Police arrests couple for selling radioactive cell phone lanyards

Japanese people love cell phone straps in all forms and colors, even old men do. However, some of them might be in serious trouble now.

Yesterday Japanese police arrested a man and a woman from Hiroshima for selling cell phone straps contaminated with tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Japanese law requires special permission from the Ministry of Science and Technology for handling the substance.

The lanyards were contaminated with an amount of tritium 26 times that of the allowable level. The couple bought the radioactive material in the UK and processed it to manufacture the straps. Advertised with messages such as “Buy cell phone straps that can glow longer than 10 years!”, they were then sold online for prices between $47 and $61.

According to police, the pair sold 2,600 to 2,700 units and managed to rake in $160,000 in revenues over 3.5 years.

Via Yomiuri Shimbun [JP]