To the Editor: The article by Crile and Schumacher on "Radioactive Iodine Treatment of Graves' Disease" in The Journal (110:501, 1965) leaves the reader with the impression that such treatment is not particularly hazardous in children.
I should like to remind the authors and the readers that a potential hazard does exist, and that the above study falls short of providing the sort of data needed for its assessment.
A long latent period characterizes the carcinogenic property of ionizing radiation, a period known to be of the order of 10 to 20 years for thyroid carcinoma. Of the 32 children who were treated with131I by Crile and Schumacher, only seven have been followed for more than ten years, and none for longer than 15 years. Indeed, since131I therapy is essentially a postwar development, there has not been time enough for anyone to have made a