Health

Oct 20, 2010 8:24 AM by Associated Press

Alarms over radiation from thyroid cancer patients

Congressional investigators say cancer patients sent home after treatment with radioactive iodine have contaminated hotel rooms and set off alarms on public transportation.

Patients have come into close contact with vulnerable people, including pregnant women and children, and the household trash from their homes has triggered radiation detectors at landfills.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward Markey says the problem stems from a decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ease requirements that thyroid cancer patients remain in the hospital a few days after swallowing doses of radioactive iodine to shrink their tumors.

The commission is meeting Wednesday to examine the issue.

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