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Radiation Information Network's Radioactive Iodine

Radioactive Iodine

In a recent TV show, CSI Miami, radioactive iodine was used to kill someone. It must be kept in mind that this is a fictional TV show - entertainment and is not based on science. In reality, radioactive iodine is commonly used in medicine and research. Due to the way the body uses iodine, the thyroid is where most of the iodine will accumulate upon uptake. This is used to our advantage for the treatment of thyroid disease and cancer. 125I is also used in small sources to treat prostate cancer. In the laboratory, it is used in biomedical research and being looked at for treatment of other cancers.

The show contained many errors about radioactive iodine and radioactive Iodine 131 (131I) and the effects of radiation.

Radioactive iodine, or radio-iodine is normally one of the following nuclides:

Nuclide Symbol Use Half-Life
Iodine 123 123I Radiology imaging 13.2 hrs
Iodine 125 125I Research 59 days
Iodine 129 129I Research/sources 1.6 x 107 yrs
Iodine 131 131I Medical treatment 8 days

More information on Radioactive Iodine

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