ALFREDO AZCARATE VARELA
THE BAJA POST/EDITOR
A container with radioactive isotope Iridium-192 was stolen from the facilities of Radiografía y Ultrasonido de Veracruz S.A. in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, the serial number of the container is T0431 with an activity of 63.55 Curies, so the National System of Civil Protection issued an Alert for Chihuahua, Sonora and Baja California, three States on the border MEX-USA.
Captain Rene Rosado, Mexicali Civil Protection Director, said that the theft took place in Sonora, there was an immediate alert in the aforementioned Mexican states, it´s mainly used in radiology and cancer treatment, and he said that the National System of Civil Protection issued the Alert notice.
Exposure to Iridium-192 can increase the risk for cancer because of its high-energy gamma radiation. External exposure can cause burns, acute radiation sickness, and even death. Internal exposure could occur only if a person were to swallow one of the Ir-192 seeds or pellets, which would obviously be lethal. (SOURCE: https://www.cdc.gov/)
A dirty bomb or radiological dispersal device, can be manufactured using Iridium-192, it is a speculative radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives, which purpose is to contaminate the area around the dispersal agent/conventional explosion with radioactive material, however, it is not to be confused with blast effects far in excess of what is achievable by the use of conventional explosives. (SOURCE: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/dirtybomb/chrono.html)