Estimating Your Exposure to I-131
How can people reach a sound decision about their risk of thyroid cancer? When is it time to visit a doctor?
Scientists estimate that about 25 percent of the radioactive materials released during atomic bomb testing in Nevada reached the ground somewhere in the United States. But information about where the wind carried these materials is not precise. In addition, most adults cannot remember exact details of their milk-drinking habits in childhood.
Still, scientists and doctors think that I-131 exposure is a potential risk factor for thyroid cancer, and that some Americans have a higher risk than others. A "personal risk profile" includes four key points that may influence a person's decision to visit a doctor or other health professional for evaluation: