chapter  26
6 Pages

Internal Contamination in the Goiânia Accident, Brazil, 1987

Description of the Accident ...........................................................................................................355 Internal Contamination ..................................................................................................................357 Efficacy of the Prussian Blue Therapy ..........................................................................................357 References ......................................................................................................................................360

This accident involved significant whole-body exposure, local radiation injuries, and major internal contamination; however, this chapter will focus predominantly on the treatment of the internal contamination. On September 13, 1987, in the city of Goiânia (Brazil), two individuals found a source of ionizing radiation used for medical teletherapy that contained 50.9 TBq (1375 Ci) of cesium-137, which had been abandoned in the interior of an empty building where a radiotherapy clinic had been functioning. They removed the rotating assembly of the shielding head of the medical teletherapy unit containing the radioactive source and brought it to the house of one them. There, they violated the shielding and ruptured the source canister, thus originating the radiological accident known as the “Radiological Accident in Goiânia.”