Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Potassium Iodide - 3 Things You Should Know

With the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, many have been wondering about our own preparedness in the event a disaster should happen closer to home. Some of Japan’s evacuees had to be scanned for radiation levels and administered potassium iodide. Japan’s measures to protect its citizens from the effects of radiation poison makes one ponder the idea of adding potassium iodide to home first aid kits. Before you rush out scouring pharmacy shelves for potassium iodide, a few things should be considered.

1. Potassium iodide blocks the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid. This helps prevent thyroid cancer but it does not protect the rest of your body from exposure nor will it protect you from other types of radiation.

2. In the event of a nuclear reactor disaster, stockpiles of potassium iodide would be administer; however, doses would be given to children first as their thyroids are still rapidly growing.

3. Iodized salt and tincture of iodine are NOT substitutes for potassium iodide. There is not enough iodine in salt and tincture of iodine is a topical solution that is not safe for consumption.

The FDA has approved three brands of potassium iodide for the public, Anbex, ThyroSafe, and Thyroshield. Anbex and ThyroSafe are available as tablets and Thyroshield is a solution. All three products are available online. As with any other drug, please consult your physician for further information concerning the risks and benefits to taking potassium iodide.

Anbex –
ThyroSafe –
ThyroShield –

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