The Arizona Crematorium was tested hot for radioactive contamination, and the likely source is a cremated man who was treated for cancer shortly before his death, – read in a new study. according to Nathan Yu, the lead author of the study and resident doctor at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mayo Hospital in Arizona, who received radiopharmaceuticals. However, no contamination has yet been reported
. The use of radioactive compounds is increasingly used to diagnose and treat cancer, since they can be used to deliver radiation to specifically targeted tumor cells. Taking into account their disturbing findings at the crematorium in Arizona, Yu and his colleagues call for a more systematic approach to addressing this security issue. There are no federal rules for corpses, which leads to the elimination of state regulation, according to their letter, published Tuesday in the journal American Medical Association. Arizona does not currently have such rules.
The results did not surprise Marco Caltofen, a nuclear scientist at Waltham Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, who did not participate in the study. "They happened only in one case, because they usually do not look", ̵
A 69-year-old man was treated last year at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona to treat cancer through a general outpatient procedure that included other types of radioactive compounds in the veins. Not feeling well, the next day he went to another hospital and died soon. The place where his body was cremated was not known about recent cancer treatment.
When the Mayo Clinic discovered the sudden death of their patient, they took steps, including appeals to the State Radiological Control Bureau, which led to a survey of the crematorium. Approximately a month after the man was treated with lutetium Lu 177 dotatate, the same isotope was found at low levels on the equipment used for body cremation, including an oven, a vacuum filter, and a bone crusher. pollution of lutetium "is what we were looking for," Yu said. "But there was an unexpected conclusion of another radioisotope" – in particular, technetium Tc 99m in the urine of the cremation operator – indicating that radioactive contamination in crematoria is a more common problem.
Technetium is also widely used in the treatment of cancer. Since the operator has not been subjected to this treatment, researchers suspect that the effect came from treating and cremating another body.
"Safety rules are well established for radiopharmaceuticals in living patients. But they present a unique safety issue after death, "Yu said. This is because cremation of a patient's subject can release hot particles into the air, which can be inhaled by crematorial workers.
Both cases of radioactive contamination – in crematorial equipment and in the operator's urine – were much lower than the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
"I believe that the situation described in this article is possible, but also that probable effects are very low," said Chris Wipple, who had previously headed the Council of the National Academy of Sciences on Radioactive Waste Management. . He said that one of his friends had once been treated for prostate cancer, including a procedure where radioactive seeds were implanted inside his body, and a friend had to sign the document agreeing that he would not be cremated if he died in recent months.