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USGOV Ordering 700,000 Boxes of Potassium Iodide for Nuclear Emergencies
USGOV Ordering 700,000 Boxes of
Potassium Iodide for Nuclear Emergencies
Dec 14, 2013
What You Need To Know
The Department of Health and Human services has published a solicitation for the acquisition of 700,000 20-pill boxes of potassium iodide (KI) tablets, a key item that should be present in the preparedness stocks of every American home, and in particular, those homes anywhere near a nuclear power facility or research reactor.
As many readers know, one of the primary radioactive constituents released during a nuclear meltdown such as experienced at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island, or the detonation of a nuclear device, is radioactive iodine (Iodine-131). Potassium iodide (KI) and potassium iodate (KIO3), which are relatively safe compounds, are used to saturate the thyroid with safe, stable iodine and thus prevent the uptake of radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine poses a special health risk because of its cancer-causing effect on the thyroid gland. This is one the most common serious health ramifications of a major nuclear accident.
Following the initial meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, government officials waited 5 DAYS to order the distribution of the pills. By then, most of the nearly 100,000 residents had evacuated the area. Potassium iodide is most effective when taken just before exposure, or within two hours after. It has little effect when administered days after exposure.
The result is that the number of reported cases of thyroid cancers in Japan are climbing fast. The chances are very good the numbers are even higher as the Japanese government is said to be actively preventing detailed reporting on the health ramifications of the incident (See this, this and this.).
Here in the U.S., a new study published just last month in the peer-reviewed Open Journal of Pediatrics shows that fallout from the Fukushima disaster has resulted in a significant excess of hypothyroidism in babies in California. An excellent review of the article and supplementary info is available here.
If one questions the veracity of such studies, also consider that the quantity of radioactive iodine released was so great that it was detected in sea kelp on the California coast as well as in Washington state cow milk.
Additionally, a steady stream of news reports reveal that sailors serving aboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which rendered aid to coastal areas of Japan in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, are known to be developing thyroid cancer and a myriad of other radiation-related ailments (See this, this and this.).
We again urge readers to consider the government's actions in light of your own preparedness efforts. A major chunk of the U.S. population lives within 50-100 miles of at least one of our Nation's aging nuclear reactors. In the event of an emergency, do you feel confident enough in your local government officials to distribute potassium iodide in a timely fashion, particularly if there is a need to evacuate?
Further, despite radioactive iodine being carried 5000 miles across the Pacific after the Fukushima incident, most emergency management plans in the U.S. call for distribution of potassium iodide pills only to those located within 20 miles of a nuclear plant. Do you think this is sufficient?
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