Worried About the Potassium Iodide Supply?
The Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Hospital clearly outlines what concerns you should not have about Potassium Iodide supplies – or the lack thereof – right now. Get some for the future when again available, yes, but don’t worry right now.
FRANKLY, I thought by now that the nervousness among Americans about the radiation from Japan dancing on the winds over the Pacific – a trip of about 5,000 miles – and landing on our western shores to radiate us all, particularly our thyroids, had calmed down.
No, not really.
News reports say that Americans (perhaps Canadians too) are jumping up and down screaming for Potassium Iodide (or Iodate), as if these provide some panacea in the event that radiation levels in the USA were high enough to warrant concern. Strangely, they forget about two other dangerous ingredients likely held in a radioactive plume – Cesium and Strontium.
Potassium Iodide/Iodate doesn’t do anything for Cesium and Strontium. (Check out what does here.)
With this in mind, I’d like to share with you and article I just read by Dr. Glenn Braunstein, called A U.S. Health Meltdown Over Japan’s Nuclear Crisis.
The upshot: The fear is unnecessary!
To separate fact from fiction, the good doctor reports:
- Some radioactive iodine has been released into the steam coming from the damaged Japanese nuclear power plant.
- At certain levels, radioactive iodine can cause thyroid cancer.
- Potassium iodide tablets and drops can block the uptake of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland, but they do not counteract the effects of any other radioactive isotopes that are released.
- The amount of radioactive iodine that will reach the United States will be below the amount that has been associated with thyroid cancer.
- KI has potential side effects (see A Nuclear Accident Prescription: Why Japan Has Distributed Potassium Iodide Doses)
There are two other bullet points and some context that Dr. Braunstein provides in his article, so I encourage you to read it.
Finally, if you know people who are pulling their hair out over this, please send them this post, or place it on your FaceBook page.[Want to feel safer? Monitor Japan’s Radiation Coming to North America. ]