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NDMA asks Delhi govt to screen people residing at Mayapuri

Last Updated: Saturday, May 1, 2010 - 18:03

Mumbai: The National Disaster Management
Authority (NDMA)has recommended to the Delhi state government
to screen the people residing or visiting Mayapuri scrap yard
which was affected by radiation contamination last month.

"Screening of the people around the area where
radioactive Cobalt 60 was found is necessary to rule out the
possibility of anyone being exposed," a senior member of the
NDMA told agency.
This is one of the recommendations given by NDMA to
Delhi government besides the scanning of all the shops in the
scrapyard of Mayapuri to find out any remaining sources of
cobalt 60, he said.

The scrap dealers who were very closely exposed to the
readiation source suffered Acute Radiation Syndrome and one of
them died and two more are very critical.

According to Atomic Energy Regulatory Board officials,
the close screening of the scrap shops in Mayapuri is being
carried out by India`s Radiation Emergency Response system
(RERS)under the leadership of Dr Pradeep Kumar with the help
of Delhi police using portable detectors including survey
meters and also the teledetectors.

Regarding the screening of people in the area who are
suspected to have been exposed before the recovery of the
rradioactive material from the scrap yard, has to be done
by the state government, an official said.

Talking about the Delhi University, the officials said
"our inspectors are there in the university to check all the
radioactive sources which the university has in Physics,
chemistry and Biology laboratories."
Meanwhile, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre scientists said,
serious radiation incidents have occurred when sealed,
radioisotope-containing sources have been damaged,
lost, stolen, or abandoned ("orphan sources"), which has
happened at least 15 times worldwide between 1981 and 2000.

Usually, orphan sources turn out to be commercial
materials, most often abandoned medical supplies or
radioactive metals that have been blended with scrap for

BARC scientist said in 1987, a similar incident took
place in Brazil with Cesium-137 (teletherapy source)
radiation dispersal (exposure) Disaster in Goiania, Brazil, a
city of one million residents.

The monitoring team at Goiania had identified 249 people
with detectable contamination. Those with external
contamination only were readily decontaminated, but 129 people
were found also to have internal contamination and were
referred to medical care.


First Published: Saturday, May 1, 2010 - 18:03

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