Radioactive sources stolen are hazardous to health

Date released: Oct 02 2013

Radioactive sources stolen from a premises in Dublin. Materials are hazardous to health and should not approached or handled.

Seven radioactive sources in a large red metal box (see photograph below) were stolen from a premises on Balheary Road, Swords between the 27th and 30th of September.

The materials contained in the box are dangerous and should not be approached or handled. The red box has radiation warning signs - yellow triangle with black trefoil symbol.

These radioactive sources are hazardous to health. If handled they will cause radioactive contamination to the person’s hands and clothing with the possibility of internal radioactive contamination. Close proximity to these sources will result in a person exceeding the annual radiation dose limit in a matter of hours.

If the radioactive sources are cut up or dismantled they could cause local environmental contamination as well as contamination of the person.

They have no legitimate commercial or recycling value. 

If anyone knows their whereabouts, they should contact the number below or the local Garda Síochána.

Dr Ann McGarry, Chief Executive of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) said: "It is vitally important that this material is located as soon as possible.

"I would also appeal directly to the people who have stolen these. They may have no idea what it is that they have in their possession or they may have discarded them somewhere. If that is the case then I would ask them to contact us, so that we can recover the items as soon as possible."

If you are in possession of these radioactive sources then you should move to a safe distance of several metres and call the number below or the local Garda Síochána.

The RPII’s first priority is to try to ensure the safe recovery of these sources in order to secure public safety. See picture of red box below.  

Radioactive hazardous waste

Swords Garda Station: (01) 666 4700

Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland: (01) 269 7766 (out of office hours: 087 916 3364)


For further information please contact:

Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland

David Dawson 01 206 69 13

Linda Coyne 01 2066979 

Murray Consultants 01 498 0300

Aoibheann O’Sullivan 087 6291453