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I was listening to a lecture by my Biology professor and he said that the thyroid gland contains radioactive Iodine which can break down and create reactive Oxygen species (because ionizing radiation from the Iodine interacts with water in the human body).

So, shouldn't the thyroid gland suffer awful double-stranded chromosomal breaks constantly? Shouldn't we be suffering mutations in the thyroid gland all the time?

Thanks!!!

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Radioactive does not mean much in and of itself, your bones are radioactive (potassium), just being radioactive is not enough to do any damage. It needs to be the right type of radiation and have high enough intensity before it can start damaging DNA and thus cause cancer. Second the amount of iodine in the body is miniscule, the aforementioned radioactive potassium in your body is orders of magnitude larger (if there is any radioactive iodine present at all which is unlikely).

On top of this remember we are surrounded by low dose radiation all the time so our bodies have evolved ways to handle minor damage.http://imgs.xkcd.com/blag/radiation.png

enter image description here

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Maybe there's a confusion with "contains"? The thyroid gland is responsible for iodine uptake, so if exposure to radioactive iodine were to occur, then the reactive oxygen species statement is a possibility.

According to this article, the radioactive isotopes of iodine aren't very common. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine#Isotopes

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The thyroid gland contains iodine, but is usually not radioactive. In the contaminated area, it can adsorb radioactive iodine, which would lead to a health danger. In such circumstances, pills with non-radioactive iodine are prescribed as a preventive measure.

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