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1962 Mexico City radiation accident

Cobalt-60 Capsule

In March–August 1962, a radiation incident in Mexico City occurred when a ten-year-old boy took home an unprotected industrial radiography source.[1] Four people died from overexposure to radiation from a 5-Ci cobalt-60 capsule, an industrial radiography orphaned source that was not contained in its proper shielding. For several days, the boy kept the capsule in his pocket, then placed it in the kitchen cabinet of his home in Mexico City. Having obtained the source on March 21, the boy died 38 days later on April 29. Subsequently, his mother died on July 10; his 2-year-old sister died on August 18, and his grandmother died on October 15 of that year. The boy's father also received a significant dose of radiation, however he survived.[2][3][4] Five other individuals also received significant overdoses of radiation.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ International Journal of Radiation Biology, 1998, vol. 73, no. 4, p.437 Online:
  2. ^ Johnston, Wm. Robert. "Mexico City orphaned source, 1962". Database of radiological incidents and related events – Johnston's Archive. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  3. ^ Ortiz, P.; Oresegun, M.; Wheatley, J. (2002). "Lessons from major radiation accidents. Safety". Safety. 21–1.
  4. ^ Smith, H. (1983). "Dose-effect relationships for early response to total body irradiation". Journal of the Society for Radiological Protection. 3:5–10.
  5. ^ Planning the Medical Response to Radiological Accidents p. 16.