Radioactive tissue holders found in stores

Jan. 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM
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ALBANY, N.Y., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- New York state health officials say 12 metal tissue box holders containing low levels of cobalt-60 radioactivity were removed from four stores.

Dr. Nirav R. Shah, New York state commissioner of health, said the level of radioactive exposure from holding the product against the body for one hour would be equivalent to a chest X-ray, but there were no reports of prolonged exposure.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission notified Bed, Bath and Beyond and state health officials that the shipment of metal box tissue holders contained the radioactive material and the products were pulled from the stores.

The state and local health officials and the New York state Office of Emergency Management visited the Bed, Bath and Beyond stores at 950 Merchants Concourse, in Westbury; 25 Waterfront Place, Port Chester; 251 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford; and 340 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station -- and confirmed all 12 boxes were secured.

"State health department and other state agencies are working closely with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Bed, Bath and Beyond and local health officials to ensure consumers are safe," Shah said in a statement.

The product -- Dual Ridge Boutique model, model number DR9M -- was not in other Bed, Bath and Beyond stores, Shah said.

Cobalt-60 is man-made and used for medical treatment, industrial uses, research, medical equipment and sterilization of medical equipment. It has a half-life of 5.27 years.

Bed, Bath and Beyond posted information at its Web site or customers can call 1-800-462-3966.

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