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A man peed in his backyard. He exposed his family to nuclear radiation

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/1/2019 Joshua Bote
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A report published by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency listed 575 incidents of inadvertent radiation exposure in 2017, including one in which a man in Australia exposed his family to nuclear radiation after urinating in the backyard of his home.

The report, first disclosed by the Sydney Morning Herald, said the man had taken Iodine-131, a highly radioactive form of iodine often used to treat hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer.

The agency's report did not specify what the man was being treated for.

Doctors told the man to urinate only in toilets. It said a factor in the incident was "communication issues with the patient."

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As a result, the man's family was exposed to nuclear radiation. The man returned to the hospital in isolation after radiation was found in the backyard.

About 95% of the contaminated soil and turf was able to be removed.

Other incidents in the report, said the Herald, included someone who spilled a vial of irradiated solution on their hands at a nuclear plant in Sydney.

Even though the person wore gloves,  the solution caused "tissue reactions" on the patient's hand. It was reported as a serious nuclear incident on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: A man peed in his backyard. He exposed his family to nuclear radiation



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