Mexico: Radioactive Material Has Been Stolen

Iridium-192 swiped off truck in southern part of country
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2015 11:40 AM CDT
This file photo provided by the Georgia Interior Ministry shows part of a seizure of radioactive substances including iridium-192 and europium-152.   (AP Photo/Georgia Interior Ministry)

(Newser) – Radioactive material has been stolen off a truck in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco, and Mexico has put four neighboring states and federal agencies on alert as it seeks to recover the iridium-192, which CBS News reports is capable of causing serious lesions and death within a day if it escapes its protective casing. The IAEA classifies iridium-192 as a Category 2 substance; it has medical applications and was in a secure container. Officials urge anyone who finds it to establish a perimeter at least 90 feet away and not attempt to handle it.

The incident is at least the second such theft in recent years, though cobalt-60 that went missing in late 2013 turned out to be accidentally grabbed by thieves who didn't know what they'd taken; several people were later treated for radiation exposure. (Read more Mexico stories.)

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