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

Taiwan radiological poisoning, 1996

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 2 July 2004

Date: 1 October 1994-15 February 1996

Location: Republic of China

Type of event: intentional poisoning using radioactive material


A young male graduate student was poisoned by radioactive phosphorus-32 placed in his food and drink, in addition to other chemicals including acrylamide. Poisoning occurred on about 30 occasions from 1 October 1994 to 15 February 1996, although not all involved phosphorus-32. The material was placed in the victim's drinking cup and eating utensil in his workplace, the Institute of Plant Pathology, by a fellow student. The phosporus-32 had been stolen from other molecular biology labs at the same university. The victim suffered diarrhoea and some abdominal pain from late 1994 accompanied by poor appetite and weight loss; later he lost most of his moustache. He was informed of the acts by the perpetrator in early 1996. Some health effects persisted through 1999.

Consequences: 1 injury.


© 2004 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 2 July 2004.
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