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SHAH ALAM: Two residents of Seri Era Apartment, who were in close proximity of the material containing Iridium-192 found in their neighbourhood on Saturday, had gone for blood tests yesterday, following advice from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board and the authorities.

Kalsom Ahmad, 70, who operates a mini-market on the ground floor of Block 5 where the materials were found, had gone for the test with her neighbour, Sandhi Raman, whose residential unit is located directly across the business premises.

Sandhi, 50, who works as a sweeper at the apartment, had found and picked up the materials and thrown them into the rubbish bin in her unit on Saturday.

Kalsom told the New Straits Times that they were taken by the authorities to a clinic in Section 19 here to have their blood tested about 11am.

Kalsom, who has been a resident there for 10 years, said she was unaware of the health hazards of the materials until she was told by police and the apartment’s residents representative.

“Since Sunday until today (yesterday), I have been experiencing headaches, burning sensation in my eyes, itchiness on my face and my body feels ‘heaty’. I am waiting for the blood test results. I hope that I will be okay.

“I have been taking paracetamol to alleviate my headaches and putting pain relief patches on my temples. The headaches have not gone away since Sunday. I’m scared of what will happen to me,” Kalsom said.

Meanwhile, Sandhi was relieved that she showed no symptoms of nausea and dizziness despite coming into direct contact with the radioactive material.

“However, it is better that I go for a medical check-up to be on the safe side,” said Sandhi who has been living there for two years.

Sandhi said she had found the materials at the apartment’s mailbox area, which was outside her unit.

“I believe it had fallen from a gunny sack. So, I picked it up and placed it on top of the mailboxes.

“Fearing that children would play with it, I threw it into a rubbish bin inside my home. Not long after that, police showed up. I did not know that the material was hazardous until police told me.”

Sandhi said she was earlier approached by a man, believed to be a scrap metal dealer.

“He had asked me to keep an eye on a gunny sack while he went to look for a friend who lived nearby. He said they would sell off whatever was in the gunny sack,” she said.

Sandhi Raman showing the spot where she found the material containing Iridium-192 at Seri Era Apartment in Shah Alam yesterday. Pix by Muhammad Sulaiman/ NSTP
Kalsom Ahmad says she is waiting for the blood test results and hopes she will be okay. Pix by Muhammad Sulaiman/ NSTP
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