Radioactive patients risk setting off airport alarms

Jul 22, 2005

People undergoing scans involving radioisotopes beware: you might set off airport security radiation alarms for as long as a month after the procedure.

That's the conclusion reached by the authors of a case report in the current issue of The Lancet.

Lead researcher Richard Underwood of London's Royal Brompton Hospital and his team members are calling for patients to be issued an information card after procedures involving radioisotopes.

"Stricter measure, and more sensitive radiation detection systems, are being deployed at airports worldwide," said Underwood. "It is important to warn patients having had a thallium scan that they might trigger radiation detectors for up to 30 days."

He said such patients should be given an information card stating the date and place of the procedure; the radioisotope used and its half-life; potential duration of radioactive emissions from the patient; and details on whom to contact for verification, if necessary.

Such information cards, he said, might lessen the impact of such false alarms and avoid unnecessary interrogations by airport security personnel.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Explainer: How to solve a jewel heist (and why it takes so long)

Related Stories

New research signals big future for quantum radar

Feb 26, 2015

A prototype quantum radar that has the potential to detect objects which are invisible to conventional systems has been developed by an international research team led by a quantum information scientist at the University ...

Recommended for you

Top UK scientists warn against EU exit

May 22, 2015

A group of leading British scientists including Nobel-winning geneticist Paul Nurse warned leaving the European Union could threaten research funding, in a letter published in The Times newspaper on Friday.

How we discovered the three revolutions of American pop

May 22, 2015

Dr Matthias Mauch discusses his recent scientific analysis of the "fossil record" of the Billboard charts prompted widespread attention, particularly the findings about the three musical "revolutions" that shaped the musical la ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.