Database of radiological incidents and related events--Johnston's Archive

Moscow radiological suicide, 1960

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 22 September 2007

Date: 8 June 1960

Location: Moscow, Russia, USSR

Type of event: suicide by intentional overexposure


A 19-year-old research worker at a radiological laboratory committed suicide by exposure to a cesium-137 source. He took a capsule containing the source from the laboratory and put it in his left pants pocket for 5 hours, then shifted it around his abdomen and back for 15 hours. His whole body dose was 1,500-2,000 rad, with 3,000 rad to the trunk. Symptoms of radiation sickness developed within hours, and he died after 15 days.

Consequences: 1 fatality (1,500-2,000 rad).


© 2004, 2007 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 22 September 2007.
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