How can I protect others from radiation while I have radioiodine therapy?

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After radioiodine therapy (used to treat overactive thyroid glands and thyroid cancers), follow the steps below to protect others from being exposed to the radioiodine. Your doctor may ask you to follow these steps for several weeks:
  • Use your own toilet if possible; flush twice after each use.
  • Wash your hands often. Bathe or shower daily.
  • Drink normal amounts of fluid (six to eight glasses of water a day).
  • Use disposable forks, knives, and spoons, or wash yours separately from others.
  • Sleep alone and avoid intimate contact.
  • Wash your clothes and linens separately. Radioiodine dissolves in water; there's no need to treat the washing machine between loads.
  • Do not prepare foods for others that require a lot of handling -- for example, kneading bread.
  • Carry information about your treatment with you if you are traveling in public areas, such as airports and subways. This will alert those who may be screening for radioactive materials.
  • Avoid becoming pregnant or fathering a child for six months after treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.