I think that they recommend a white undercoating so that the material will "charge" faster and, when returning the energy put into it as a glow, will reflect the portion of the glow directed down toward the surface the paint is on back out to the eye of the viewer. That white undercoating could actually double the intensity of the glow. I am still, however, curious as to how long one has to charge the paint up by exposure to light in order to get it to glow all night long as well as how bright the light must be.
With regard to radiation exposure, it is now known that ANY exposure to radiation increases one's risk of cancer. While it is true that any one BRIEF exposure is probably negligible, it is the CHRONIC exposure to MULTIPLE sources that concerns me. The genetic damage done to, say, one's thyroid during a dental X-ray in early youth will STILL be there decades later. Any further exposures will only add to the damage. Then there's the additional damage due to environmental sources such as radon gas and other isotopes in food, air, water, and building materials. While the damage from any one source might be neglible, the CUMULATIVE damage from all of them starts to become appreciable to the individuals as the decades pass.
To offset the effects of this cumulative lifetime damage, I have opted to do what I can to minimize my own personal exposure levels. I avoid medical radiation whenever possible. I also avoid exposure to any types of chemicals or food additives that are known or suspected of causing genetic damage. In this way, I hope to greatly reduce my personal risk of contracting CANCER or any of the other diseases and infirmities normally dismissed as the "natural" consequence of "old age".
I am of the opinion that a healthy human body is supposed to remain fully functional and robust to at least the age of 100. Sadly, in our contaminated, so-called "advanced" western culture, this is only rarely achieved. I am convinced that the sea of pollution, radiological and otherwise, we are obliged to live in is the main cause of about 99.99+% of all people not realizing their full life span and "health span" potential.
Each of us has to decide for ourselves how we wish the remainder of our lives to be spent. I have known many people in my life who had what I would refer to as "bad habits". Most of them are DEAD now and did not have pleasant endings. The ones who are still alive are in poor health. My chief goal is to make sure that I do not wind up like any of them did!
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