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Not Enough Igors

A while ago, I issued the challenge that someone SHOW ME THE (long term) STUDIES of the Radioactive Iodine research was supposed to have been done fifty years ago.

It's been repeated so often by so many people that RAI is safe, that I maintain that these studies should be available to read somewhere. Well, no one did manage to dig them up, so I took it upon myself to live in the "cyber archives" of the Department of Energy to review the recently declassified documents detailing the pioneering efforts in medical uses for radioactive materials.

mad_animSo far, what I've managed to uncover makes me feel I've stumbled into a Junior High School Science Class gone berserk or into the old Gary Larsen cartoon picturing lab-coated men fist fighting, entitled: "A Case of Too Many Mad Scientists and Not Enough Igors"! One of the preeminent pioneers of RAI research drank it in front of his classes to demonstrate how completely harmless it was. Of course, he and two other colleagues died of leukemia and one shot himself, possibly after being diagnosed. One of the last living medical pioneers stated categorically that there is NO safe dose of radiation.

There was a "study" of 15 patients given I-131 in the 1940s, some of whom had Graves', others had thyroid cancer. After reading 181 documents related to that experiment, all I can glean in terms of a report is that four of the subjects showed no notable change and that "clinical follow- up (showed) treatment insufficient." No details are available so far as to how the "experiment" was conducted, how much RAI was administered, or what the clinical follow-up consisted of.

From 1955-1957, "Hyperthermic Research" was conducted in a military installation in the Arctic, presumably to see if it would raise body temperature(?) They used 65 microcuries on presumably healthy people, "several hundred times less than the 10 millicuries used in the treatment of Graves'. The results, as far as I can tell, were inconclusive. They stressed that this amount "would not be expected to cause adverse health effects". Was there any long-term follow- up of these individuals? Darned if I can find out.

cornholThe last study I read about so far was one conducted on "consenting", physically healthy schizophrenic patients. The head researcher was quoted as saying: "One thing about the schizophrenia [patients], they're pretty hyper; so is an active [hyperthyroid patient]. So, they had this in common. Was the thyroid in some hidden way involved to create this jitterness (sic)? [That] was the question we tried to answer." Hmm, I see.

I'm hoping that I just haven't come upon the "real" long-term studies yet, or that they're still classified for some unfathomable reason. If not, we may be in more trouble than we'd like think about in this country. In 1993, a pilot study was drawn up to try to follow-up on "thyroid damage done in the 1940s from radioactive fallout. (This is the same I-131 that we're talking about in the medical "research". The plan is to first look for LIVING persons in the original areas of the testing. ‘Interesting plan!. Well, in the meantime, if anyone out there comes up with the REAL research, would you throw me a hint as to where to find it? I'm still looking.




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