AW: [ RadSafe ] News article from Belgium: Worker Critical after highradiation dose

Rainer.Facius at Rainer.Facius at
Thu Apr 6 10:35:07 CDT 2006


If the numbers quoted were correct than the worker would have received 400*20 mSv = 8 Sv effective dose. In this case he would have shown severe symptoms of the prodromal syndrome within hours and not some minor effect like hair loss after 3 weeks. That and the purported life-threatening condition simply do not fit. A European radiation protection expert who incidentally was visiting us today thinks that he remembers a dose of 2 Gy which would be 100 times the annual limit. Of course at that acute dose a significantly increased cancer risk is threatening this man but no immediate early mortality risk - unless it interfered with other health conditions of the worker. If it were not whole but partial body irradiation and the multiple of 400 pertained to the limit for the corresponding tissue dose he would at least have suffered from immediate and severe erythema. Again the numbers presented simply don't match.

Regards, Rainer 

Dr. Rainer Facius
German Aerospace Center
Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Linder Hoehe
51147 Koeln
Voice: +49 2203 601 3147 or 3150
FAX:   +49 2203 61970

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag von Jim Hardeman
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 6. April 2006 16:26
An: radsafe at
Betreff: [ RadSafe ] News article from Belgium: Worker Critical after highradiation dose

Colleagues *
Does anybody have any additional information about this incident?
Jim Hardeman
Jim_Hardeman at
Worker critical after high radiation dose
6 April 2006
BRUSSELS * A worker at a Wallonian company who was rushed to a Paris hospital after being exposed to a high dose of radiation is in an acute, life-threatening condition.
The Charleroi man, aged in his 50s, received within 20 seconds 400 times the amount of radiation permitted in one year.
The incident dates back to 11 March and investigations are now being carried out to determine why safety procedures failed.
The man spent 20 seconds in the radiation installation of the Wallonian firm Sterigenics, a Fleurus-based company near Charleroi that sterilises medical equipment.
Three weeks later, the worker reported to the company doctor because his hair started falling out, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Thursday. 
When doctors confirmed a high level of radiation in his body, the man was rushed to a specialist Paris hospital. 
Company director Patrick Gourmelon said on Wednesday the man is in a "very serious" condition. The man is at risk of developing cancer and there are limited medical treatments available.
Workers usually carry a radiation measuring device and investigations must now determine why the worker or his supervisor did not immediately raise alarm.
"Did the dosage meter not work, was it not examined or did the worker not have it on" the chief of Belgian nuclear watchdog FANC-AFCN, Jean-Paul Samain, said.

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