13 Exposed to Radiation after Breach

Monday, May 6, 2019 @ 05:05 PM gHale

Thirteen people underwent decontamination for radiation exposure, with eight hospitalized, after a breach of a radioactive substance at the Harborview Medical Center Research and Training Building Thursday night in the First Hill neighborhood in Seattle, WA.

Contractors were transporting Caesium-137 near Terrace Street and Terry Avenue when the breach occurred, said Kristin Tinsley with Seattle Fire.

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HazMat crews were called to the scene and found 13 contract workers, custodial workers and others at the scene tested positive for radiation exposure and needed to undergo decontamination.

While none of the workers showed any symptoms of radiation poisoning, eight of them were checked into nearby Harborview Medical Center for treatment and monitoring, Tinsley said. The other five were cleared to go home. No firefighters or HazMat crews suffered any radiation exposure.

Officials said they have contained the substance to the blocked-off area, meaning there is no danger to the general public. The exposure did not affect Harborview Medical Center.

Caesium-137 is a talcum-power-type substance used irradiate blood before it is given to patients in blood transfusions.



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