In classic American mass-hysteria style there was a huge increase in the demand for potassium iodide tablets in the United States, after the 2011 disaster in Japan.

And a lot were probably thinking, "I don’t have to worry about not getting enough potassium, I eat a banana every day.”  And to this I say?  "Good for them.”  But, that’s not the type of potassium I’m referring to here.

What I’m talking about is a tablet (pill, capsule or liquid) you take that can reduce the risk of thyroid cancer from exposure to iodine-131 (or radioactive fallout to be precise). 

Potassium iodide should ideally be taken two hours before exposure through four hours after, blocking radioactive iodine from accumulating in the thyroid gland, by saturating the gland with healthy iodine, thereby preventing radioactive Iodine-131 from entering the thyroid.

Problem was there were only three FDA approved companies in the U.S. at the time who made potassium iodide; Anbex, Recipharm and Fleming Pharmaceuticals. But because we were a little edgy (and rightfully so) and feared exposure from radioactive fallout, that we (as in the U.S.) depleted their stocks.

And it’s not just Joe and Jill American who were seeking potassium iodide.  Pharmacies, hospitals, day-care centers, even calls from as far away as Singapore, Japan, and Korea were also vying for this holy-grail of disaster pill. 

Here’s where the rubber meets the road for me.  Those concerned have been told that the chances of dangerous amounts of radiation reaching the U.S. are small; and that there is absolutely no reason for concern or to make such precautions.  Wrong!

Holy lightning-bug, Radioactive-Man that is exactly what we need to do. And should do.

If the truth be known, each of us should already have a bottle of potassium iodide in our emergency kits or medicine cabinet.  Have you looked around at all the nuclear power plants we have here in our nation?  They're like birthday candles waiting to be lit.

Also, the disaster involving the reactors in Japan is no where near under control.  Do we wait until a full scale melt down of one of them to occurs and then try to get potassium iodide?    

So, my point in all of this is to say, we can’t wait for our own catastrophic event to start preparing.  We need to be proactive and have our emergency kits assembled for any disaster.  Once you have been exposed, potassium iodide tablets will be of little use.

Although it has been said that there are potassium iodide tablets for ever resident living within 10 miles of all 104 nuclear power plants here in the U.S., wouldn’t you feel better knowing you had your own supply and didn’t have to contend with the hordes of panicked neighbors for any? 

As with everything these days, there is a warning with these tables, and that is, they should only be used in the face of imminent threat of exposure to nuclear radiation.  If taken inappropriately, they can do more harm than good.  You know, like eating your dessert before dinner (yes you do too).  So do your homework as to the do's and don'ts and if you haven't done so already, get some potassium iodide tablets. Just sayin'.

- Survivor Jane











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