Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Los Alamos Radiological Contamination Tracked



Associated Press

LOS ALAMOS — Investigators are trying to determine whether a Los Alamos National Laboratory worker exposed to radioactive material spread it out of state.

"We're monitoring everywhere he tells us he went,'' said Kathy DeLucas, a lab spokeswoman.

The employee was exposed to americium 241 while working at the lab, and the contamination was detected July 25 on his skin and personal clothing, lab officials have said.

A survey by a decontamination team also detected trace amounts of americium 241 in the worker's car and trace amounts inside his home.

Investigators are trying to figure out when and how the worker was exposed, DeLucas said.

The contamination posed no risk to the public, lab officials have said.

"Again, though, the contamination levels are very, very low,'' DeLucas said Monday. "But we want to make sure that we catch anything that went off site.''

She declined to say where the decontamination team went out of state.

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