Euratom and thyroid: The Guardian today has an... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

113,046 members131,359 posts

Euratom and thyroid

helvella
helvellaAdministrator

The Guardian today has an article questioning the possible leaving of Euratom. I am not wanting to make a political point - just to question what impact it might have on thyroid diagnosis and treatment. The answer could be "none"!

Does anyone know anything about the supply of radioactive isotopes used for scans and for ablation of thyroids? Are ours all supplied from UK sources? Do we, perhaps, have reciprocal relations to ensure supplies are available even if we have a transient problem?

The shipment of medical isotopes used in scans and cancer treatment is also said to be jeopardised.

theguardian.com/politics/20...

26 Replies
oldestnewest

This whole BREXIT thing is crazy in my opinion I just cannot understand what possessed people to vote for it - as far as I can see it is a big waste of time, effort and money trying to sort out stuff like this only to get a worse deal than we have now....no one seems to have thought through all the implications and ramifications. Typewriters and candlelight etc back to the future eh?

StitchFairy
StitchFairy in reply to TSH110

I think a lot of people that voted brexit had no chance of understanding the wide ranging implications of it. I'm quite sure if they could have had a crystal ball, they wouldn't have voted that way.

TSH110
TSH110 in reply to StitchFairy

StitchFairy I'd agree the machinations of actually leaving was simply not addressed during the campaigning, but I am not so sure BREXITERS have any less conviction about leaving the EU now than they did on voting in the referendum.

I totally agree with tsh110 I think people didn't realise the effect it would have on so many things only time will tell if leaving Euratom will have a knock on effect for treatments that involve isotopes.

Helvella,

I think all radioactive isotopes for medical use are imported and the consequences could be very severe if there is no legal framework to permit shipment across borders after we leave the ECJ.

Helvella,

metro.co.uk/2017/07/10/canc...

I understood perfectly what I was voting for, spent a lot of time researching the pro's and cons before voting actually so could we please keep brexit bashing out of a thyroid help forum. I don't like reading about how 'uninformed' I was. By all means discuss possible trade implications but kindly don't imply that anyone who voted exit is stupid. Ta.

helvella
helvellaAdministrator in reply to AngieAsh

I was unaware that I had written or said or linked to an article that says that anyone who voted exit is stupid.

If I have, please would you point out where so that I can attempt to rectify the issue?

You will, obviously, appreciate that withdrawal from Euratom is actually not Brexit, and is not what any of us has directly voted on.

AngieAsh
AngieAsh in reply to helvella

Not you Helvella, sorry. I was referring to the two comments in the thread.

TSH110
TSH110 in reply to AngieAsh

AngieAsh I never said anyone was stupid. The truth is BREXIT and this related EURATOM business is a complete shambles and very worrying for those with cancer who could be affected. These are some of the unforeseen consequences of the majority voting to leave the EU with no clear or pragmatic plan of how it might be achieved.

Maybe this will help us to source from outside of the EU. bnms.org.uk/news/future-sup... it mentions - The report additionally explores options for non-reactor production of Technetium-99m in the UK and incorporates details of a visit to the Cyclotron Facilities at Edmonton, Alberta and at TRIUMF, Vancouver BC in Canada by members of the report team. It also says that we could have struggled from 2016-2020 anyway. I'm not saying this is the answer but just that possibilities may be out there beyond the EU.

helvella
helvellaAdministrator in reply to AngieAsh

There are issues with transporting radioactive material by air - simply the lead shielding required adds so much weight. Plus the issues should there be a crash.

Some isotopes have very short lives so transatlantic ship transport might not be acceptable.

However, I do know that I don't know! Hence my questioning in the original post.

Helvella,

Q&A from Hansard:

Mr Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) (Lab)

What assessment have the Government made of the effect on radiotherapy for cancer patients of their decision to withdraw from Euratom, given that the Royal College of Radiologists said this week that half a million scans a year are done using imported radioisotopes and that thousands of patients could be affected by this decision?

Damian Green

I am again genuinely happy to answer this question, because this is a very important issue and there has been some unnecessary worry caused to cancer patients by speculation on it. Let me set out the position.

The import or export of medical radioisotopes is not subject to any particular Euratom licensing requirements. Euratom places no restrictions on the export of medical isotopes to countries outside the EU, so after we leave Euratom our ability to access medical isotopes produced in Europe will not be affected. I hope that clears the matter up and reassures cancer patients around the country that the scaremongering that is going on is unnecessary.

hansard.parliament.uk/commo...

helvella
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Clutter

Thanks for finding and posting that, Clutter.

Euratom says:

As an outcome the European Commission and stakeholders established on 29 June 2012 a European Observatory on the Supply of Medical Radioisotopes, aimed at bringing together all relevant information to the decision makers in the EU institutions and national governments in order to assist them in defining strategies and policies for their implementation. The Observatory follows the OECD/NEA principles established by the High-Level Group on Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR), of which the Commission is a Member, and focuses on the specificities of their implementation in the EU.

The European Observatory has four general strategic objectives: to support a secure Mo-99/Tc-99m supply across the EU, ensure that the Mo-99/Tc-99m supply issue is given high political visibility, encourage the creation of a sustainable economic structure of the supply chain and establish periodic reviews of the supply chain and capacities.

The Observatory is composed of members from the Euratom Supply Agency (ESA), the European Commission (DG ENER, JRC, RTD, SANCO and ENTR), the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) and various industry stakeholders most of which grouped within the Association of Imaging Producers & Equipment Suppliers (AIPES).

ec.europa.eu/euratom/observ...

So, from a standing start, the UK will have to support a secure Mo-99/Tc-99m supply across the UK, ensure that the Mo-99/Tc-99m supply issue is given high political visibility, encourage the creation of a sustainable economic structure of the supply chain and establish periodic reviews of the supply chain and capacities. Without being a member of Euratom, the European Commission (DG ENER, JRC, RTD, SANCO and ENTR), or (I assume) the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM).

This against a background of (apparent) complacency by Damian Green.

I'd love to believe that to be a) possible; b) likely to come to fruition.

Clutter
Clutter in reply to helvella

Helvella,

Apart from Euratom, it appears that Brexit means we will also be outside of Open Skies which could prevent flights between UK and Europe and UK and USA. It just gets better and better :x

AngieAsh
AngieAsh in reply to Clutter

I wouldn't have thought that any EU country would want to turn down a plane full of money spending tourists and buisness people. It would not be to their financial benefit. Also we flew there quite easily before we ever joined the EU and flights from all over the World fly into and out of the EU and the US (minus Trump ban travel).

Clutter
Clutter in reply to AngieAsh

AngieAsh,

It's nothing to do with tourism or business travel. If there is no agreement between countries for planes to land and take off there will be no air travel. Open Skies allows air travel between UK and Europe and Europe and USA. New agreements will have to be agreed between UK and Europe and UK and USA.

AngieAsh
AngieAsh in reply to Clutter

Yes but what I meant is that they will surely be made. Why would any of these countries possibly not want travel between our nations to be possible? It would be cutting off their noses to spite their face. They have never refused travel access to any nation unless there were national security reasons. I just don't see them not wanting to make new agreements.

Clutter
Clutter in reply to AngieAsh

AngieAsh,

No one is saying any country doesn't want air travel. It is being pointed out that an agreement will need to be negotiated and agreed.

AngieAsh
AngieAsh in reply to Clutter

Oh yes for sure. I was just pointing out that I doubted it would prevent travel. I'm confident that arangements will be made as with other countries.

Clutter
Clutter in reply to AngieAsh

AngieAsh,

I'm less confident that DEXEU are competent negotiators.

AngieAsh
AngieAsh in reply to Clutter

Regardless of DEXEU skills and abilities the other EU countries and the US will want travel between our countries to continue. I'm not saying we won't have to work to get the best rates for it, they might make it more expensive to use airports but I just don't think anyone will want to deny us travel. I'm trying to see the bright side of it all. Docs orders 😉 He said I'm too down and need to be more possitive.

Helvella,

Guy Vehofstadt - President of the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe:

"What is not possible is to go out of the Union but to stay a full member of Euratom."

au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/3...

helvella
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Clutter

Makes sense to me.

Clutter
Clutter in reply to helvella

This is depressing too:

abpi.org.uk/media-centre/Do...

helvella
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Clutter

Severely depressing.

You may also like...