Jan 14 2014

I heard an updated report last night that Mallinckrodt Medical – now Covidien – in Saint Louis is being sued for dumping radioactive waste that contaminated Coldwater Creek, resulting in many thyroid, lymphoma, lung, pancreatic, appendix and brain cancer victims in Missouri. Uncovered and rusting barrels of decaying Uranium waste was left on airport land in North St Louis county, and runoff seeped into the creek. Mallinckrodt Medical supplied my employers with nuclear medicine pharmaceuticals for many years. Mallinckrodt says they are not guilty. Nuclear testing, weapons, leaking reactors, meltdowns, and careless disposal of materials poison our planet with radioactive fallout. The public has been showered with secret radioactive plasma discharges, gas releases, and worse for over a half-century since atomic weaponry became all the rage since the 40’s. Who is held accountable for the millions who have died?

Unless you are a radiation handler in the medical field in this country, you might not see that accountability is out of balance. Medical professionals who handle radioactive doses in health care are put under a microscope and drilled regularly by our licensing agencies, certification boards, societies, state health departments, and public opinion. When you compare a perhaps once in a career radiopharmaceutical misadministration to a single patient to wholesale negligence in the poisoning of a community for generations, I see the priorities are a little misplaced.

The guys in the white coats are fair game, encouraged to lessen radiation doses used in medical imaging in a population presenting exponentially increasing body mass. The new directive to “Image Gently” with less radiation is a good thing, and is noble, but when pre-teen children are sent to us that weigh nearly 200 pounds, image quality suffers. Using body-habitus rather than age to calculate an effective injected radiopharmaceutical dose for an obese child is NOT the same as keeping dangerous isotopes out of our environment. Mallinckrodt Medical may be guilty of contaminating an entire generation with several hundred forgotten rusty barrels of Uranium tailings. My profession does good things for millions of people. This website may help explain how responsible handling of radioactive pharmaceuticals is saving lives. I hope you or someone you care about benefits from my work.