Radiation health crews are combing through the highway between Western Australia's Pilbara region and Perth, where the capsule was lost more than a week ago.
The tiny radioactive capsule, announced as missing yesterday, sparked an urgent hazmat health warning. The capsule, which is silver, round, and measures just six by eight millimeters in size, was lost sometime between January 10th and January 16th while it was transported between the mine north of Newman and north-east Perth.
Hazmat Warning for Lost Radioactive Capsule
Radiation Services WA is still trying to determine how the capsule went missing, saying it's "highly unlikely" that something like this could happen due to the vigorous safety measures taken during the transportation process. While it cannot be weaponized, WA Health warned it could cause significant health concerns.
Radiation Risk for Lost Capsule
"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 and keep others away too,"
Chief Health Officer Dr. Andrew Robertson said. "Do not touch or pick it up. The public is asked to report it immediately by calling 13 DFES (13 33 37)."
Public Warning for Lost Radioactive Capsule
If you have touched the material, or have been close to it for an extended period, contact your local health practitioner or visit a hospital emergency department and tell them that you think you may have been exposed to radioactive material. A multi-agency Incident Management Team, comprising the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), Department of Health, WA Police, and other subject matter experts, are confirming the exact route and stops made during the journey from the north of Newman.