Answer to Question #214 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
Can you tell me more about Redivue (sulfur 35) and its health effects?
Redivue is a product of Amersham Pharmacia Biotech. The Redivue name refers to a special formulation of the company's radiochemicals which contains a red dye and a proprietary stabilizer which allows storage at 2-8 degrees C instead of requiring frozen storage. The stabilizer is basically a free radical scavenger; the company does not provide any further details on the stabilizer as it is a proprietary compound. Information on Redivue can be found on the Amersham Pharmacia Biotech website under the Technical Resources section. The company reports that the dye and the stabilizer are nonhazardous. The health effects from the radioactive properties would be those associated with radiochemicals in general. Several radionuclides are available in the Redivue formulation. You asked specifically about 35S. Sulfur-35 has a half life of 87.4 days; it is a beta-particle emitter with a maximum beta energy of 0.167 MeV. This is a relative low-energy beta particle; its maximum range in water is 0.32 mm and, thus, it is easily shielded with a thin sheet of plexiglass. Radiation dose by irradiation from outside the body would be primarily to the skin and less than 20 percent of the radiation energy would be transmitted through the dead layer of the skin. The primary concern for 35S outside the body would be contamination of the skin. For all radioactive materials, care should be taken to restrict ingestion or inhalation.
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