Radioactive Danger Alert Issued as Capsule Containing Caesium-137 Goes Missing in Australia

An urgent search is underway in Western Australia after a tiny capsule containing the radioactive substance called Caesium-137 went missing. The capsule, which is used in mining operations, was being transported from a mine owned by Rio Tinto Ltd. to the capital city of Perth.

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The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has issued a warning about the potential danger of exposure to the substance, which can cause radiation sickness, burns, and even death if ingested or inhaled. The capsule was lost during transfer from the remote town of Newman to the northeast suburbs of Perth and authorities believe it might have broken apart due to the vibration of the vehicle.

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Radioactive Substance Caesium-137 Missing in Western Australia: What You Need to Know

The substance, known as Caesium-137 (Cs-137), is widely used in modern medicine and industry. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to large amounts of Cs-137 in the environment can result in severe radiation sickness, burns, and sometimes death. In addition, internal exposure to Cs-137 through ingesting or inhalation raises the risk of cancer due to the high-energy gamma radiation exposure.

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Western Australia’s chief health officer, Andrew Robertson, has advised that the capsule could result in radiation burns and skin redness if stored close to the body and could have more severe consequences if kept for an extended period of time.

The search for the missing capsule is ongoing and authorities are advising the public to take precautions and stay away from any suspicious objects.

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