1984 Moroccan radiation accident

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In March 1984, a serious radiation accident occurred in Morocco, where eight people died from pulmonary hemorrhaging caused by overexposure to radiation from a lost iridium-192 source. [1] Other individuals also received significant overdoses of radiation that required medical attention. Three people were sent to the Curie Institute in Paris for treatment of radiation poisoning.

Pulmonary hemorrhage

Pulmonary hemorrhage is an acute bleeding from the lung, from the upper respiratory tract and the trachea, and the alveoli. When evident clinically, the condition is usually massive. The onset of pulmonary hemorrhage is characterized by cough productive of blood (hemoptysis) and worsening of oxygenation leading to cyanosis. Treatment should be immediate and should include tracheal suction, oxygen, positive pressure ventilation, and correction of underlying abnormalities. A blood transfusion may be necessary.

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Curie Institute (Paris) scientific research center

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Contents

The source was used to radiograph welds and became separated from its shielded container. As the source itself had no markings indicating it was radioactive, a worker took it home, where it stayed for some weeks, exposing the family to radiation. The laborer, his family, and some relatives were the eight deaths caused by the accident. [2]

Industrial radiography

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Radiation protection, also known as radiological protection, is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as "The protection of people from harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and the means for achieving this". The IAEA also states "The accepted understanding of the term radiation protection is restricted to protection of people. Suggestions to extend the definition to include the protection of non-human species or the protection of the environment are controversial". Exposure can be from a radiation source external to the human body or due to the bodily intake of a radioactive material.

See also

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References

  1. Lushbaugh, C; Ricks, R; Fry, S (1988). Radiological accidents: A historical review of sealed sources accidents. International Atomic Energy Agency.
  2. Metzger, J. (1985). "Information Notice No. 85-57: Lost Iridium-192 Source Resulting in the Death of Eight Persons in Morocco". United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Retrieved March 31, 2016.