Saturday, May 17, 2008

NRC Issues New Guidance On Release Of Thyroid Patients Administered Radioactive Iodine

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued new guidance to medical licensees to strengthen existing precautions against the possibility that infants and young children who come in contact with thyroid cancer patients may receive unnecessary doses of radiation.

The guidance was prepared in response to concerns raised by the International Commission on Radiation Protection, most recently in its 2007 recommendations on radiation protection, and in a Petition for Rulemaking submitted by Peter G. Crane.

The guidance recommends that patients given therapeutic doses of radioactive iodine-131 should avoid direct or indirect contact (for example, through shared living space) with infants and young children for a specific period of time following the therapy. The guidance also recommends that physicians should consider hospitalizing patients whose living conditions may result in the contamination of infants and young children.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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