Delhi: Fresh search for radioactive materials in scrap mkt

A team of scientists searched the Mayapuri market for more radioactive scrap from DU.

Updated: Apr 30, 2010, 10:20 AM IST

New Delhi: A joint team of atomic scientists on Thursday tonight searched the shop of a scrap dealer, who had bought the gammaray irradiator from Delhi University`s chemistry department, in Mayapuri industrial area here but no radioactive substance was found.

The search was conducted in the shop of scrap dealer Harcharan Singh Bhola, who purchased the irradiator from the chemistry department, as a precautionary measure but no radioactive substance was found, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Sharad Aggarwal told a news agency late tonight.

The Delhi Police had said yesterday that it had traced the origin of the radioactive Cobalt-60 found in Mayapuri scrap market to a laboratory in Delhi University`s Chemistry Department where it was lying unused for the last 25 years.

Panic had gripped Mayapuri in the first week of April when 11 people were admitted to hospitals after they were exposed to radiation. A worker in the scrap shop from where the Cobalt 60 was discovered has died due to radiation exposure.

Fearing the presence of more radioactive sources in Mayapuri, National Disaster Management Authority and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) had planned to carry out a survey in the area.

Radioactive Cobalt-60 is a widely used radioisotope in industrial radiography, medical radiology, large food processing units and laboratories. The gamma rays emitted by it cause skin burns, cancer and death.