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September 22, 1993

Disposal of Low-Level Radioactive Waste

JAMA. 1993;270(12):1423-1424. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510120045019

To the Editor.  —The article by Dr Hendee1 presents the medical, social, and logistical obstacles faced by governmental officials trying to site low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) storage areas. These obstacles must be surmounted if all specialties of medicine are to have continued access to the diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radioactive materials. Moreover, if they are not overcome, the public will see curtailment in the areas of new drug development and medical research that are dependent on long-lived tracer technology.The American College of Nuclear Physicians concurs with other groups who acknowledge that the technology exists for safe and permanent LLRW disposal.The campaign to implement the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980 and its 1985 amendments to establish LLRW disposal sites needs the support of the entire medical community. If solutions are not developed, any medical specialty that refers patients for nuclear medicine diagnostic and therapeutic procedures