India makes medical supplies from nuclear waste

These products are based on caesium-137.

Scientists in India are using materials recovered from radioactive waste to protect babies and vulnerable patients from adverse reactions to blood transfusion. A production line at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Trombay creates medical products based on caesium-137 instead of the usual cobalt-60, with a range of benefits.

A rare but usually fatal complication from blood transfusion is Transfusion-Associated Graft Versus Host Disease, which is a major risk for fetuses and very premature newborns, as well as patients with suppressed immune systems. To guard against this, doctors routinely irradiate donated blood either with x-rays or gamma rays sourced from cobalt-60.

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