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Idaho Worker Inhales Radioactive Material

March 6, 2008

Bonneville County, Idaho-- A worker at a privately owned company has inhaled an unknown amount of radioactive material.

The accident happened at the Sabia, Inc. facility near Idaho Falls. The unidentified man, along with three other men, was extracting radioactive material from a nuclear gauge and preparing the gauge for disposal when the incident occurred.

The worker breathed in an isotope know as Strontium 90. It is commonly used as a tracer in medical and agricultural studies. Exposure can increase risks of bone cancer and leukemia.

State agencies reported no "assessed threat" to the public. Emergency management officials said that Sabia closed and secured the building and has been assessing the best method of re-entering it in order to conduct cleanup operations.

The worker sought treatment at a local hospital and was released the same day. The others in the area were not affected.

Idaho Nationl Guard spokesman, Lt. Col. Tim Marsano said that local, state and federal agencies and Sabia, Inc. have been working together to ensure the incident remains contained.