Radioactive Waste Was “Blood on Gauze,” Most Likely from Chemotherapy Patient


Guam – Blood on gauze pads buried in a load of other garbage triggered the alarm at the Guahan waste facility in Harmon Thursday afternoon.

Civil Defense Spokeswoman Alyssa Benito says it is believed that the medical waste came from a chemotherapy patient and that the bloody gauze had been improperly disposed of by a local medical clinic.

A government residential packer truck brought the load in about 4:30 pm, triggering the radiation alarm.

The Guam Office of Homeland Security and Civil Defense partially activated its Emergency Operations Center Thursday afternoon in response to the radiation alarm which was reported to them by Guahan Waste Control General Manager Bob Perron.

Benito says that the radiation levels were above normal, but not a threat to public health.

Guahan Waste Control contacted Unitek, an environmental emergency response contractor, to locate the source of the radiation and dispose of it.

The garbage truck was isolated, and its load was emptied out as UNITAC employees,  in full hazmat suits, combed the garbage for the source of the radiation. O nce the bloody gauze pads were located, they were removed and safely disposed of.