Waste removal after RAI

So my daughter will be going in for RAI treatment in 3 wks. The doctors stated she will need to be in isolation for 5 days. Which will be a challenge with two younger siblings (hopefully will be able to send them away). Looking for Suggestions regarding disposal of trash that is radioactive? Trash company will not take it.

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I am not sure how she will make the trash radioactive, but if its a concern put it out in the back yard and let it sit for a few weeks.

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or take it back to nuc. med. and let them handle it.

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What do you mean the trash company won't take it? In my state, there are no restrictions or wait periods necessary to put out my trash according to my doctors.

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you should call and speak with your disposal company. often times the doctors are wrong about RAI trash.

i spoke directly with Waste Management about this issue. they are not equipped to handle this type of waste stream.

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and the trash company will take it, as they take everyone's trash. if the trash sets off the radiation alarms, then the waste workers have to expose themselves to all of that trash to find the source.

personally, i couldn't let that happen to someone.

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i had my trash in a trash can in the back yard for 4 months, a little longer than they suggest but i kinda forgot it was there.

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When my son received RAI last summer, we were told by the Nuke Med doc to bag it and leave it in a trash can outside for a month, then throw it out with the regular trash.

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Thank you very much for your responses. We have a small trash company (D&L Disposal) and they refused, because the trash trucks are scanned for radioactive material and they had their truck detained for a day. At least that is what they told us. After calling around JP Mascaro landfill had told us to place it in the backyard double bagged for 8 days and then place it in one of our neighbors trash cans that uses them for removal. They were very helpful even though we were not a customer. I did find out from DEP that this trash is not regulated (RAI 131) and it falls under a classification 7 waste removal. There is only 1 landfill in the state of PA that does not accept this material.

As to the question what would we have to throw away that is radioactive - We were told by CHOP that anything with body secretions, such as: deoderant, make-up, plastic silverware, toothbrush, scrubby, sanitary napkins or tampons (we cannot flush down toilet), throw-up and what she threw-up in or on (if she gets ill and doesn't make it to the bathroom). This is what was relayed to us - We are new at this and only trying to follow all precautions, because we have two younger children as well.

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you don't have to throw away anything you can wash.

you don't have to throw away deodorant or makeup, if it's radioactive, it's not anymore radioactive than your daughter. you should verify this with CHOP again. Ask them why it would be more radioactive than your daughter.

rarely does any person vomit from I-131 treatment.

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this link may be helpful too:

http://thyroidcancercanada.org/userfiles/files/RAI_precautions_Ian_Adam_201 0_revised.pdf

So what about items that you have contaminated with the RAI from your body?
High levels of contamination can be expected on items that have been in contact with urine or
saliva, especially if the item is porous such as fabric or wipes..
Medium levels may be expected on items that have been handled a lot, sneezed or coughed upon.
Low levels might be detected on items that have been in contact with skin.
Items in the high group should be carefully cleaned with a damp cloth, put through a dishwasher or
washing machine, hand washed or otherwise made safe before any vulnerable person (children,
pregnant etc) could come in contact with them. This is especially true for items that may be chewed
or sucked.
Where washing is not practicable the item should be put out of the way (eg into a plastic bag on top
of the wardrobe) for a period of between 6 and 12 weeks depending on your estimate of the amount
of contamination present and the vulnerability of any exposed persons.
Items in the medium group can generally be decontaminated by a damp wipe or any other
'lightweight' version of the treatments above. If not possible then a month of isolation should be
Items in the low group are unlikely to cause a hazard, but a quick wipe over should be adequate
Water is the best cleaner and nothing is gained by using aggressive cleaners, bleach, disinfectant or
If you are concerned about contaminating things that you touch, remember that prevention is better
than cure. Very little RAI comes out in perspiration so you will not be leaving significant amounts
on door handles, keyboards, remotes, cell phones etc, but rinsing your hands (full scale washing is
not necessary at all) fairly frequently will remove the problem before it arises.

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When my daughter was 18 she had her TT and RAI. She was very ill after the surgery until 2 months after the RAI for numerous reasons and some we will never know. She should never have had the RAI until the endo figured out why she was so nauseous and sick to her stomach. Unfortunately, she was one of the rare individuals who did get sick 12 hours after the RAI. When I called the nuc med dept they said had she thrown up in the first 8 hours after taking the pill the hazemat team would have had to come to the house to decontaminate. I'm sure your daughter will be fine. I'm only telling you this story in the off chance your daughter was to get sick within the first 8 hours you need to call the nuc med dept at the hospital she got the pill from to find out what needs to be done.

Again, I'm sure she will be fine.

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Thank you again for your responses. Santafe1, I want to thank you for your response. The one thing we hav experienced is that children do not always respond the same way adults do to medications and treatments. My daughter does not tolerate meds well; after her TT she threw up all night from pain meds, had problems with the calcium pills, etc. She has had several times when her body has not reacted the way the doctors thought it should; so I don't rule out anything anymore.

I hav resolved the trash issue and thank all for their insight and responses.

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