radiation alert was issued in Australia on Saturday over missing radioactive capsule. warning was from authorities in Western Australia. State officials there warned residents of "radioactive substance risk" in several regions, including state capital Perth. The search is now on for tiny capsule, which contains the harmful and radioactive substance Caesium-137. The capsule is just 8 mm high and 6 mm wide. However, it contains sufficient amount of radioactive material to "cause serious health consequences". The capsule went missing as it was being transported from mining town of Newman to northeast suburb of Perth. Officials believe it fell through hole in the truck transporting it.
Caesium-137 is used by mining industry in Australia. The chief health officer for Western Australia, Andrew Robertson, urged caution to anyone finding capsule. He warned: "Exposure to this substance could cause radiation burns or severe illness. If people see capsule or something that looks similar, stay away from it and keep others away from it too." He added: "If you are very close to material or touch it, radiation risk increases immensely and could cause serious damage to your health, including causing radiation burns to skin." Even being within metre of the capsule could expose someone to radiation levels that are equivalent of ten X-rays.