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: Best of Last Week–Can space travel faster than light, another planet behind the Sun and should we allow head transplants

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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 ...

New functions for chromatin remodelers

Aug 28, 2014

Large molecular motors consisting of up to a dozen different proteins regulate access to the genome, which is essential for the transcription of genes and for the repair of DNA damage. Susan Gasser and her ...

Recommended for you

We must defend science if we want a prosperous future

12 minutes ago

Today's Australians are, by far, the best educated cohort in our history –- on paper, anyway -– but this is not reflected in the quality of our political discourse. We appear to be lacking in courage, ...

Geometry's least-packable shapes

13 minutes ago

If you've ever struggled to pack a bunch of suitcases into the trunk of your car, you've got some idea of a basic problem in materials science: if you throw a bunch of atoms or molecules together, how do ...

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.