Oak Ridge National Laboratory released radioactive I-131 into the air from 1944 through 1956 as it processed freshly irradiated nuclear reactor fuel.
The process recovered radioactive lanthanum (RaLa) to support weapons development at Los Alamos, for atmospheric radiation tracking, and for radiation warfare experiments.
Iodine concentrates in the thyroid gland. Therefore, the health concerns stemming from exposure to I-131 include various diseases of the thyroid such as thyroid cancer and non-neoplastic abnormalities such as autoimmune hypothyroidism and Graves disease.
This study investigated the possible risks of thyroid cancer from releases of I-131 for 41 representative locations within 38 km of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.