Urgent search for lost radioactive capsule in Australia
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Australia has issued an alert over a missing radioactive capsule. State officials in Western Australia warned residents of a "radioactive substance risk" in regions including the state capital Perth. The search is now on for the 8mm x 6mm capsule. It contains the harmful and radioactive substance Caesium-137. It has enough of the radioactive material to "cause serious health consequences". The capsule went missing while it was being transported from a mining town to a suburb of Perth. Officials think it fell through a hole in the truck transporting it.
Western Australia's chief health officer urged caution if anyone finds the capsule. He warned: "Exposure to this substance could cause radiation burns or severe illness. If people see the capsule or something that looks similar, stay away from it." He added: "If you are very close to the material, the radiation risk increases immensely and could cause serious damage to your health, including causing radiation burns to the skin." Being within a metre of the capsule could expose someone to radiation levels that are the equivalent of ten X-rays.
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