays, has long been the subject of scrutiny in government and retail groups. Due to its volatility, each tritium radioactive exit sign has its own registration number submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) with seller and user identification.
Tritium signs that are damaged or incorrectly disposed of can lead to NRC incident reports requiring corrective action. During the first six months of the year, there were at least eight NRC incident reports involving damaged or missing tritium signs. On their own accord, a large U.S.-based retailer has switched to Eco Exit(TM) signs for new store construction as well as retrofit changes in all existing stores and distribution centers well before the expiration date of the installed tritium signs
"Retailers can't afford the liability," says Al Carlson, vice president marketing support and business development for Jessup. "We've seen stores where tritium signs were damaged by a fork lift and just left on the retail shelf. It's not only a safety concern, but the paperwork required for tritium signs adds to the administrative costs for a business."
The registration number for a tritium sign is kept on file until the sign is collected and disposed of properly by licensed hazardous material handlers. The logistics and expense associated with disposal can be costly for a business. In some cases, damaged tritium signs have been thrown into the buildings' waste bins only to have the FBI and hazardous material authorities investigate their whereabouts, leading to incident reports and other corrective actions.
The city of Berkley, Cal., the state of New Jersey and the U.S. Department of Defense have all prohibited the use of tritium exit signs. For additional information about tritium hazards, visit the NRC website, http://www.nrc.gov.
Due to the volatility in producing tritium powered exit signs, some manufacturers have been forced to shut down operations for contamination citations. There are no longer any U.S. manufacturers because of the environmental impact. The one tritium exit sign company left in North American is located in Canada and has routinely been forced to close its operations because of environmental citations.
According to the Federal Energy Management Program, the best available exit sign product uses photoluminescent technology. Jessup, the market leader in photoluminescent technology and innovation, has applied ten years of research and development into producing zero energy, environmentally-friendly Eco Exit(TM) signs. The signs store the power of ambient light, so they are safe and do not use any additional energy like electrical exit signs.
"Ecologically, there's nothing more green. Economically, they have no maintenance or electrical costs," says Carlson. "With no wiring to run, bulbs and batteries to replace or radioactive properties to manage, our new Glo Brite(R) Eco Exit(TM) line offers the easiest to install, least expensive and most ecologically friendly exit signs on the market today."
As buildings aim for greener operations, exit signs are an easy step in reducing carbon footprints. A building with 100 Eco Exit(TM) signs can save as much as $3,500 a year in energy costs and reduce air pollution by almost a half a million pounds of carbon dioxide compared with electrical signs over the life of the product. Eco Exit(TM) signs are UL 924 Listed and non-toxic so there is no disposal issues common with tritium signs that utilize radioactive materials.
With its momentum continuing to build, Eco Exit(TM) technology is clearly the leader in eco-friendly, economically priced exit signage. "This is the most advanced technology with the highest value to the customer," says Carlson. "There is no advantage to specifying tritium or electrical exit signs in any building today."