Due to the recent catastrophe in Japan people are turning to potassium iodine as a preventative medication. It has been noted that in a event where radioactive iodine is released potassium iodine is required to give protection to the thyroid from the damaging results of radioactive iodine. Potassium iodine has a strong alliance with the thyroid gland immersing the tissue to prevent absorption of radioactive iodine.
However, U.S. Officials are warning fearful residents along the West coast of the dangers of potassium iodine pills. In Illinois, the Department of Public Health are warning residents not to take these pills as as preventative medicine against a possible radiation fallout from Japan. California Department of Public Health is also stressing the warnings. Everyone seems to agree taking these pills are unnecessary and can be dangerous to your health. They can put your health at great risk if taken incorrectly. Officials are warning some people may be allergic and if they take these pills they could suffer great harm.
All over officials are warning of the dangers. These warnings include that people taking these pills who have skin disorders such as dermatitis herpetisformis could place themselves at risk. Dr. Damon Arnold, department director of the Illinois Department of Public Health has stated that anyone taking these pills are at risk due to the side effects.
It is true that potassium iodine will protect the thyroid gland to exposed exposure to high radiation exposure at high levels. These pills will not protect the other areas of the body. People who have thyroid disorders may make their condition worse by these pills. Pregnant women should never take these pills due to the fact it can cause major thyroid disorders in infants.
The side effects from these pills include nausea, upset stomach, rashes, inflammation of the salivary glands and possible severe allergic reactions. These pills can also cause harm to people who are allergic to iodine, shellfish, have renal disease and other chronic diseases.
Daniel Jaffe, atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, is tracking the fallout from Japan. Jaffe along with other scientists are agreeing with the warning on these pills. Jaffe has stated that is a tragic event in which has occurred however, this is a single source of radioactivity that will become highly diluted if it does in fact go across the pacific. He further notes that its is extremely unlikely it would pose any risk to the West Coast.
Officials have announced that small amounts of radioactive are expected to hit the Aleutian Island near Alaska today. It is possible it could hit Southern California tomorrow late afternoon.
An official from Swedish Defense Research Institute, has announced today that radioactive particles will likely continue moving west and reach Europe. His own prediction is that particles will eventually be detectable across the entire northern hemisphere. However, he is also is stating that the radioactive material will be at very small levels that there will not be any threat posed.
U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, upon her visit Tuesday to San Francisco by complete accident could have very well generated an amount of fear. In her statement should did note to the public “We can’t be over prepared — we learned that with 9/11, we learned that with Katrina and we learned that this week with the tsunami.”
A spokesperson had made clear the statement issued by the Surgeon General stating that she is not recommending that people go out and purchase these pills themselves.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stated that the “appropriate” warning was issued by U.S. Officials on Wednesday for those Americans residing within 50 miles of the devastated Japanese plant to evacuate and find shelter.
Japan has issued an evacuation zone of 12 miles.
Meanwhile it is being advised once again from officials not to purchase or take these pills.
For information on radiation dangers see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention online. Sources:
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