1962 Mexico City radiation accident

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Teletherapy Capsule

The 1962 Mexico City radiation accident was a significant radiation accident that occurred in Mexico City, Mexico. The incident involved the improper handling and disposal of a highly radioactive cobalt-60 source, which led to severe radiation exposure for several individuals and contamination of the environment.

Background[edit | edit source]

Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope commonly used in radiotherapy for cancer treatment and in industrial radiography for inspecting metal parts and welds. The source involved in the 1962 accident was used in a medical facility in Mexico City.

The Accident[edit | edit source]

In 1962, a cobalt-60 teletherapy unit was being decommissioned at a medical facility. During the process, the radioactive source was removed from its protective housing and was inadvertently left unsecured. The source was subsequently stolen, likely for its perceived scrap metal value, and ended up in a junkyard.

Exposure and Contamination[edit | edit source]

The cobalt-60 source was handled by several individuals who were unaware of its radioactive nature. This led to severe radiation exposure for those who came into direct contact with it. The source was eventually discovered when individuals began to show symptoms of acute radiation syndrome, prompting an investigation.

The area where the source was found was heavily contaminated, necessitating a large-scale decontamination effort. The incident highlighted the need for stringent controls and protocols for the handling and disposal of radioactive materials.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The 1962 Mexico City radiation accident led to increased awareness and regulatory measures regarding the safe handling of radioactive materials in Mexico. It also underscored the importance of proper training and safety protocols in medical and industrial settings.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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