In 2014, he picked up a string of “key chains”, and as a result, he was admitted to the hospital to remove bones and cut meat, spending 3 million in 3 years

If only we could go back seven years,

Mr. Wang said that he would not touch the “key chain” on the side of the road

, in his sixties, his retirement life was very painful, a large piece of skin behind his back was cut off and transplanted to his right leg, and under the slightly fat right leg pants, there was almost only skin of the shriveled thigh, and as the temperature warmed up, it was followed by an indescribable itch.

What exactly did Mr. Wang go through? Things have to go back to May 7, 2014.

The lost iridium-192 ruined Mr. Wang’s life

On May 7, 2014, Mr. Wang came to the work unit of Sinopec Fifth Construction Company located at No. 188 Puliu North Road, Nanjing as usual, he found that the company’s workshop of welding steel plates was a little poor, in the process of cleaning found a metal similar to a “key chain”, without much thought, he casually put it in his right trouser pocket, ready to go home and make a hook to hang the key, however, what he didn’t know was that this seemingly ordinary metal like a key chain, In fact, Tianjin Hongdi Testing Company during pipeline flaw detection operations,

The missing radioactive source Iridium-192 for flaw detection.

The loss of radioactive sources is an extremely serious safety accident, but the staff of Tianjin Hongdi Testing Company found that the iridium-192 with strong radioactivity was lost when the equipment was inspected on the 8th, and it was already 11 o’clock at night when the report was reported.

At this time, Iridium-192 was put into his trouser pocket by Mr. Wang as early as the morning of the 7th and brought home,

Iridium-192 was only exposed to Mr. Wang for 3 hours

After Mr. Wang, who had no knowledge of radioactive materials, heard that a very dangerous radioactive metal was lost in the unit, he suspected that the “key chain” he picked up was the iridium-192 that everyone was looking for, but out of fear of accountability, Mr. Wang still chose to wrap the “key chain” in a blue plastic bag and throw it into the field not far from his home.

Then the searchers found the grass according to the detection equipment.

The case is over when iridium-192, which was lost for 87 hours, is found in the grass, but the nightmare for Mr. Wang has only just begun.

Touched for 3 hours

Mr. Wang of Iridium-192 began to develop a red rash on his right thigh

The increasingly itchy rash had to be checked by Mr. Wang, who learned of his radiation history.

The most severe symptoms began to appear a week later, when Mr. Wang’s right leg suffered a large ulcer and he was once admitted to the intensive care unit.

The doctor removes all the irradiated muscles, removes the bones and cuts the flesh and moves them from the back to a large area of healthy skin

If Mr. Wang had not consented to the amputation, the leg exposed to nuclear radiation would have been removed in the first place.

In Suzhou, 2 million yuan was spent on medical expenses in one year of treatment, and another 1 million yuan was spent in the next two years of recovery

, So far, Mr. Wang’s leg is saved, but under the skin of his right leg is a bone,

Thirty per cent of the nerves remain unrepaired, leaving them permanently disabled.

Why is the tiny radioactive source Iridium-192 so destructive?

According to subsequent research, the reason why Mr. Wang was able to save his life and even did not amputate his limb was that this iridium-192 did not have a long contact with Mr. Wang, and more importantly, it was more important

At that time, the iridium source had already experienced two half-lives, and only 30% of the energy remained

, the activity is the lowest level of Class II sources, this low activity is not harmful to the human body even at an unobstructed distance of 30 meters,

This saved Mr. Wang

The same incident occurred in 1996

At that time, the victim Song Xuewen also picked up iridium-192, but he was in contact for 9 hours, his legs and left forearm were amputated, and he died of sequelae not long ago, which shows the great destructive power of this small radioactive source.

In fact, it is not professional for us to become nuclear radiation, it should be called from a professional point of view

ionizing radiation

Ionizing radiation mainly includes α rays, β rays, γ rays and X-rays, neutrons, etc., like iridium-192 released γ rays. The damage caused by ionizing radiation to the human body is roughly divided into tissue and organ level, cellular level and molecular level.

To put it succinctly,

The damage of ionizing radiation to the human body is essentially an energy transfer

, radiation containing huge energy will transfer energy to the human body, and sudden huge energy will cause contact surfaces

Burns, ulcers

, mechanical damage or chemical damage, which is also the most intuitive manifestation of the human body after exposure to ionizing radiation.

At the cellular level, ionizing radiation causes cellular damage

, especially chromosomal malformations, low doses of radiation cell damage may be repaired, but large doses of radiation can directly cause cell death, or

Malformed changes occur

, the more active the division, such as lymphoid tissue, thymus, bone marrow, the more affected.

At the molecular level, radiation destroys chromosomal structure and causes damage

, mainly manifested as the loss of base sequence, misarrangement, etc., when the chromosome is damaged, the cell will start the self-repair program, if the repair is successful, then everything is fine, if the repair is incomplete, inaccurate, the cell will die directly, or because of chromosomal damage leading to genetic material mutation, aberration, there will be cancer.

Like Mr. Wang’s right leg after being irradiated,

The flesh and skin must be completely excised

, partly because cells die in large numbers, or because chromosomes are destroyed and new cells cannot be produced, necrotic tissue must be removed to prevent the infection from spreading.

Another part of the reason is that

Large amounts of radioactive particles remain in the irradiated tissue

, will constantly release energy to destroy cells and genetic material, and these radiation particles will also act on water molecules,

Causes water molecules to produce radiation breakdown products

, further acts on other cells and genetic material, so in order to cut off the chain reaction, the flesh must be removed.


It is said that radioactive substances cause great damage to the human body,

Only when we truly understand where the damage is is can we recognize its gravity

, after Japan prepared to discharge nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, why did we resist the condemnation so strongly? It is because after marine life is damaged by radiation, radiation particles will not disappear immediately, it will be enriched layer by layer with the food chain, we eat contaminated food, affecting our own health.

About the Author

You may also like these