Friday, January 06, 2006

Cesium-137 and Kids, Bad Idea!

The only reason I am Blogging this is becaues of the last two sentences of this report. For the Tech side of this from my friends of my other blog I found this about cesium-137. From," Their intermediate half-lives of about 30 years suggests that they are not only highly radioactive but that they have a long enough halflife to be around for hundreds of years. Iodine-131 may give a higher initial dose, but its short halflife of 8 days ensures that it will soon be gone. Besides its persistence and high activity, cesium-137 has the further insidious property of being mistaken for potassium by living organisms and taken up as part of the fluid electrolytes. For every one else it makes for a wild story!

---CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Thieves in Venezuela have stolen equipment containing radioactive material used in the oil industry, in the latest in a string of similar incidents, officials said on Wednesday.
Angel Diaz, head of the energy ministry's nuclear affairs department, warned the Cesium-137 material could cause contamination if exposed. The equipment, used in oil prospecting, was stolen last week in eastern Anzoategui State.

"If you take this material out, it could cause contamination," Diaz told reporters.

Authorities arrested three police officers in December after they were linked to the robbery of a truck carrying a device containing Iridium-192, used to check oil pipelines.

Two other capsules with Iridium-192 went missing in March through negligence in two separate incidents. Both of those capsules have since been found, one dumped in Lake Maracaibo in the west of the country.

In neighboring Brazil in 1987, scrap-metal scavengers took a container with Cesium-137 from an abandoned radiation-therapy clinic. Children smeared the material on their faces and bodies because it glowed after the container was opened. Four people died and about 250 suffered from radiation contamination.


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