Our Nation is in the best of hands - education department

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This from an antique radio forum:

Vacuum Tube Dangers
I'm a high school students who was suspended yesterday for bringing a box of vacuum tubes - mostly small triodes - to school. I was told that vacuum tubes are toxic and would explode if they are dropped. I was told that there are strict EPA regulations regarding vacuum tubes. I was also told there was cadmium and other hazardous, toxic, heavy metals present in vacuum tubes, as well as being told that there was a vague poisonous gas present in vacuum tubes, which seems very contradictory, because vacuum tubes are, well, vacuums. I was told that you must be a qualified and licensed technician to handle and replace vacuum tubes. It seems now that the entire school administration and the students fear that I've brought toxic explosives to school, when in reality, I just brought, what to me, were harmless vacuum tubes, mostly small triodes, to show one of my friends. I've repaired phonographs, worked in old televisions, tape recorders, and the like, and have, as a result, collected many old vacuum tubes. I grew familiar and well-acquainted with them, studied them electrically, physically, and historically, and have never learned or been alerted of these hazardous claims. Have I been ignorant by having risked my health and safety by working with vacuum tubes? Have I risked and compromised the health and safety of my school by exposing them to these vacuum tubes and their potentially explosive and toxic qualities? Are vacuum tubes really this dangerous, especially in a high school? Or, has the school administration been ignorant in their knowledge and judgment of vacuum tubes? Am I being wrongly troubled by the school for something harmless and innocent? Please, can somebody explain to me the dangers and safety of vacuum tubes, and clarify the claims above?

Thank you so much.

Good Lord - the stupidity of the school administrators! IT BURNS!!!

Most generic Vacuum tubes have no cadmium, hazardous toxic or otherwise "heavy metals". The shiny part is barium which is pretty benign - it is used as a medical dye for  imaging. They can implode if dropped but the only danger is a small amount of broken glass. The only training or qualifications needed are for those people working on broadcast transmitters where interference with other radio services could be an issue.

There is this graph again:

 

cato_education.jpg

 

I bet that there is a better vacuum in the cranial cavity of the school administrators then was ever in those tubes. Also, the fluorescent tubes buzzing above their heads have much more mercury than any of the so-called dangerous tubes (mercury was used in tubes to convert AC to DC until silicon rectifiers became available.

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