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See fission product yield for a comparison with other radioactive fission products.
I-131 is also a major fission product of uranium-233, produced from thorium.
Thus, iodine-131 is increasingly less employed in small doses in medical use (especially in children), but increasingly is used only in large and maximal treatment doses, as a way of killing targeted tissues.
This is known as "therapeutic use." Iodine-131 can be "seen" by nuclear medicine imaging techniques (i.e., gamma cameras) whenever it is given for therapeutic use, since about 10% of its energy and radiation dose is via gamma radiation.
the elements beyond bismuth (Bi) in the Periodic Table of the Elements display radioactivity.
There are natually occurring radioactive isotopes of many of the other elements as well.
These studies suppose that cancers happen from residual tissue radiation damage caused by the I-131, and should appear mostly years after exposure, long after the I-131 has decayed.
The low-cost availability of I-131, in turn, is due to the relative ease of creating I-131 by neutron bombardment of natural tellurium in a nuclear reactor, then separating I-131 out by various simple methods (i.e., heating to drive off the volatile iodine).
By contrast, other iodine radioisotopes are usually created by far more expensive techniques, starting with reactor radiation of expensive capsules of pressurized xenon gas.
Iodine-131 is also one of the most commonly used gamma-emitting radioactive industrial tracer.
Naturally occurring radioisotopes can be used to date : Radioisotopes that emit low-penetrating alpha particles and that have a relatively long half-life have found use in domestic settings such as smoke detectors.
To be useful, radioisotopes with very short half-lives, such as those measured in seconds, hours, or days, are produced in nuclear reactors or cyclotrons close to the where they will be used. These radioisotopes are particularly useful in medical applications.