Plant radiation leak sends four for decontamination

Malaysian city Petaling Jaya has been found free of radioactive contamination following the detection of excessive levels of Fluorine-18 in four workers from a pharma plant. The radiation was detected on June 2, when the workers passed through a monitoring system at the Atomic Energy Licensing Board, where they had business.

Fluorine-18 is used to treat cancer patients at a radiation level of about 620,000 counts per minute, according to a local press report. The four workers clocked in at 30,000 to 50,000 cpm, about 400 times the normal background reading. At 1% of the dose given to patients, officials say they expect no health effects.

Officials have found no more radioactivity at the pharma plant and within the city. The seal remains in place, however, despite the company's filing of a report on June 6 describing how it intends to improve safety through facility modifications, additional monitoring systems and worker retraining. The company awaits the AELB's OK to resume operations.

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