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The Radiological Accident in Istanbul

English STI/PUB/1102 92-0-101400-7
75 12 21.00 2000

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A serious radiological accident occurred in Istanbul, Turkey, in December 1998 and January 1999 when two packages used to transport 60Co teletherapy sources were sold as scrap metal. The persons who purchased the two packages opened them and broke open the shielded containers, thereby unknowingly exposing themselves and several others to radiation from at least one unshielded 60Co source. The persons who dismantled the containers suffered from acute radiation syndrome. Altogether, eighteen persons were admitted to hospital, out of which ten exhibited clinical signs and symptoms of acute radiation exposure. The present report gives an account of the circumstances which led to the accident and the medical aspects, and the lessons learned.
Contents: 1. Introduction; 2. Background information; 3. The accident; 4. Response to the accident; 5. Summary of medical aspects of the accident; 6. Summary of biological dosimetric analyses; 7. Findings, conclusions and lessons to be learned; Annex I: Chronology of events; Annex II: Medical data; Annex III: Biological dose estimation.

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