Skip to main content

Iodine-131: Not an Issue in the United States

potassium-iodide-120-tablets-source-naturals Here’s the bottom line first: no one in the United States is in danger from iodine-131, a radioactive isotope present in discharges from Fukushima Daiichi. No one needs potassium iodide to combat it because there is no danger of it. Got it? Let’s proceed:

NEI has a new fact sheet on iodine-131, about which Japan has issued a warning. This is from NEI’s update this morning and posted below:

Japanese authorities have advised Tokyo residents not to provide municipal drinking water to infants or use it in mixing powdered milk for infants because of abnormal levels of radioactive iodine (I-131) detected in the drinking water. One water sample (5,700 picocuries per liter) indicated approximately twice the Japanese government guideline and prompted the restriction for infants. In an emergency in the United States, state and local officials would closely monitor food and drinking water supplies and quarantine any contaminated supplies as needed to prevent public exposure. U.S. officials use pre-established guidelines for safe consumption of food and water set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Iodine-131 can roost in the thyroid and eventually cause cancer. It is considered dangerous to infants, children, pregnant women and fetuses, but not really to anyone (other than pregnant women) after age 20. Potassium Iodide is recommended when there is iodine-131 present – it floods the thyroid with iodine so iodine-131 finds no way to enter, but care has to be taken with it.

There are definite reasons not to fool around with potassium iodide. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Thyroid Association, The Endocrine Society, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine issued a letter to explain this:

However, KI [potassium iodide] should not be taken in the absence of a clear risk of exposure to a potentially dangerous level of radioactive iodine because potassium iodide can cause allergic reactions, skin rashes, salivary gland inflammation, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism in a small percentage of people.

So:

We discourage individuals needlessly purchasing or hoarding of KI in the United States. Moreover, since there is not a radiation emergency in the United States or its territories, we do not support the ingestion of KI prophylaxis at this time.

So there you go. Read the fact sheet, read the letter and be informed.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…