EPA finds radioactive iodine in rainwater
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday that it has found radioactive iodine in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts rainwater at levels higher that those considered safe in drinking water.
Jeff McMahon blogs for Forbes:
“It is important to note that the corresponding MCL for iodine-131 was calculated based on long-term chronic exposures over the course of a lifetime – 70 years. The levels seen in rainwater are expected to be relatively short in duration,” the agency states in a FAQ that accompanied yesterday’s brief news release.
EPA said it is receiving “verbal reports” of higher levels of radiation in rainwater samples from other states as well, and that Americans should continue to expect short-term contamination of rainwater as radioactive isotopes spread through the atmosphere from Japan.
“We continue to expect similar reports from state agencies and others across the nation given the nature and duration of the Japanese nuclear incident.”
The agency said it has ordered samples from 78 drinking water systems. It has also ordered immediate sampling of cow’s milk around the country. Milk sampling is important, EPA said, because in situations involving large releases of radioactive iodine, cows grazing on contaminated grass will accumulate the iodine in their milk. A complete analysis of the cow milk can take three days.
EPA’s only recommendation to state and local governments is to continue to coordinate closely with EPA, CDC and FDA – EPA will continue to communicate our nationwide sampling results as they come in.
EPA’s daily updates are available here."
Also, there is some hint for you to deal with the problem
Radioactive Iodine Therapy – Safe and Effective Treatment for Hyperthyroidism
Radioactive iodine is an isotope created from iodine and is used for medical purposes. Patients must have high level of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood to take up radioactive iodine. The radioactive iodine is taken as a capsule or liquid. When a form of radioactive iodine is taken into the body, it destroys the thyroid cells that take up iodine without affecting the rest of the body. Radio active iodine is also used to treat thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Radioactive iodine therapy has improved the survival rate among patients suffering from papillary or follicular thyroid cancer. This treatment is not suitable for the types of cancer that do not absorb iodine.
Short term side effects of radioactive therapy may include neck tenderness, nausea, upset stomach, dry mouth or swelling and tenderness of the salivary glands. It is possible that the thyroid gland will be destroyed with this procedure. Thyroids are essential for metabolism, so the patients might have to take thyroid pills for the rest of their life. Depending on the dose of radioiodine the patient might have to be in the hospital for a few days.
Radioiodine is considered to be the safest, least expensive, and most convenient and effective treatment for hyperthyroidism."