Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive
Setif orphaned source, 1978
compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 26 October 2008
5 May 1978
Type of event:
lost radiography source
A 25-curie iridium-192 source for industrial radiography was lost when it fell off a truck during transport. Two children, ages 3 and 7, found it and kept it for several days before giving it to their grandmother. She kept it in the kitchen of her house, additionally exposing four other family members. Radiation exposure was only identified by medical personnel 38 days after initial exposure. The grandmother died of radiation injuries including radiation burns and aplasia 53 days later. The two children received whole body doses of 100-140 rem, and localized doses required amputation of fingers and skin grafts. The four women, ages 14-20, developed radiation injuries; one woman suffered a miscarriage, and one developed thyroid cancer in 1994 and later breast cancer. All six survivors were alive in 2000.
1 fatality, 6 injuries (plus 1 fetal death).
- Biau, Alain, 2001, "Radiation protection of the workers in industrial radiography: the point of view of the regulatory body in France," on line, European ALARA Network [http://ean.cepn.asso.fr/pdf/program5/session%201/5_biau.PDF].
- Cosset, Jean Marc, 2002, "ESTRO Breur Gold Medal Award Lecture 2001: Irradiation accidents--lessons for oncology?," Radiotherapy and Oncology, 63:1-10.
- 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].
- 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].
- Weaver, J. Ellsworth III, 1995, "A brief chronology of radiation and protection," on line, The Radiation Information Network [http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/chrono4.htm].
© 2004-2007, 2008 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 26 October 2008.
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