A man surnamed Wang has been hospitalized following his contact with the radioactive substance iridium-192 that went missing during a Sinopec operation in Nanjing on May 7, and which had secretly ended up in Wang’s pocket.
It turns out that the highly radioactive iridium-192 didn’t so much as go missing, as much as it was stuffed into the pocket of a construction worker who thought it valuable. So that’s…. better?
Wang, who works for Sinopec’s fifth construction company, decided to ditch the substance by wrapping it in a plastic bag and throwing into a nearby yard after he became aware of the massive search underway, which came to an end on Saturday evening.
This piece of news, the latest in a series which will hopefully inspire Sinopec to revise their training procedures, comes the day after China Daily reported all employees seemed unharmed.
No details about Wang’s condition are available. Several sources have indicated that the harm of iridium-192 to humans is linked to strength of the radiation and period exposed, although a weird Guardian article suggests we needn’t worry and assures us that there is “a lot of unaccounted-for iridium-192 in the world”. Whew!
By Giulia Sciota