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Radioactive waste from patients treated with Radioactive Iodine-131 and other isotopes has repeatedly ended up in the waste stream. As refuse is taken to different facilities for processing, it is screened for radioactivity thru portal monitors while it is still in garbage trucks. The screening is based on a regulatory requirement and is meant to identify high level and industrial sources of radiation.


Any detection of radioactive material results in the delay of the waste processing and requires an investigation by the County Police and the Health Department. Radioactive iodine from a patient isn’t especially dangerous but it required a significant amount of staff time and resources to investigate.

  • Please follow all the directions from your medical provider. The radioiodine will exit the body by way of the urine, stool, perspiration, saliva, and blood. Please do not simply put soiled products into your household trash. The directions from your medical provider could include holding soiled waste in an isolated area, bringing the soiled items back to the healthcare facility where you received your treatment, or other methods.