Can radiated patients spread radiation to others?
Posted By W. GIFFORD-JONES M.D.
A report from Johns Hopkins University says that patients, following radiation, must be made aware that they can pass along radiation to others. But unlike cholesterol, this subject is rarely, if ever, discussed at the dinner table. The problem is that nuclear diagnostic tests are not going to go away or decrease. Rather, unless we develop other means of diagnosis, these tests will increase in the years ahead.
During scans to detect thyroid disease, coronary troubles and cancer, radioactive drugs are either injected, taken orally or inhaled. Gamma cameras or positron emission tomography (PET) scanners can then detect this energy and use it to produce images of the body on a computer.
Because of this exposure to radiation, doctors advise patients to be certain to wash hands well after using the toilet. And that it's also important to flush the toilet twice to get rid of any radioactive material.
There are also varying degrees of radiation. For instance, radiation therapy delivers much higher amounts of radioactivity than nuclear scans. But patients having external radiation therapy should know that beams of radiation focussed on a cancer, will not spread radiation to other people.
Internal radiation is another matter, especially when patients with prostate cancer are treated by brachytherapy. During this procedure radioactive pellets are inserted into prostate tissue. These tiny pellets, about the size of a grain of rice, are placed around and into the tumour.
The Johns Hopkins report says that if low dose temporary pellets are used, patients require a hospital stay. During this time they should have limited contact with family members. Friends should stay for only 10 to 30 minutes and pregnant women should stay away.
But it's still another story if doctors implant permanent brachytherapy implants. These gradually degrade over time and require greater precautions. Radiation experts say patients should not hug family members, or others who want to wish them well, for a few days following implantation. And for six months they should keep six feet away from children and pregnant women.
Today radioactive iodine is also used to treat hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) and thyroid malignancy. In this situation, for the first week after treatment, the patient must sleep alone, use separate towels, dishes and wash clothes separately.
Patients must also remember, but are often not told, about this important fact. Long after they can safely make contact with others, residual radiation in their body can set off sensitive alarm systems.
Following a bone or thyroid scan the body emits radioactivity that can be detected for up to three days. Scans of the heart can set off an alarm for up to 51 days and following iodine therapy this can occur for three months.
But how often are patients advised that they are radioactive? The Journal of Nuclear Medicine recently reported that a survey of 66 healthcare facilities revealed that often patients had no idea they were emitting radiation.
Nor do patients often know how much radiation they're receiving from common diagnostic procedures. In fact, even the doctors who order these tests often have no idea of the radiation exposure to patients. Or if asked how much radiation is received, grossly underestimate the amount of exposure.
For instance, a survey showed that 94 percent of pediatricians who ordered a CT scan were unaware of the radiation exposure received by children. They did not know that because children's organs were more sensitive, a single CT scan of the stomach is equivalent to more than 4,000 x-rays. In effect, children were often being exposed to levels of radiation that are believed to cause cancer.
Patients must remember that radiation is like an elephant, it never forgets. This means that radiation is accumulative, each radiation exposure adding to the last one. I've argued we should all have a radiation card outlining our exposure over a lifetime. But so far no one is listening.
Government undermines SAGE advice
Eventually, after 2.5 years delay, on 16th October 2009, the UK Department of Health finally issued a response to the first interim assessment of the Stakeholder Advisory Group on extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMFs). We have been thinking about how best to respond, hence the delay in the timing of this news report. When the original assessment was released back in April 2007, we covered it in some detail, reporting its content and the progress it made on assessing various areas of the science. However, half a year later the UK Health Protection Agency published a rather surprising response to the health minister, with a one-sided and scientifically unsupportable position that made a mockery of some of the discussions that had taken place in the stakeholder group work that SAGE had laboured over for two years. This was particularly disappointing when the HPA were already a stakeholder within the SAGE group, and had made their position statement clear enough already within the text of the assessment. Adding a second "bite of the cherry" was unnecessary, when they could have explained that their view was already held within the assessment along with the collaborative work of the stakeholder group. The detailed further response to the health minister meant that she could take what was effectively just one view within the process, which undermines the whole purpose of SAGE.
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The truth of cell phones has been buried by the industry, the health officials and governments. Health effects from radiation exposure is being allowed to continue www.sun-sentinel.com Court victory is a first for cell-phone programmers By .... If you use WIFI or WIMAX, be sure to TURN IT OFF when its not in use, why slowly kill your family, pets and neighbours or staff and customers (restaurants, cafe, hotels). not to mention yourself. avoid health risks and plug in. ...
Daily Mail - http://www.zeusmail.us/
Sunday 15 November 2009, 17:53 Clock
Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - against excessive exposure to radiation from mobile data organizer to have demonstrated on Saturday about 2,000 people in Stuttgart. The Action Alliance for radiation-free habitats described the rally as a "complete success". Speakers pointed to the dangers emanating from the "ever-growing mobile phone." They urged Health Minister Monika Stolz (CDU) on to talk and criticize the "ignorance of the state government." This trivialize the problems of electro-sensitive people that indicates much lower numbers of those affected than, for example, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS).
The Link Between Cell Phones and Cancer
We rely on them to connect us to the people we love, to help us stay organized, and, in an emergency, to keep us safe. But more and more experts are saying that cell phones may pose a very serious health risk – increasing your chance of developing a brain tumor.
That means that over 270 million Americans may be playing Russian roulette with their cell phones every day. Each year, more than 21,000 adults and 1,500 children are diagnosed with brain tumors, and researchers believe some of them may have been caused by talking on a mobile phone.
A new study examined a decade's worth of research and concluded that people who use cell phones for more than 10 years are up to 30% more likely to develop brain tumors than people who rarely use them.
What Cell Phones Do
Every time we call to say we're late for a meeting or to ask if we can pick something up at the store, the cell phones we use are emitting radiofrequency radiation. While not as damaging as the radiation from X-rays, it can still affect our DNA. In fact, animal studies have shown that the radiation from cell phones can change the cells inside their brain. Whether those changes will cause serious damage is still up for debate. But because cell phone use is a relatively recent phenomenon, and brain cancer can take many years to develop, some scientists warn we will not see the results until it is too late.
What the New Research Found
A group of researchers from South Korea and California analyzed 23 studies that looked at the association between tumors and mobile phone use. As a group, the studies did not show an increased risk, but when the researchers focused on the higher quality studies and the longer-term use studies, they discovered about a 30 percent increased risk of tumors.
Who is Most at Risk
Children's brains are thinner and contain more fluid than adult brains, which means they can more readily absorb electricity. Mathematical models show that when children hold a mobile phone up to their ears, the brain surface they expose to radiation is more than double that of adults. Some countries, including Finland and Israel, have already issued warnings that children not use cell phones, and Maine recently passed an emergency bill mandating warning labels about children and cell phones.
5 Steps to Staying Safe
- Put it on speaker. Because your exposure drops exponentially as you move the phone away from your head, you don't have to keep the phone very far away to reduce your exposure by 1,000 to 10,000 times.
- Go wired. In crowded, noisy areas, use a wired headset instead. If you must use a wireless headset, turn it off when you're not using it.
- Store it. Unless you're on it, stow the phone in your purse or bag. If you keep it on your waist, keep it turned off. Studies have shown that keeping a cell phone in your pocket can decrease sperm count.
- Save it for a strong signal. When reception is bad (such as in a rural areas or when you're driving) use your phone for emergencies only. The weaker the signal, the more the radio frequency has to boost itself to get connected, increasing your exposure.
- Protect the kids. Do not let children use cell phones next to their heads. For older kids, it shouldn't take much encouragement to get them to text more than they chat.