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A Review of Countermeasures to Reduce Radioiodine in Milk of Dairy Animals

Howard, B. J.; Voigt, G.; Segal, M. G.; Ward, G. M.

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Abstract

The most effective countermeasure for radioiodine contamination of milk is to provide dairy animals with uncontaminated feed, with the added advantage that it will be effective for other radionuclides in the fallout. Another effective response is to process the milk into storable dairy products for an appropriate length of time to allow for physical decay. The use of additives given to ruminants to reduce radioiodine in milk is an alternative countermeasure which could be effective. Stable iodine administration is a practically feasible option which has the potential to reduce radioiodine levels in milk by at most a factor of three. Stable iodine supplementation should be at sufficiently high rates to be effective (and at least 1 g d-1 for dairy cows), particularly for ruminants already receiving high amounts of iodine in the diet. Currently available data are inadequate to recommend a suitable stable iodine administration rate for different species of ruminants. Other compounds, such as perchlorate and thiocyanate, also reduce the transfer to radioiodine to milk (and thyroid). Some of these compounds seem to be potentially equally as effective as stable iodine. However, currently there is inadequate information on their effectiveness and possible toxicity to both ruminants and humans for these compounds to be considered as suitable countermeasure additives.

(C)1996Health Physics Society

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