Historical story

The second biggest radioactive accident in history

One ​​year after the radioactive accident at Chernobyl, the world was faced with a new radioactive tragedy, that of Cesium 137. On September 13, 1987, two garbage collectors found an abandoned device on the land of the former Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Goiânia, they dismantled it to sell its salvageable parts. They sold the device to the owner of a junkyard, who ended up finding the capsule that contained Cesium 137.

He was impressed with the powder inside that capsule, as it emitted an intense blue light when placed in the dark. He believed that it was something supernatural, and from then on he began to expose the dust to other people, that harmless-looking dust was passed from hand to hand, contaminating people, the soil and the air of much of the city of Goiânia, Goiás.

People who had contact with Cesium 137 began to manifest various symptoms, many had no idea what had happened to them. Hospitals were not trained to diagnose the problems presented by that large number of patients. Only on September 29, 1987, it was diagnosed that the symptoms were of an Acute Radiation Syndrome, and this was only possible because the wife of the owner of the junkyard took part of the radiotherapy machine to the headquarters of the Health Surveillance. .

With the device in hand, the doctors requested the presence of a physicist, as they suspected that it was a radioactive contamination. After the physicist verified the high level of radiation, the fight began to decontaminate the areas that had traces of Cesium 137, specialists from Brazil and other parts of the world came to help in this process.

Many people died as a result of contamination, others were left with permanent injuries, some time later the descendants of these people suffered some kind of problem from Cesium 137. After decontamination, many people suffered with society's discrimination, many saw victims as disgusting and inferior people for having been contaminated with such a substance. The Cesium 137 accident was the biggest in history, as it occurred outside a nuclear power plant, and the second-biggest radioactive accident overall.