Internal Radiation Exposure

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  • Once radioactive material is internalized not much can be done to eliminate it from the body.


  • The material will be eliminated naturally over time or can be induced out by various methods.


  • Using methods to increase elimination are only used if very high activities are internalized.


  • Some radioisotopes can bind chemically in the body and remain for long period. For example, thymidine can bind with RNA or DNA in our cells.


  • Some radionuclides are organ specific. For example, iodine is readily absorbed by the thyroid. Potassium iodide (KI) is used as a radioprotectant to reduce accidental radioiodine uptake but it must be taken within one hour of exposure.


  • If intake is suspected you should call the RSO immediately for guidance at 206.543.0463.


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