Its strange that during breast cancer awareness month weve become aware of some of the serious dangers posed by cancer treatments. Not just to the patients, but to everyone and everything they come in contact with. There are potentially more than 30,000 human nuclear reactors walking the streets as we speak.
Iodine-131 is a byproduct of uranium fission, and is the main reason that the Cherynobl disaster was so deadly. It has been described as a major radioactive hazard in nuclear fission products, and is noteworthy for its ability to kill and mutate cells. It also happens to be what cancer patients are given during treatment.
Cancer patients swallow doses of iodine-131 to help shrink tumors, and for many years they were required to stay in the hospital for an extended period after treatment because of the risk that could be posed. These restrictions have been lessened, which may make the patient happy since they dont have to spend any more time in the hospital, but they pose a significant radiation risk to the surrounding world.
There are some patients who still have active iodine-131 in their systems have contaminated their homes, businesses, hotels, and everything around them. Trash from their homes has set off radiation alarms at landfills, and some patients have themselves set off radiation detectors in public places.
The regulations that are in place are not enough to protect the general public. Even though patients are recommended not to do certain things like visit hotels or use public transportation, there is no way to ensure they follow said advice. It can also be blamed on insurance companies that wont pay for the extended hospital stays after such treatments, though in a way they are actually liable for sending these walking bombs out into the world.
A congressional investigation has made these findings, and more strict regulations should be forthcoming now that public safety could be in question.