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Supplies of potassium iodide, a preventive against radiation poisoning of the thyroid gland, are running low at some manufacturers, as Americans seek protection amid fears that radiation from Japan could head to the U.S., according to the companies.
One leading supplier, Anbex Inc., quickly sold out of its supply of more than 10,000 14-tablet packages on Saturday, said Alan Morris, president of the Williamsburg, Va., company.
He said the closely held firm was getting about three orders a minute for $10 packages of its Iosat pills, up from as few as three a week normally.
Originally posted by Fractured.Facade
Too bad we didn't have a heads up and could have invested in this product's manufacturers/sellers prior to now.
Seriously, I hope people don't go crazy with this stuff, and poison themselves for no good reason.
Children and infants are more vulnerable to developing thyroid cancer from radioactive iodine than adults, so it’s important that they get the pills in a radiation emergency. But the pills can be hard to swallow, especially for infants, and potassium iodide dissolved in water has a harsh, salty taste. The FDA tip: grind the pills up and mix them into low-fat chocolate milk, orange juice, or flat soda.
Large doses of iodine over a long period of time can be dangerous, so potassium iodide pills should be reserved for true emergencies. (So far, no one is recommending that anyone in the United States take them, although people are apparently stocking up.)
Many varieties of table salt are “iodized,’ which means iodine has been added. But iodized table salt doesn’t contain enough of the mineral to saturate the thyroid gland and keep it from absorbing radioactive iodine.
In an emergency, if no more KI tablets available here, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, like tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine is NEVER to be ingested or swallowed, it is poison to drink.) For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to initial exposure. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don't have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine solution is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly. Absorption through the skin is not as exact a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. More about the above at Plan B, along with formulas there for mixing up potassium iodide (KI) solutions if you acquire KI powder or crystals. Do not use if allergic to iodine. There are also a few other medical conditions and medications, discussed there, that are contraindicated that your physician can best advise you about. Inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI, or iodine solutions topically on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.
Purchasers of iOSAT™ include:
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (11 million tablets)
U.S. Postal Service (1.6 million tablets)
Defense Intelligence Agency (50,000 tablets)
Center for Disease Control ( 2 million+ tablets)
U.S. Navy and U.S. Army
U.S. Dept of Homeland Security
and many other hospitals, nuclear plants, pharmacies and foreign governments.
Purchasers of ThyroShield™ include:
Kuwait Ministry of Health (5.4 Million doses)
U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services(144 million doses)
Dept of Defense and U.S. Dept of Homeland Security
Note that adults over 40 need take potassium iodide only in the case of a projected large internal radiation dose to the thyroid (>500 cGy) to prevent hypothyroidism.