[ RadSafe ] Re: I131 patient during intercontinental flight
Richardson David (RDE) Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Tr
David.Richardson at colchesterhospital.nhs.uk
Wed Feb 11 10:53:48 CST 2009
Why do I keep thinking about the Litvinenko case for this scenario.
If you are not familiar with the case, do a google search for
"litvinenko contamination" (Yes, that was Po210 but the point is
contamination was found on aircraft). Now ask yourself - what would the
(not necessarily your) response be from Joe Public to being asked to fly
on aircraft with radioactive contamination?
No matter how low the contamination was, would the (uninformed) public
still want to fly on these aircraft? What would the operators of these
aircraft (want to/have to) do to get the public to use these planes?
(risk assessment on an individual basis, radiation monitoring, cleaning,
crew/maintenance exposure) etc. etc. etc.
If the I131 patient used the loo on the flight, what about the dose to
the guy who has to unblock the toilet if it gets blocked - will he know
he's dealing with radioactive material.
Would the "patient" have a "duty of care" to inform the airline they
will be contaminating their vehicle?
There are many worms in this can.
MTO Radiation Protection
Essex County Hospital
david.richardson at colchesterhospital.nhs.uk
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Clayton J Bradt
Sent: 11 February 2009 15:37
To: Moshe Levita
Cc: Clayton J Bradt; radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Re: I131 patient during intercontinental flight
I don't think that there is a public health issue here. No one is going
be hurt by releasing such patients. But there is an ethical issue raised
the creation of a public nuisance. There will be contamination all over
the plane. If passengers and crew knew about it they would be furious.
it OK to subject them to this contamination as long as they don't know
about it? I think not.
Clayton J. Bradt
<mlevita at tasmc.he
<radsafe at radlab.nl>, "Clayton J
02/11/2009 10:26 Bradt" <cjb01 at health.state.ny.us>
Re: I131 patient during
If the patient on the flight has only 7 mc of I-131 in his body, he
discharge some 1500 microcuries
into the toilet during the flight. While contamination of 1 microcurie '
' Effective Dose Equivalent
of about 0.4 mSv, It seems that contamination is an issue....
External exposure of his neighbor during the flight can be some 0.3 mSv
Is this justified ?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Clayton J Bradt" <cjb01 at health.state.ny.us>
To: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Cc: <mlevita at tasmc.health.gov.il>
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:34 PM
Subject: Re: I131 patient during intercontinental flight
> It might be easier to resolve this problem if we ignore that fact that
> patients' excretions are radioactive. Most readers on this list will
> that after a fairly short time, the I-131 levels within the patient
> low enough such that he/she poses no actual danger to others. So why
> suppose that these patients instead of excreting small amounts of
> are rather excreting skunk scent. Not dangerous, but offensive to
> What would be the ethically defensible protocol for releasing these
> patients for mass transit?
> If we can answer this, I think we have answered the original question
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 10:21:52 +0200
> From: "Moshe Levita" <mlevita at tasmc.health.gov.il>
> Subject: [ RadSafe ] I131 patient during intercontinental flight
> To: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
> Message-ID: <002601c98a8f$764b1bc0$df83640a at tasmc.corp>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1255"
> Dear Colleagues,
> Many Iodine 131 patients arrives in Israel to be treated and then fly
> The patient stays in the award until the residual dose is below
> (Residual activity is calculated by the measurement of dose rate at 1
> I wonder at what residual activity it will be reasonable to allow the
> patient to fly back to his country.
> One have to take into considerations :
> 1. Five hours flight of sitting beside another passenger (who might
> child or pregnant women)
> 2. Definite contamination of the airplane toilet, toilet cleaning,
> disposal etc.
> 3. Possible triggering of airport radiation alarm monitors.
> Any suggestion will be welcomed.
> Moshe Levita
> Chief Radiation Executive
> Ministry of Health
> Clayton J. Bradt
> Principal Radiophysicist
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