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June 28, 1952


Author Affiliations

From the Radioisotope Laboratory, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine; Division of Biology, Mound Laboratory; and Division of Occupational Health, U. S. Public Health Service.; Director, Radioisotope Laboratory, and Assistant Professor of Radiology, Medical College, University of Cincinnati (Dr. Saenger); Health Physicist, Division of Occupational Health, U. S. Public Health Service (Gallaghar); Director, Division of Biology, Mound Laboratory (Anthony); and Electronics Scientist, Division of Occupational Health, U. S. Public Health Service (Valaer).

JAMA. 1952;149(9):813-815. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930260015005

The escape of radium salts from sealed containers has, in several instances, resulted in expenditure of from $50,000 to $100,000 by the institutions where such accidents occurred. These figures may seem exceedingly high. They include, however, the costs of decontamination, medical care, legal advice, lost production time, and replacement of equipment that could not be decontaminated. In some instances such an accident has resulted in serious contamination of the exposed persons because of the absorption, inhalation, or ingestion of radium salts.

On July 24, 1951, a platinum capsule containing 50 mg. of radium sulfate became opened at an industrial plant in Cincinnati. Within a few hours after the accident had been discovered, radium sulfate was spread rather widely throughout the plant. Several persons inhaled some of the radium at the time of the accident.

A careful survey of the medical literature showed no readily available source of information as to