Tritium (3H or T) is an isotope of hydrogen that can be found in nature, in water and cosmic rays. It has radioactive properties making it fit for a variety of uses, from nuclear research to watch and rifle production.
Tritium has three times the mass of a regular hydrogen nucleous and a half-life of 12.32 years. It can be found in nature or can be generated as a result of bombing hydrogen in a nuclear reactor.
Tritium is dissolved to make nuclear weapons, plastic watches, and self-illuminating consumer products. Researchers use tritium as a radioactive tracer of cells or organs. Tritium is also used in as a fuel in neutron generators, fusion reactors, and nuclear tests.
The radioactive beta emissions of tritium cannot penetrate the human skin. However, small doses of tritium particles may be inhaled or ingested, leading to the development of cancer.