Answer to Question #11616 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Nuclear Medicine Patient Issues — Therapeutic Nuclear Medicine

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

Q

Do I need to be worried about my friend sitting on the couch and chairs while staying with me after radioactive iodine therapy? Will the furniture become contaminated?

A

Yes, if your treatment was less than three days ago, your clothes and to a lesser extent, your furniture, can become contaminated with iodine-131 (131I) due to your perspiration. The iodine may be absorbed through the skin after contacting the contaminated clothes and furniture. A good reference on precautions you can take to reduce radiation exposure to others is at http://www.snmmi.org/AboutSNMMI/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=5609.

John Hageman, CHP

Answer posted on 19 June 2016. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.