The Philadelphia Inquirer offered coverage of Wednesday night's panel discussion on iodine-131 at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center. Officials from PWD, the EPA, Pennsylvania DEP and the city Department of Health were able to confirm that detected levels of radioactive iodine-131 are due to thyroid patients who pass the substance to waterways through their urine. (I-131 is used to treat about half of thyroid-cancer cases in the area.) While the levels of iodine-131 pose no risk to public health in Philadelphia, some questions remain. According to the article:
"One mystery officials have pondered is why iodine-131 isn't showing up in many other places, or is found at lower levels than they see here. One reason: most other cities aren't looking for iodine-131. Plus, the Philadelphia region is a medical center, and a lot of sewage-treatment plants discharge into waterways that then flow past Philadelphia and into its drinking-water intakes."
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