See fission product yield for a comparison with other radioactive fission products.
Very small medical imaging doses of I-131 have not shown any increase in thyroid cancer.
The low-cost availability of I-131, in turn, is due to the relative ease of creating I-131 by neutron bombardment of natural tellurium in a nuclear reactor, then separating I-131 out by various simple methods (i.e., heating to drive off the volatile iodine).
However, the short half-life means it is not present in significant quantities in cooled spent nuclear fuel, unlike iodine-129 whose half-life is nearly a billion times that of I-131.
Beta decay also produces an antineutrino, which carries off variable amounts of the beta decay energy.
It has a radioactive decay half-life of about eight days.
It is associated with nuclear energy, medical diagnostic and treatment procedures, and natural gas production.However, since the other 90% of radiation (beta radiation) causes tissue damage without contributing to any ability to see or "image" the isotope, other less-damaging radioisotopes of iodine such as iodine-123 (see isotopes of iodine) are preferred in situations when only nuclear imaging is required.The isotope I-131 is still occasionally used for purely diagnostic (i.e., imaging) work, due to its low expense compared to other iodine radioisotopes.The element is then dissolved in a mildly alkaline solution in the standard manner, to produce I-131 as iodide and hypoiodate (which is soon reduced to iodide).and can be released in nuclear weapons tests and nuclear accidents.When adults are exposed, it has been difficult for epidemiologists to detect a statistically significant difference in the rates of thyroid disease above that of a similar but otherwise-unexposed group.