The organization, costs and outcome of a metropolitan area-wide recall campaign for patients irradiated for benign disease is documented. The campaign resulted in an increase in the number of thyroid malignancies discovered in both the irradiated and the nonirradiated population. The organization of the campaign cost $100,000. An estimated excess of 100 thyroid carcinomas were found in the 17 months following the campaign compared to the 17 months prior to the campaign in the Pittsburgh Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. Of 150 patients who were radium exposed as infants and remained in the Pittsburgh area, 60% knew of their exposure only by direct hospital contact and were not reached by media public education. Seven of those 150 patients had thyroid carcinoma on 35 year follow-up, and 30% had some benign or malignant tumor.