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New Symbol to Warn Public About Radiation Dangers

Categories: Logo Design News
Written By: Nora Reed

New Symbol to Warn Public About Radiation Dangers

There existed a need for a new radiation logo that inherently tell anyone, whether a child or an uneducated person or an educated person, the dangers of being close to harmful radiating objects. Every year, many people get injured or killed by large source of radiations because they don’t understand what the three cornered trefoil (the international radiation logo) means. Thus, people dissemble and take-off the trefoil from objects that generate hazardous radiations, which then results in fatal accidents when closely encountered with them.

In order to reduce the numerous deaths and fatal injuries from accidental exposure to large radioactive sources, the International Atomic and Energy Agency (IAEA) along with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed a new radiation logo that clearly educates the masses about the risks of being close to radiations.

In 2001, IAEA and ISO employed human factor experts, graphic artists, and radiation protection experts to come up with a new radiation logo that inherently convey the dangerous aspects of harmful radiations. All of radiation logo designs were taken to an international school where pre-school children were asked to comment on the design samples. Interestingly, this phase in the creation of the new radiation logo was very useful for the designers. For the children, the color red signifies danger whereas yellow implies only caution. Moreover, the trefoil logo resembled a propeller for those kids and thus did not provide the indication of danger. This led to the formation of the new radiation logo with a red colored background featuring radiating waves, a skull and bones and a running person. According to Carolyn Mac Kenzie, an IAEA radiation specialist who helped develop the symbol, the new radiation logo means ‘you are in danger; stop and run away’. The new radiation logo was tested internationally by the Gallup Institute on a total of 1,650 individuals in Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ukraine and the United States, where majority of people understood the concept of the radiation logo.

The new radiation logo is intended for IAEA Category 1, 2 and 3 sources which are capable of resulting in death and serious injuries. However, this radaition logo is only a supplementary logo for better communicating the message of radiation warning. The original three cornered trefoil logo is still the official radiation logo of the IAEA and international community.Currently, strategies are being employed to implement the new radiation logo on already exisiting and new large radioactive sources.

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2 Responses to “New Symbol to Warn Public About Radiation Dangers”

  1. UnderNewYork Says:


    I once saw a radioactive warning ( I believe for Yuka Mountain ) which is supposed to warn future generations and or aliens that the is not good to eat from and that there is radioactive elements present. Does anyone know where I can find this symbols or picture. It had a picture a being eating from a tree and then that being dying in the next panel, etc.

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