NUCLEAR HAZARD HAS A NEW FACE

Science  02 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5816, pp. 1199b
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5816.1199b
CREDIT: IAEA

After a 5-year, $200,000 search, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, has picked a red triangle showing a person fleeing from a skull and bones while being showered with wobbly rays.

A new symbol was needed, says Carolyn MacKenzie, an IAEA radiation source specialist, because no one gets the yellow trefoil anymore. She says tests in 11 countries found that “people do not know what the trefoil stands for.” The old symbol will remain on containers and the entrances to radiation facilities. But the new one will go on dangerous items the public is commonly exposed to, such as food irradiators, radiation sources for cancer treatment, and x-ray units.

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