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Public better protected from radioactive pets than from radioactive people

“The public is more protected from a radioactive Fluffy than from a radioactive father who receives the very same treatment and is then just sent home,”

Radiation Rules Differ for Humans and Pets NYTimes.com, by Matthew Wald, 9 Dec 10, WASHINGTON — One group receiving treatment for a thyroid disorder is given a radioactive drug that makes the patients a potential hazard to children or pregnant women for several days. Still, doctors usually send them home immediately after treatment.

Yet another group of thyroid patients given the same drug in much smaller doses must be quarantined for two to five days under government rules, until the radiation the patients emit is sharply reduced.

What is the difference? The first group is made up of human patients, and the second is made up of cats and dogs.

In October, Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, complained to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that its policy on human thyroid patients was creating dilemmas for patients, some of whom are sent home immediately after radiation treatment to households with children or pregnant women.

Now, Mr. Markey is pointing out that the rules are much stricter for house pets, even though they usually get radiation doses 90 percent to 98 percent smaller than the ones given to humans. On Thursday, he plans to ask the commission to revisit the regulations.

“The public is more protected from a radioactive Fluffy than from a radioactive father who receives the very same treatment and is then just sent home,” said Mr. Markey, who is the chairman of a House subcommittee with jurisdiction over the nuclear commission…….. The standards for people should be made “at least as protective as those that govern the release of cats and dogs,” he said.

Radiation Rules Differ for Humans and Pets – NYTimes.com

December 10, 2010 - Posted by | health, USA

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