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
Saenger EL, Gallaghar RG, Anthony DS, Valaer PJ. EMERGENCY MEASURES AND PRECAUTIONS IN RADIUM ACCIDENTS. JAMA. 1952;149(9):813–815. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930260015005
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