Dr. Duane Doty shows visitors the energy levels of background radiation picked up by the Portable Radiation Detector made by Amptek seen on the desk in the middle at the Radiation Lab open house on Tuesday, April 28, 2014 at Live Oak Hall in Northridge, Calif. (Photo Credit: David J. Hawkins/Photo Editor)

NORTHRIDGE (CNS) — Think you may have radioactive pottery, ceramics or antique glassware in your home?

Cal State Northridge science students will let you know just how dangerous your cherished household items may be — and they’ll do it for free starting today, March 5.

As part of CSUN’s annual Nuclear Physics Laboratory open house at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, anyone may bring their suspect items to the campus for testing.

“People are excited and worried about radiation contamination,” said Duane Doty, a nuclear physics professor overseeing the project. “This is a great way to give students real-life experience working with material and educate the public.”

The free testing will be over the next three Thursday afternoons starting this week and then March 12 and March 19. Each session will be from 3 to 4 p.m. at Live Oak Hall, Room 1-1000 on the CSUN campus at 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge.

Doty said dangerous levels of radiation may be found in materials used to construct homes, such as bricks and collectable pottery and ceramics. Or even “antique glassware passed down for generations in your family.” A number of items in any home may technically be radioactive at low levels, but are not dangerous, such as smoke detectors, some foods and fertilizers.

“CSUN’s Nuclear Physics Laboratory has been operating for more than 25 years,” according to a school statement. “Physics students have conducted tests on numerous items, including rocks, smoke detectors, old plates and glassware. Based on the tests, they are able to tell how dangerous the objects are and quantify them to create a safer surrounding.”

Anyone having questions about the testing project may contact Doty atddoty@csun.edu or call (818) 677-3362.

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