the essentials The small capsule with a diameter of 6 millimeters was lost during the transport of goods in Western Australia.
On Friday, January 27, Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) alerted residents in the west of the country after the loss of a radioactive capsule.
The Australian Fire Service say the capsule in question is round, silver-colored and “small”, measuring just 6mm in diameter and 8mm in height.
“A capsule containing radioactive material was lost during transit from north Newman to the north-east suburbs of Perth (south-west),” the DFES said.
18:19 – RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCE HAZARDS chemical accident in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth metropolitan areas: https://t.co/ZSEIQDbkiJ
— DFES (@dfes_wa) January 27, 2023
Risks of “radiation burns”
The department warns that “exposure to this substance can cause radiation burns or acute radiation syndrome.” However, it ensures that the risk in the general population is relatively low, report our colleagues from the BFM.
“Our concern is that someone might pick it up and not know what it is,” Western Australia’s chief of public health Andy Robertson told a news conference, saying the capsule was emitting a “reasonable” level of radiation, according to The Guardian .
The fire brigade has also issued its recommendations and calls to keep “at least 5 meters away” from the capsule, “not to touch it” and to inform the department as soon as possible.
For anyone who has already touched it, the DFES advises seeing a doctor or going to the emergency room.