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Two scrap dealers to take legal action for radiation exposure

Two victims of exposure to cobalt-60 radioactive material are all set to be discharged from the Army hospital and are planning to take legal action against those responsible for their condition.



New Delhi: Two victims of exposure to
cobalt-60 radioactive material are all set to be discharged
from the Army hospital and are planning to take legal action
against those responsible for their condition.

Scrap dealers Ajay Jain and Deepak Jain who have been
undergoing treatment at the Army hospital for over a month
will be discharged tomorrow.

"We are planning to take legal action against those
responsible for our condition today. It is in no way our fault
if they do not show how to dispose off such contaminated
material," Ajay Jain, who deals in scrap in Mayapuri scrap
market, said.

The scrap market has been in news since nearly two months
after eight individuals from this area were admitted to
hospital with suppressed bone marrow and severe burns
following exposure to the radioactive material that came out
of a Gamma Irradiator machine sold as scrap by Delhi
University.

This exposure has claimed the life of one scrap worker
Rajinder.

When Deepak was asked about the source of the Cobalt-60,
he said, "I got it from Ajay."

Posed with the same question Ajay said, "I had got it
from those who sell scrap to us. I cannot recall who they are
as many people sell us scrap and out of 100 cases, maybe in 10
cases the source can be traced. No scraps come to us from
hospitals.

"We have heard that this cobalt-60 was traced to Delhi
University. After I am back home we will sit and decide the
next course of action but yes we will not spare those
responsible for our condition."

Asked about their condition, Lieutenant General Naresh
Kumar, Commandant, Army Hospital Research and Referral said,
"The condition of both patients of radiation exposure
admitted with us has improved considerably. Both are free from
infection and their blood count has risen enough to be allowed
to be discharged from the hospital. Ajay Jain was admitted
with us from 18 April and Deepak Jain is with us since 28
April."

Brigadier Velu Nair, head of department of haematology,
AHR&R and the treating physician said, "Both are fit to be
discharged. The have been advised to come back to us for a
routine check-up at regular interval. The bone marrow
transplant is not ruled out completely. They have been advised
on the do`s and dont`s once they are back home."

"We will conduct a blood test at regular interval and
after some time the bone marrow test to see they are
recovering or not", Brigadier Nair said.

He said, "We have advised them complete rest and no work
till our next routine check-up. Ajay cannot sit properly due
to the burns on the back side and Deepak has lost a
considerable amount of hair."

Lt Gen Kumar said, "Wife and child of Ajay are being
closely monitored. They too are under observation though both
have showed no symptoms of radiation exposure yet. Since the
cobalt-60 was with Ajay since March 10, his wife and children
are under surveillance."

Meanwhile the other patients of radiation exposure
admitted with AIIMS too have shown considerable improvement.
"They have shown excellent improvement in their condition. We
are planning to collectively discharge all three sometime at
the end of this week," Dr A B Dey, professor, department of
medicine, AIIMS said.

PTI

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