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What is Tritium?

What is Tritium?

Posted by XS Sights on Feb 17th 2021

Tritium is a beta-emitting radioactive isotope of hydrogen with a chemical symbol of H-3. Helium's chemical formula consists of one proton, and tritium's formula has two neutrons combined with one proton. This combination is unstable and continuously decays into a non-radioactive helium isotope. The half-life of tritium is 12 years.

The decaying process produces ionizing radiation known as a beta particle. The energy emitted from the ionizing radiation of tritium is among the lowest of any known substance that is classified as radioactive. It even occurs naturally in our atmosphere and will combine with moisture and fall to earth in the form of rain. Tritium has a very weak kinetic energy and will lose the ability to ionize in 6mm of air. In low volumes, tritium is so weak it cannot pass through the skin.

Tritium is a safe substance in low volume and regulated by the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC). The US NRC has strict rules on the use of tritium and requires extensive lab testing to gain approval for use.

When combined with a phosphor, tritium gas will emit low levels of light. It is always glowing but is so dim that the light emission won't be visible in a setting lit by a 60-watt light bulb. Most defensive shootings do not happen in complete darkness, nor do they take place in perfect lighting. They take place in between this broad-spectrum, making tritium the best self-illuminating light source for low- illuminating iron sights.

To learn more about the use of tritium, read our tritium vs fiber optic sight blog.

All XS Sights tritium products have been subjected to the US NRC's rigorous testing protocols and approved, they are also backed by XS Sights 12-Year Limited Lifetime Warranty.

About the Author:
XS Sights manufactures the fastest sights in any light. From concept and design to creation, XS utilizes tritium, photoluminescent materials, and 20+ years of sight manufacturing expertise to create highly visible and durable sights for personal defense, military, and hunting applications. Proudly made in U.S.A.