Since late 1992, more than 100 building complexes containing public and private schools and nearly 1,000 apartments have been identified in Taiwan with elevated levels of gamma-radiation from construction steel contaminated with 60Co. Due to improper handling of 60Co contaminated scrap steel in late 1982 and 1983, contaminated construction materials have been widely distributed throughout the country. These contaminated construction materials have generated elevated radiation exposures to members of the public in Taiwan. As of early 1996, more than 4,000 people, including young students, have been identified as receiving more than 1 mSv y-1 above the local background for up to 12 y. This report provides a detailed discussion of the sources of the 60Co contamination in construction steel, its discovery in the building complexes, and preliminary evaluation and remediation activities.
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