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Acute Radiation Syndrome / Acute Radiation Sickness - FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the long-term effects of radiation?

In the long run, radiation can cause cataract, sterility, lung, kidney and bone marrow problems. Cancers may also occur, especially leukemia, breast, brain, thyroid and lung cancer.
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2. How does potassium iodide help in radiation?

Potassium iodide gets concentrated in the thyroid gland and prevents accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland, which could lead to thyroid cancer in the long run.

3. How is internal contamination treated?

In some cases, internal contamination of the digestive tract may be reduced with stomach wash and drugs that cause vomiting or laxatives. Antacids like aluminum phosphate gel may reduce the absorption of radioactive strontium.

Water may be used as a diluting agent to dilute the levels of radioactive tritium (3H) in the body.

Drugs like antithyroid drugs, parathyroid extract, glucocorticoids, ammonium chloride, expectorants and diuretics may help to mobilize the radioactive substances from the tissues.

Chelating agents are drugs that bind to specific ions and remove them from the body. DTPA binds to radioactive plutonium, americium and curium, forms a complex which can be easily removed from the body.

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