India: 7 treated for radiation

2010-04-14 17:16
New Delhi - Seven people have been admitted to a New Delhi hospital after being exposed to radioactive waste, police said on Wednesday, raising fears over the lax disposal of hazardous material in India.

Radioactive waste was detected in a congested scrap metal market last week when five people were rushed to a hospital after they showed symptoms of radiation exposure. Two more victims have since been admitted.

"Seven people have been hospitalised and we are yet to find the exact source of the radioactive leakage," senior police officer Sharad Agarwal said on Wednesday. "No one has been detained or arrested as of now."

The incident triggered panic in residential areas surrounding the scrap yard in western New Delhi, which deals with metal and old ammunition, after reports of the contamination spread.

Enforcement

Police said they had found cobalt-60 at the site, a radioactive metal used for radiotherapy in hospitals and sterilisation in industrial food processes, which can cause cancer.

The US Environmental Protection Agency warns on its website that cobalt-60 can make its way into landfill and scrap metal yards undetected because it is often encased in a metal housing.

A team of scientists from the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, India's leading atomic research institute, have cordoned off the affected area.

One expert said the incident highlights the country's poor enforcement of rules on radioactive waste disposal.

"In India we have better laws than most countries, but the laws are not enforced, R G Pillay, a nuclear scientist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times newspaper.

Last year, about 50 workers at a nuclear power plant in southern India were treated in hospital for poisoning after drinking water that was deliberately spiked with radioactive material.

Read more on:    india  |  nuclear
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may need to re-look at the fine print. Things are not what they seem. Trust your intuition and look into things a bit deeper...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.