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Radiation Patients Endanger Public, Congressman Says

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 21, 2010

The letter, addressed to NRC chairman Greg Jaczko, says that exposures are likely occurring "because NRC has failed to address these practices through the provision of clear guidance" to states with NRC agreements to use these materials.

"As a result, physicians fail to properly instruct patients, and these patients are then left with the impossible choice of exposing their family members or exposing strangers since inpatient stays are simply no longer viable options for most."

Exacerbating the issue, he wrote, is that the NRC has voted in 2000 and 2002 "not to even be informed when its licensees learn tha ta member of the public has received or is estimated to have received a dose exceeding 5 rem —a dose that is 10 times as high as NRC's own safe dose limits for released patients—from a patient who has been discharged from treatment with radioisotopes.

See Also:
CA Governor Signs Radiation Overdose Bill into Law
Severe Radiation Oncologist Shortage Forecast
CT, MRI Use in Emergency Departments Soaring


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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4 comments on "Radiation Patients Endanger Public, Congressman Says"


MBR (10/21/2010 at 11:18 PM)
Whistle blowers are almost 100% put down as lunatics or idiots. I am a healthcare worker and have long wondered about radiation exposure when patients are tx in out-patient settings. I applaud Senator Markey for having the courage to speak up and begin the discussion, and perhaps testing, to better protect everyone involved with radiation treatments.

Michael (10/21/2010 at 5:06 PM)
Who is this guy, you might ask? Chairman of both the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the House Energy and Commerce Energy and the Environment subcommittee. He was instrumental in passing a cap-and-trade system, and probing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. That helps explain the numerous fallacies in his statements regarding these life-saving radiation procedures. I have been in this field for 30 years, and what I am reading here is pure trash and pre-election hype.

Joanna (10/21/2010 at 11:31 AM)
Ignorant. It's the only thing that comes to mind after reading the article about radiation endangering the public. I sure hope Rep Markey or his family or loved ones, don't have to endure radiation treatments. What a pathetic and ignorant thing to say. Radiation treatments are NOT harmful. His cell phone emits more harmful radiation waves than a person undergoing radiation treatments. Typical uneducated comment.