Protecting Against Radioiodine with Potassium iodide
If you’re reading this and you live near a nuclear power plant you may already be familiar with Potassium iodide
Since the incident at Chernobyl, nearly twenty years ago, scientists have learned a great deal about the effects
radiation poisoning can have on people.
A person exposed to “fallout” can suffer from a myriad list of ailments, among them thyroid cancer. Thyroid
cancer, due to radiation poisoning, is caused by the uptake (through inhalation or ingestion) of radioiodine (a radioactive
isotope of iodine). The treatment is practical enough but a few things should be explained before going on. For instance…
What Does The Thyroid Gland Do?
The gland produces a hormone (thyroxin) that regulates the metabolism of the body. From there, the thyroid gland
has an influence in affecting many functions of the body including increasing heart rate and body temperature, mental
alertness, enhancing energy, and increasing secretion of Growth Hormone.
Click here, for more information on the thyroid gland
and thyroid disorders.
Where Does Iodine Come Into Play?
The thyroid’s primary “fuel” – as it were – is iodine. It uptakes the iodine and converts it into the
necessary hormones for bodily function. This feature is wherein the danger lies. The thyroid gland, as previously
stated, wants iodine. Wherever it can get it, it will. This makes it extremely vulnerable to the uptake of radioactive
iodine. This fact is both a cure and a crux.
Radioiodine, in controlled dosage, is the preferred treatment for thyroidal illnesses such as thyroid cancer, hyperthyroidism,
and Grave’s disease. The key is “Controlled Dosage.” Treatments are, ideally, under supervision and the
threat of overexposure is limited. This is not the case in a radioactive fallout. Overexposure to radioiodine would
be almost a certainty. The destroyed/damaged thyroid is then susceptible to the development of cancer. An interesting
So What Does All of This Have to Do with Potassium Iodide?
Since the thyroid is such a glutton for iodine, the best thing to do is to let it have it. If a nuclear emergency
should occur, be it from a reactor or attack, the preferred way to block the uptake of radioiodine is by making certain
that the gland is already saturated with iodine. Insert KI here. Potassium iodide supplies the thyroid with the over-abundance
of iodine it needs and prevents it from absorbing the radioactive iodine.
Believe it or not most of you have consumed potassium iodide, that is if you’ve ever used table salt. It’s added
to salt to help stave off iodine deficiency. Of course there’s less than 0.01% so it’s ineffective as a treatment.
It will do you no good to consume huge quantities of salt in a radioactive emergency – you’ll just end up with high
blood pressure and will still have the threat of thyroid cancer.
For emergencies we keep many things around the house, everything from rubbing alcohol
to syrup of ipecac. If a product expires, you throw it out and get more. The same goes for fire extinguishers,
smoke detectors and flashlights. And the same should go for Potassium iodide.
The concept is not one we like to let slip into our conscious minds – that of a severe nuclear emergency. But it
is possible, especially under current conditions. It’s always best to be prepared.
What Do I Do If I’m Exposed to Radiation?
In the event of a nuclear emergency, local officials will have the task of instructing the public on the immediate
actions to take. In relation to radioactive iodine, the consumption of KI within 3-4 hours of exposure is necessary
to help prevent the radioiodine uptake from occurring.
As The Tsumani in Japan so emphatically brought home to many of us having survival tips, graphs, diagrams,
and important information in one place is helpful to everyone and much more convenient in our daily lives. Remembering
the information you may need in a tough situation is equally challenging.
Webmaster Recommended First Aid Must-Haves
Oil: Tea Tree oil is a must for any first aid cabinet. Use on cuts, scrapes, bites, rashes. Gargle for sore
throat and colds. Apply to fever blisters to dry them up quickly. Mist basements to control mold.
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Activated Charcoal: Another item no first aid kit should be without is activated charcoal. I keep it on hands for my animals, in case
they ever get hold of something poison, but also keep it on hand for me.
Healthcare professionals utilize the special properties of activated charcoal to address:
- Elimination of toxins that can contribute to anemia in cancer patients.
- Filtering of toxins from blood, in cases of liver or kidney disease.
- Effective deodorizing and disinfections of wounds.
Activated Charcoal can also help cut down on the odors some lleostomy and colostomy patients deal with, purify the
blood, treat overdoses of aspirine, and treat some forms of dysentery, diarrhea, dyspepsia, etc. as well as to absorb
toxic substances such as aconite, amitriptyline hydrochloride, amphetamine, arsenic, barbiturates, Ben-Gay, camphor,
chlordane, chlorpromazine, cocaine, darvon, diazepam, digitalis, doxepin, elavil, gasoline, kerosene, penicillin,
pesticides, radioactive substances and many, many more toxic substances. Activated charcoal is also excellent for
Some instances where charcoal might be good to have around, certainly not as a substitute for needed medical attention
but as something that could help till you can get to the doctor: food poisoning, accidental ingestion of poisons,
poisonous spider, snake or bug bites, Nature’s
Way Activated Charcoal (from Indian Hardwood) is one of the finest natural adsorbent agents known. Each particle
contains many small chambers and cavities that bind-up unwanted material or gas. Activated Charcoal is commonly used
to adsorb digestive gas and toxins including poisons. Activated Charcoal is listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. Poison
Control Center recommends this for use in poisoning.
Click here for information on > Nature’s Activated Charcoal