Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Man's Radioactive Remains Spread Radiation all Over Cremation Chamber

RadiationA man passed away in Arizona from tumors two days after doctors had attempted to treat him with an infusion of a radioactive drug. Without the doctors' knowledge, five days later the man was cremated and the crematorium was unaware of the usage of the drug. Following an investigation of the crematorium and the employee who handled the man's remains, researchers found radioactive material left on the crematory equipment, including the "oven, vacuum filter and bone crusher."

A sample of the crematorium worker's urine also turned up trace amounts of radiation. It is not believed that the employee had contact with a dangerous dose of radiation, but it calls into question the way crematoriums handle the remains of those that may contain radioactive material.

The good news is, the researchers wrote, that lutetium 177 (the radioactive element in the injection) has a short range and short half-life. That means that any dangerous effects wouldn't have spread far or lasted very long.

See Rafi Letzter, Man's Radioactive Remains Spread Radiation all Over Cremation Chamber, Fox News, February 26, 2019.

 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2019/02/mans-radioactive-remains-spread-radiation-all-over-cremation-chamber.html

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