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FedEx Misplaces Radioactive Rods 165

Hugh Pickens writes "A shipment of radioactive rods used in medical equipment has vanished while being sent by FedEx from North Dakota to Tennessee. Based on tracking information, FedEx is focusing its search in the Tennessee area, but as a normal precaution the company alerted all of its stations 'in the event that it got waylaid and went to another station by accident.' Dr. Marc Siegel says if someone opens the container it could pose some serious health risks. 'I don't believe it has the degree of radiation that, if it were opened, your skin would suddenly slough off. But the concern would be, if this got opened inadvertently and someone didn't know what it was and then was repeatedly exposed to it over several days, it could cause a problem with radiation poisoning,' says Siegel. 'The people that use this equipment in a hospital use protective shielding with it.' The lesson is that active medical material must always be transported in a way that ensures the general public cannot get access to it. 'Medical devices should not be FedExed. They should be sent under a special service,' adds Siegel."

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