Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Radioactive trash like "100 CT scans at once"

The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking information about a radioactive antique medical kit found at Waste Management's Norristown transfer station. Direct exposure to the radium-226 would be like having more than 100 CT scans at once and could lead to skin burns within hours, according to state officials.

Radioactive trash like "100 CT scans at once"

Do NOT open this box
Do NOT open this box

It's not every day we get a press release like this.
The state Department of Environmental Protection is seeking information about an antique medical kit found last month at Waste Management Inc.’s Norristown transfer station. Why? Because it contained enough radium to melt your face off. OK, not that much, but a lot. From the release: 
 

“The radioactive material may have been contained in the kit for more than 80 years,” Bureau Director David Allard said. “The metal box likely came from a basement, an attic or a collector’s stash. Anyone who tampered with it or stored it for a long time may have been exposed to high levels of radiation.”

 The material was found Jan. 19, when a load of construction debris set off radiation alarms at Waste Management Inc.’s Norristown transfer station. The company deployed a health physicist to recover the radioactive material, identified as approximately one curie of radium-226.

"One curie" doesn't sound like much to me. Oh wait, according to the DEP, direct exposure to the radium could lead to skin burns within hours and would be like "having more than 100 CT scans at once."

In other words, it's almost as good as the acid being sold at Drexel these days.

Anyone with information about the radioactive garbage should call Allard at 717-787-2480. All calls are confidential. More info here.

About this blog
In The Daily Delco blog, Daily News reporters William Bender and Stephanie Farr dig up all the dirt - from crazy crimes to political malfeasance and everything in between - in Delaware County.

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