Next time you check into a hotel, or sit next to someone on a bus or plane, you may need to ask yourself if it's safe. Folks being treated for cancer with radioactive iodine or iodine-131 are sometimes kept in the hospital for a few days for safety but many are simply sent home right away. There are reports of hotel room contamination and radioactivity alarms being set off on public transportation according to a congressional investigation.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering adopting new rules to protect the public. Their main concern is exposure to children and pregnant women who are most susceptible to radiation.
The treatment is usually used to treat thyroid cancer. In the U.S. about 40,000 people each year develop the disease.