The effects of nuclear radiation poisoning comes on slow. There are no immediate symptoms. In the event of a nuclear power plant failure or the fallout from a nuclear bomb, violate fission products—basically, radioactive iodine—are emitted that can be lethal, attacking the thyroid gland and causing thyroid cancer. The ingestion of potassium iodide (KI) into the body blocks radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid, basically making the thyroid full so it cannot absorb the radioactive iodine. The effectiveness of KI depends on three factors according to the CDC, though be aware KI does not give a person 100-percent protection.

There are three factors to consider upon being contaminated with radiation. First is the time after contamination. The sooner a person takes KI after contamination, the sooner the thyroid is filled with stable iodine. The second is the absorption rate, or the rate at which KI is absorbed into the bloodstream. And finally you must consider the amount of contamination. Minimizing the amount of harmful radioactive iodine reduces how much the thyroid gland
will ultimately absorb.

AFTERMATH ESSENTIAL: Relief in the shadow of radiation’s dark cloud is doable. According to the CDC, potassium iodide tablets should be taken only on the advice of public health or emergency management officials. KI is actually a simple compound of salt that is a stable iodine—not radioactive iodine—that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland. Anbex is a manufacturer of KI tablets under the iOSAT brand name. According to Alan Morris, a spokesperson of Anbex, its product can be found in every nuclear power plant in the U.S. for protection of the workers. “The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) also distributes KI free of charge to persons living within 10 miles of U.S. plants,” noted Morris.

Each pack includes fourteen 130mg tablets. The tablets can be taken orally or crushed and mixed into many liquids. It should be taken every 24 hours, with no more than one dose per 24 hours. Check the dosage requirements for your age and weight before using, as well as those of your family members. KI tablets need not be taken daily, only in the event of a radiation emergency.  Taking it when you don’t need it won’t hurt you, but it means you may not have it when you do need it. Keep KI in a handy, dry location and it will last for many years.

Serving as protection against an accidental discharge of radioactive material or a malicious terror-related event, KI tablets are a good item to have stashed in your everyday carry bag at all times. (; 866-283-3986)

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Winter 2016 edition. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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