Originally posted by Wolf321
reply to post by Trexter Ziam
I recently learned that the iodine pills are not as needed or effective on adults over 40. Not to say that it still isn't a good thing to have. However, if supply came down to rationing it, its best left for young adults and kids.
It might seem strange to compare a nuclear power plant disaster to a nuclear bomb explosion, but these two radically different types of disasters both release the same radioactive elements: iodine, cesium, and strontium.
Radioactive iodine has a half-life of only 8 days. After 80 days, 99.9% of the radioactive iodine has decayed. So the danger from iodine is short-term. However, the body cannot tell the difference between radioactive and non-radioactive iodine. So the radioactive iodine (I-131) can be taken up by the body and concentrated in the thyroid, especially in children, causing thyroid cancer years later. This uptake of I-131 can be prevented by flooding the body with non-radioactive iodine, using potassium iodide tablets (KI tablets).
It is difficult to be prudent and reasonable when there is a serious threat to one’s life or safety. In the case of KI tablets, adults over 40 generally don’t need any KI. Their thyroids are not active enough to take up the radioactive iodine. Adults 18 to 40 should take KI, but the main concern should be children. After Chernobyl, the rate of thyroid cancer in children from the surrounding area was 30 to 60 to 100 times higher than typical in the general population.