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

Australia x-ray accident, 1970

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 23 September 2007

Date: 23-25 June 1970

Location: Australia

Type of event: x-ray accident


Faulty assembly of an x-ray analysis unit resulted in localized overexposures to two individuals. The unit in question modified around early 1969 to use different diffraction cameras. When reassembled, one shuttter mechanism was reassembled incorrectly such that the shutter did not engage to cover the x-ray port as required. On 23 and 24 June 1970 a research worker and an instrument maker were both exposed to the beam several times during efforts to adjust a camera. On the evening of 24 June the instrument maker noticed skin erythema on his abdomen. The two individuals were again exposed during work on the unit on 25 June, when they identified the malfunctioning shutter and realized they had been exposed. Dose to the instrument maker was estimated at 1500-2000 rem to the skin of the abdomen and 2000 rem to the hands, with a cumulative 90 min. exposure to the beam. Dose to the research worker from a cumulative 30 min. exposure was 1500 rem to the hands, producing skin injury, plus possible injury to the face as well. A third individual was briefly exposed but not injured.

Consequences: 2 injuries.


© 2004, 2007 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 23 September 2007.
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