Thursday, December 30, 2004

Is Low Level Radioiodine Exposure Harmful?

According to studies at Fred Hutchison Cancer Center in Seattle, on 3440 subjects born near Hanford Nuclear Site in the 1940's, there was no increase in thyroid cancer,thyroiditis,or hypothyroidism. 1986 it was revealed that Iodine/131 was released from the site from 1944-1957. The subjects were exposed to a median dose of 97 mGy.
From 1992-1997 they were examined, had ultrasounds, and a needle biopsy if indicated.
Ionizing radiation does cause thyroid cancer, but low level exposure through ingestion of milk containing I/131 was not associated with increase cancer risk in this study.

I have several thyroid patients from the Hadford area, and they were glad to hear that their thyroid problem was not due to secret nuclear testing by the USA at Hanford.

Happy New Year


Ref: Scott Davis et al, JAMA 2004;292:2600-2613

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