AW: [ RadSafe ] I131 patient during intercontinental flight

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Thu Feb 12 08:56:42 CST 2009

Dear Moshe and all the RADSAFErs, who engaged in this thread,

In my home country Austria this question is well regulated. Anybody released
from hospital after a I-131 thyroid treatment receives a paper stating that
any close contact with other people, especially family members should be
restricted for at least one week, in some cases for 6 weeks or even three
nonths. This prohibits any overseas flights within this time scale, sitting
close to passengers - even children or pregnant women. The contamination of
not only lavatories, but also the whole aeroplane space is absolutely
unacceptable. I am far from being afraid of any radiation exposure, I have
been exposed already to some Sv (earlier to rems), but I still adhere to the
ALARA principle, which in this given case would require patients to stay a
few more days at the hospital or somewhere else. 

Starting from the beginning: Why do have patients to come to Israel for such
a therapy? I hardly believe that there is any country, where such therapy is
not available! And I wonder, why there is at RADSAFE such a number of "hear
say" and "I believe " and "I think" messages; in developed countries the
regulations should be clear!

Best regards


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag
von Moshe Levita
Gesendet: Montag, 09. Februar 2009 09:22
An: radsafe at
Betreff: [ RadSafe ] I131 patient during intercontinental flight 

Dear Colleagues,

Many Iodine 131 patients arrives in Israel to be treated and then fly back

The patient stays in the award until the residual dose is below certain

(Residual activity is calculated by the measurement of dose rate at 1 m)


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 be a
child or pregnant women)

2.  Definite contamination of the airplane toilet, toilet cleaning, toilet
disposal etc.

3.  Possible triggering of airport radiation alarm monitors.




Any suggestion will be welcomed.


Moshe Levita

Chief Radiation Executive

Ministry of Health

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