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April 15, 1961

Dangerous Dose of P32

Author Affiliations

Chairman, Medical Division Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies Oak Ridge, Tenn.

JAMA. 1961;176(2):169. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040150085030

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To the Editor:—  The first editor to be removed from his post for misprinting a lethal dosage lived in early Pleistocene times. He had carved on the walls of his cave that the proper dose for the treatment of arthritis was 3 millieels of electricity rather than 3 microeels. In The Journal, Jan. 21, page 254, an item in the Foreign Letters recommends that 530 millicuries of P32 be used for determining the uptake of a tumor. This should really be 530 microcuries. The very simple typographical error of using the symbol mc instead of the symbol μc is so common that we recommend all medical dosage of lethal radioactive materials have their units written out as millicuries, not as mc, or as microcuries, not as μc. This is the fourth time this typographical error has occurred in The Journal. It is dangerous. Five hundred and thirty

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