Orphaned Radiation Sources – Info for Radiologic Technologists
On December 2, 2013, a commercial truck containing a dismantled radiation treatment device was stolen in Mexico. The device contained a significant amount of the radioactive material Cobalt 60. A few days later, the device was recovered. At least 6 people were evaluated for radiation exposure, but it was reported that all tests were negative, indicating that the radioactive material was not released. It appears that a very dangerous radiation disaster was avoided.
When radiological disasters happen, the victims end up where radiologic technologists work, in the hospital. They may be contaminated with radioactive dust or shrapnel in their bodies and on their clothing. As a radiologic technologist, even though you mainly work with X-rays on a day-to-day basis, the other hospital staff and public will have a reasonable expectation that you will have a better understanding than most about how to deal with a radiation disaster safely.