Chernobyl also demonstrated that the need to protect the thyroid from radiation was greater than expected. Within ten years of the accident, it became clear that thyroid damage caused by released radioactive iodine was virtually the only adverse health effect that could be measured. As reported by the NRC, studies after the accident showed, that “As of 1996, except for thyroid cancer, there has been no confirmed increase in the rates of other cancers, including leukemia, among the…public, that have been attributed to releases from the accident.”
What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent: When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, like tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) 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 possible 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 is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly. Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.
Plan “B” for large groups: #1 – Anyone can buy, without restriction, Potassium Iodide USP at a local chemical supply house (and even some larger photo supply outlets, but make sure it’s “USP Grade”) and readily mix up their own Potassium Iodide (KI) solution that is every bit as effective as the tablets. Also, we were recently reminded by a science teacher, that every town in America likely has a ready and waiting supply of KI sitting in their high school science labs that could protect hundreds of their students and local residents! A single 500 gram bottle of KI (USP, reagent, or chromatographic grade), now already on many of their shelves, could provide 3,846 adult daily doses or 7,692 child (age 3-12) thyroid-blocking doses!…
Also, Stanley L. Rapaport, M.D. had shared with me (2/15/03) that he has been trying to point the following out to the Surgeon General, Homeland Security, and Armed Forces Surgeon Generals. If the government bought KI in bulk, which then is not very expensive and would work out to about .01 cents per child dose, an easy distribution program could be at the ready in every community in the nation! As Dr. Rapaport explains;
“Bulk purchases must be repackaged from 100# to appropriate sized packages depending on city size and proposed stockpile locations. There are 3492 adult doses per pound or 6984 children’s doses per pound.
Stored in appropriate location viz. pharmacies, fire or police stations.
Made up into a solution of 130mg per 5cc. (1 pound of Potassium Iodide to 17.5 liters of water) gives a solution where one teaspoonful equals one adult dose, 1/2 teaspoonful equals a children’s dose and so forth as per schedule below.
Dispensed from appropriate sites including the hospital , parking lots, drive bys, etc. in any container as is very stable. Paper cups, drink bottles, with dosage directions.
Taken for ten days (even one dose is markedly effective) or as directed via appropriate authorities. Solution is somewhat unpleasant and can be masked by honey, syrup, soft drink, additional water, etc.
The solution as made up is equal to 130mg per 5cc (1 teaspoonful)
Adult dose is 1 teaspoonful
Ages 3-18 1/2 teaspoonful
Ages 1 month to 3 years 1/4 teaspoonful
Age 1 month or less 1/8 teaspoonful”
#2 – ALSO, EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE TOLD: It is poisonous to ingest (drink/swallow) elemental iodine, iodine tablets (widely sold for water purification), tincture of iodine, or Povidone-iodine solutions (like the Betadine(R)(brand solution). They are all both ineffective for thyroid-blocking and very dangerous, perhaps even fatal to have a child drink any of them.
However, there has been some promising research, though, with both humans and dogs into topically (on the skin) applied Povidone-Iodine (10%) solution (such as Betadine(R) or Povidex(R) solutions), and also with tincture of iodine, to test the absorption rates of iodine directly, and safely, through the skin.
According to research by Health Physicist Ken Miller, Hershey Medical Center, using 24 healthy adult male subjects, an adult could get a blocking dose of stable iodine by painting 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm approximately 2 hours prior to I-131 contamination. The abstract of his study titled “Effectiveness of Skin Absorption of Tincture of I in Blocking Radioiodine from the Human Thyroid Gland” from Health Physics, June 1989, Vol. 56, No. 6, pages 911-914, states:
“Although there were large variations within each subject group in regard to serum-I levels and thyroid uptakes, the increase in serum-I concentration after topical-I application was effective in reducing the thyroid uptake of I131. The authors conclude that in the absence of KI, most humans would benefit from topical application of tincture of-I, and that in some the effectiveness would equal that of oral KI.”
+ Preparing for open ended events…
+ Nuclear War Survival Skills
+ Guidance – Potassium Iodide as a Thyroid Blocking Agent in Radiation Emergencies, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER)
+ Radiation Sickness or Death Caused by Surreptitious Administration of Ionizing Radiation to an Individual (Scroll down for doses)
+ EPA on Iodine
+ What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent
+ America National Radiation Map
+ How to help support the body’s healing after intense radioactive or radiation exposure
Potassium Iodate Compared to Potassium Iodide Potassium iodate and its comparison to potassium iodide as a blocker of 131I uptake by the thyroid in rats.
Potassium iodide is the preferred thyroid blocker for personnel handling radioiodine and is recommended as a prophylaxis for the population in the near-field of a nuclear reactor which would be likely to be exposed to radioiodine in an accidental breach of containment.
However, in hot and humid climates, this hygroscopic chemical has a poor shelf life due to hydrolytic loss of iodine vapors. On the other hand, another iodine-rich salt, potassium iodate (KIO3), is quite stable and has a much longer shelf life.
The present study compares potassium iodide and KIO3 as thyroid blockers and examines the appropriate time at which they should be administered in case of radioiodine exposure. Either of the two were given in recommended dosage (100 mg stable iodine per 70 kg body weight) at -2, 0, +2, +4, +6, and +8 h after administration of tracer quantities of radioiodine (131I) to age-, weight-, and sex-matched rats.
131I uptake in thyroid was measured 24 h after its administration in the experimental animals and compared with placebo administered controls. Results suggest that KIO3 is as effective a thyroid blocking agent as potassium iodide.
In comparison to controls, 24-h thyroid uptake of 131I can be substantially reduced if potassium iodide or KIO3 is given to the animals within 2-4 h after exposure to 131I. Another noteworthy observation is that KIO3 is effective even at 8 h when administered at twice the usual dosage in comparison to the single dose, which does not show appreciable thyroid blocking properties after 8 h.
WARNING: Fear-Mongering And Health Just to be clear, this post is not advocating actually taking iodine now, just being prepared.
March 14: I bought enough from potassiumiodide.info to cover all the children in our school. I assume we will never need it, but it’s folly to rely on other’s when I can fix the issue for $200: I sent emails asking about our preparedness status in this area and received zero replies so far. I will use indelible ink to write multiple copies of instructions on the container and duct tape a teaspoon to it.
March 15th: potassiumiodide.info appears to be sold out.