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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Iodine tablets no prevention, true to a point....

[snip]

As the power industry attempts to restart the country’s nuclear reactors, the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s new proposal to require local governments to stock enough iodine tablets and make them available to people of all ages is potentially misleading.
The NRA suggested that having enough of the iodine, technically, potassium iodide (KI), pills on hand would be an important measure should another nuclear disaster occur.
The NRA’s suggestion makes it appear that having iodine tablets on hand will somehow constitute thorough disaster preparation. Unfortunately, potassium iodide is not an “anti-radiation” pill, as people might hope. Instead, taking the KI pills is only a supplementary measure.
Evacuation is the primary protective measure that people should take in case of another nuclear disaster. Local governments within a 30-km radius of nuclear power plants should stock iodine tablets, but also let people know what the tablets can and cannot do.
The tablets block uptake of radioactive iodine into the thyroid glands, but only if taken before or within a few hours after exposure to radioactive iodine. The pills do not prevent radioactive iodine from entering the body, nor do they protect other parts of the body.
The NRA’s recommendation may lead some people to believe that they are safe from radiation if they just pop a little pill. That is far from the case, and the government should make sure that citizens understand this.
[end snip]
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/07/13/editorials/iodine-tablets-no-prevention/#.UeONs9I3D-t

So, how does iodine work?

Iodine is stored like other substances around the body. It is used particularly in the Glandular system.

If you have enough 'normal' Iodine, the rest is excreted by the body, much like over filling ones petrol tank.

If you 'prep' the body with safe iodine, then the irradiated iodine is released.
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