NRC cautions against radioactive hotel guests

February 23, 2011

Washington – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently issued guidance to medical licensees discouraging patients from staying in hotels following iodine treatment for thyroid conditions.

The guidance is in response to concerns that thyroid patients, who typically remain radioactive for a few days after receiving iodine treatments, sometimes go to hotels instead of their own homes. That creates the potential for hotel workers and guests to unknowingly be exposed to radiation, NRC said.

The agency advised doctors to ask about a patient’s destination upon release and provide instructions for managing exposure to others.