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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: January 13, 2012


The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) confirms that on Jan. 12 it identified metal tissue box holders containing low levels of cobalt-60 radioactive material at the Bed, Bath & Beyond store on Brandywine Parkway in Wilmington, Delaware. The items, the Dual Ridge Boutique tissue box, model number (DR9M), were immediately removed from store shelves and secured.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had notified DPH and the Bed, Bath and Beyond on Jan. 11 of potentially contaminated items being shipped to their stores, but only one store in Delaware received the items and store records indicate that none of the contaminated tissue boxes had been sold. The product was available on the Bed, Bath and Beyond website prior to the recall, but has since been removed from the site.

Bed, Bath and Beyond has posted information on these products on and urges customers to call the company at 1-800-462-3966 with any questions or concerns.

Cobalt-60 is a man-made, radioactive product that has many uses, including sterilizing medical equipment and is a source for leveling devices and thickness gauges used during the production of metal products. It has been used for many years in radiation therapy for cancer patients.

The level of radiation exposure from holding this product against the body for one hour would be equivalent to a chest X-ray.

"Everyone involved acted quickly, here. This is a good example of why vigilance and caution are so important-they ensure much better outcomes for people." said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.