Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive

Los Angeles orphaned source, 1979

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 26 October 2008

Date: 5 June 1979

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Type of event: lost source


A radiographer was worker at a temporary job site with a 28-curie iridium-192 industrial radiography source. When leaving the site, he failed to secure the camera and source. The source fell out of the camera and was picked up by a worker who did not know it was radioactive. This worker placed it in a hip pants pocket for 45 minutes before giving it to a plant manager. He incurred a 1.5 megarem surface dose (60,000 rem at 1 cm depth), requiring skin grafts to the buttocks, and a whole body dose of order 68 rem. Four other workers suffered localized radiation injuries to the hands, and 11 individuals were exposed altogether.

Consequences: 5 injuries.


© 2004, 2006, 2008 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 26 October 2008.
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