Iodine is a trace element that is necessary for the body to produce the
It is a bluish-black, lustrous nonmetallic solid element that mainly occurs in
nature under its stable form, iodine-127. Stable iodine is naturally present for
instance in seaweeds, sponges, and shell fish. It is also artificially added to
There are both radioactive and non-radioactive isotopes of iodine.
One of the main radioactive isotopes of iodine is iodine-131.
All radioactive isotopes of iodine are produced by nuclear fission. Radioactive
iodine is the largest contributor to people’s radiation dose after an accident
at a nuclear reactor.
Iodine-131 has a short half-life (8 days) and therefore, any presence from
nuclear fallout is essentially gone in less than three months.
The accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland can cause thyroid
To read about this term in context:
GreenFacts Summary on the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: