Radioactive Iodine and Protection in the Nuclear Emergency


Iodine (I) is a nonmetallic solid element. There are radioactive and non-radioactive isotopes of iodine. The most important radioactive isotopes of its are I-129 and I-131. Radioactive Iodine (I-131) is a by-product of nuclear fission which occurs only within a nuclear reactor or during detonation of a nuclear bomb. If I-131 is present in high levels in the environment from radioactive fallout, it is absorbed by the body and may cause damage to the thyroid. Potassium Iodide (KI) is used by health officials worldwide to prevent thyroid cancer in people who are exposed to radioactive iodides caused by nuclear reactor accidents and nuclear bombs. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2008; 7(5.000): 449-454

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