NRI: Patient Information

How do I know if I was exposed?

An estimated 500,000 to 2 million individuals, mostly children, were treated with NRI. Do you recall lying down on a table, perhaps having your nose sprayed, followed by your doctor removing a rod from a cylindrical container, inserting it up your nasal passage, and leaving it in place for 5 to 15 minutes?

If you do not recall the above situation but do remember having adenoid and or hearing problems as a child, you may want to ask any family members or your childhood doctor if they recall you receiving such a treatment.

If I was exposed, what should I do?

Since studies are inconclusive, but NRI may confer a modest increased risk, the best thing for people who were treated to do is notify their doctor. Your doctor may wish to conduct a thorough head and neck examination at your next check-up.


Public Law 105-368 enacted in November 1998 makes the VA’s Ionizing Radiation program available to veterans who received radium treatments while they were in the military. Questions about this can be answered by a Veterans Benefits Counselor at local VA hospitals or the VA Regional Offices.

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Page last reviewed: May 27, 2022