Moscow schoolboy has got radioactive burns while testing a homemade X-ray machine, Russian news agency RosBalt reports.
He was at home when he scanned his right hand to check the self-made device. Three days later he noticed that the skin on his hand had became flushed and covered with big ray tubes.
Moscow doctors said that the boy had third- and forth-degree radioactive burns. Thanks to timely action on their part the boy has retained full use of his right hand.
The teenager, who has not been named, bought two x-ray tubes at Moscow's Mitinsky market. His first roentgen machine did not work, but after replacing a defective x-ray tube he then tried to test the machine on his hand.
X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, an ionizing radiation with wavelengths shorter than ultraviolet light. X-rays were first discovered in the late 1800s and the availability of this controllable source of X-rays created the field of radiography, the imaging of opaque objects with penetrating radiation. X-ray tubes are also used in CAT scanners, airport luggage scanners, X-ray crystallography, and for industrial checks.
Any vacuum tube operating at several thousand volts or more can produce x-rays as an unwanted byproduct, raising safety issues. The higher the voltage, the more penetrating the resulting radiation and the more hazardous.