Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive
Mexico City orphaned source, 1962
compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 26 October 2008
21 March-August 1962
Mexico City, Mexico
Type of event:
lost radiography source
In March 1962 a 10-year-old boy discovered a 5-Ci cobalt-60 industrial radiography source, not in its shielded container. The boy carried the source in a pocket for several days, then it was placed in a kitchen cabinet in his home. Four family members died of resulting radiation sickness: the boy died 29 April (day 38), his mother on 19 July, his 2-year-old sister on 18 August, and his grandmother on 15 October. Radiation exposure was not identified as the cause of the deaths until July-August. The father survived with lesser symptoms. Estimated doses for the four who died were 4,700-5,200 rad, 3,500 rad, 3,000 rad, and 2,870 rad; dose to the father was about 990-1,200 rad.
4 fatalities, 1 injury.
- IAEA, 1988, The Radiological Accident in Goiania, IAEA (Vienna, Austria), on line at IAEA [http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub815_web.pdf].
- Molecular Biology Working Group, 27 August 1969, "Radiation sickness or death caused by surreptitious administration of ionizing radiation to an individual," on line at Mindfully.org [http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/Surreptitious-Radiation-Administration.htm].
- Mould, R. F., 2000, Chernobyl Record: The Definitive History of the Chernobyl Catastrophe, Institute of Physics Publ. (Bristol, UK).
- Nenot, J.-C., 2002, "Second Henri Jammet Memorial Lecture. Radiation accidents--an overview and feedback, 1950-2000," in 8th Coordination Meeting of World Health Organization Collaborating Centres in Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network, REMPAN, WHO [http://www.helid.desastres.net/?e=d-000who--000--1-0--010---4-----0--0-10l--11en-5000---50-about-0---01131-001-110utfZz-8-0-0&a=d&cl=CL1.6&d=Js2993e.4].
- Ortiz, P., M. Oresegun, and J. Wheatley, 2000, "Lessons from major radiation accidents," on line, Internationl Radiation Protection Association [http://www.irpa.net/irpa10/cdrom/00140.pdf].
- Smith, H., 1983, "Dose-effect relationships for early response to total body irradiation," Journal of the Society for Radiological Protection, 3:5-10.
© 2004-2007, 2008 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 26 October 2008.
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