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Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!
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How radioactive iodine causes cancer

Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:52 pm

Hello! Is this text correct? If you find an error, please explain it. Thank you in advance!

The nuclear accident releases radioactive iodine-131 into the atmosphere, which spreads through wind and rain. Through the rain, the soil absorbs iodine and mushrooms absorb radioactive iodine by active transport, thus the iodine concentrations accumulates in the mushrooms. When an individual eats the contaminated mushrooms, it breaks down into glucose and iodine ions which will flow in the blood.

When blood flows through the thyroid gland, radioactive iodine is transported into the cells by active transport, since the thyroid gland cannot distinguish between stable (regular) iodine and radioactive iodine. The iodine is combined with amino acids to form thyroxin.

Iodine -131 taken into the body will decay in the body rather than being excreted, since it has a short half-life. In the thyroid gland, radioactive decay of iodine-131 releases molecular-destructive gamma radiation to nearby cell molecules. The radiation may impair or destroy the thyroid, and the individual may get cancer and die.

Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:42 am

I don't think the mushrooms absorb that much of iodine. They rather absorb heavy metals.
The iodine should be absorbed through milk and dairy products. Further, the mushrooms (and either other food) isn't broken into glucose and iodine only.
I131 produces both beta and gamma radiation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine-131 ... tive_decay and the effect is because the iodine is so much concentrated only in the thyroid glans

Re: How radioactive iodine causes cancer

Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:42 pm

Thank you very much for the respond! I understand the process now.
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