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Radiation exposure: Police trace parts of gamma irradiator

Adding a new dimension to the radiation exposure probe, police is now trying to locate the parts of a melted lead cover of Gamma Irradiator, auctioned by Delhi University, which were sold by a scrap dealer.

Investigations have revealed that Manish Jindal, a scrap dealer in Lahori Gate, had bought the lead cover of the equipment and took it to his furnace in Harayana’s Rewari where it was melted.

The Gamma Irradiator was auctioned by Delhi University on February 26 and Harcharan Singh Bhola, a scrap dealer in Mayapuri, had bought it. This dismantling of the equipment led to radiation exposure in the scrap market in Mayapuri.

“Our immediate concern is to ensure that we locate parts of lead cover which were melted and further disposed of,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Sharad Aggarwal said.

“We want to avert the remote possibility of radiation exposure and we are trying to ascertain where all parts of melted lead cover were sold and trying to locate it,” Mr. Aggarwal said.

When asked about how Mr. Jindal got the lead cover, he said, Mr. Bhola sold the lead cover to another dealer Giriraj Gupta who then sold it to Mr. Jindal.

Experts have carried out searches in Rewari but no radiation has been found so far.

Meanwhile, Delhi University is likely to submit a preliminary report to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) about the availability of radioactive materials in the varsity and safety measures adopted by it.

Taking note of the radiation exposure, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has advised various sea ports receiving hazardous chemicals like ammonia to ensure adequate disaster management plan to handle such eventualities.

It has asked the cargo handlers to be particular in handling toxic ammonia which has high chances of leakages as its import has not only increased in the last three consecutive years but has also been the highest in terms of quantity.

Two persons exposed to Cobalt-60 exposure are likely to go through a bone marrow transplant (BMT) soon at the Army hospital here.

The two patients were identified as Ajay Jain and Deeepak Jain, metal scrap dealer exposed to Cobalt-60 radiation at Mayapuri Industrial Area last month.

The two, who were initially treated at other hospitals in the city, were transferred to the Army hospital and they were found to have leucopenia (low white cells, thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts) with bone marrow showing below normal cellularity (hypocellular), doctors treating them said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 5:11:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Radiation-exposure-Police-trace-parts-of-gamma-irradiator/article16299043.ece

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