Benefits of potassium iodide during a radiation emergency

Benefits of potassium iodide during a radiation emergency

Potassium iodide is a salt of stable (non-radioactive) iodine, an essential mineral that plays a key role in the production of thyroid hormones. Potassium iodide is typically added to table salt to increase its iodine content. But on its own, potassium iodide can offer protection in the event of a radiation emergency. [1] 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), potassium iodide can help block radioactive iodine – a byproduct of nuclear energy production – from being absorbed by the thyroid gland. [2] The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. It uses stable iodine to create hormones that support optimal health in many ways, such as by supporting healthy immune and cognitive functions, regulating metabolism and maintaining healthy skin and hair. [3] Roughly 70 to 80% of iodine in the human body is stored in the thyroid. [4] 

The thyroid is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine. Potassium iodide, being an extremely soluble form of stable iodine, is stored in the thyroid. It can protect your thyroid during a nuclear emergency by filling it to capacity so that it can no longer absorb radioactive iodine from the environment. 

As of December 2020, the United States has 94 operating commercial nuclear reactors at 56 nuclear power plants in 28 states. [5] This means that the threat of radiological accidents is more real than most people might think. Because of this, serious preppers should consider adding potassium iodide to their survival stockpiles. 

Radiological accidents and their disastrous effects 

Nuclear energy has been powering the U.S. for more than 60 years. [6] This type of energy is typically formed by splitting atoms of radioactive elements like uranium inside a nuclear reactor. Unlike other types of energy, nuclear energy is reliable in that it can be generated at any time during the day. It is also relatively cheaper to produce than other types of energy because the amount of fuel required by a nuclear power plant is much smaller than the amount needed by other types of power plants. 

However, nuclear energy production comes with massive risks. For instance, radiological accidents can and do happen even though nuclear power plants have strict safety measures in place. Such accidents can have a catastrophic impact on the surrounding areas, as we have seen from events like the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan and the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. Both disasters occurred due to a nuclear core meltdown, an accident that occurs when the heat generated by a nuclear reactor exceeds the heat removed by the power plant’s cooling systems. When this happens, at least one radioactive element exceeds its melting point. [7] 

A nuclear core meltdown is the worst accident that can occur in a nuclear power plant because it causes the release of radioactive waste into the environment. This has a detrimental impact on both wildlife and humans. Radioactive waste is not easily seen or smelled, and exposure to it can cause health problems that range from blisters to cancerous tumors. High exposure to radioactive waste is also deadly. The 1986 accident at Chernobyl ultimately led to thousands of deaths, with estimates ranging from 4,000 to 60,000 dead -- with hundreds of thousands more suffering from life-long illnesses such as cancer. 

It is worth noting that, unlike natural disasters, a nuclear core meltdown is not a singular tragic event. Instead, the effects of a nuclear core meltdown usually last for hundreds, if not thousands, of years because there is little to do but wait for the radioactive elements to decay naturally. Today, more than 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, more than two million people are still struggling with health problems related to the incident, and access to Chernobyl is still limited. 

Unfortunately, the U.S. is a major nuclear powerhouse, as fully operating nuclear reactors can be found all over the country. In some states like California, nuclear power plants are even built near fault lines. [8] Such facilities are likely nuclear disasters waiting to happen, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster sets a clear precedent of what to expect. The accident occurred following a major earthquake, which generated a 15-meter tsunami that disabled the power supply and cooling system of the nuclear reactors in the power plant. [9] 

A tiny pill that could protect your thyroid 

The thought of a nuclear core meltdown is distressing to say the least. In the event of such an accident, radioactive iodine is one of the many harmful substances that may be released into the environment. It can contaminate local food and water supplies. Internal contamination occurs when contaminated food and water are consumed or radioactive iodine is inhaled. 

In the case of internal contamination, the thyroid absorbs radioactive iodine because it cannot differentiate between stable iodine and radioactive iodine. Internal contamination with radioactive iodine is known to cause thyroid cancer, with young children especially at risk. [10] 

In fact, several studies have shown a significant increase in thyroid cancer cases near Chernobyl following the 1986 disaster. Thyroid cancer was especially prevalent among children under 10 years old and those in utero at the time of the disaster. Experts believe that young children were most affected by radioactive iodine exposure because their thyroids were still developing. [11] [12] 

Fortunately, potassium iodide can protect the thyroid from radiation injury following exposure to radioactive iodine. When a person takes potassium iodide, the stable iodine in it gets absorbed by the thyroid, essentially preventing the absorption of radioactive iodine for 24 hours. 

Potassium iodide has been tested numerous times, both in laboratory settings and at Chernobyl. In fact, its value was demonstrated at Chernobyl, where more than 18 million people received potassium iodide. According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, those who took potassium iodide were protected from the adverse effects of radioactive iodine exposure. [13] On the other hand, researchers observed that thyroid damage, including thyroid cancer, spiked to epidemic rates among people who did not take potassium iodide. 

Potassium iodide’s safety and effectiveness were also documented by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which noted that children exposed to radioactive iodine at Chernobyl are much safer when given potassium iodide. The Commission also reported that no serious side effects were observed in children who received it. [14] 

It is important to note that while potassium iodide can help protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine, it cannot keep radioactive iodine from entering the body, nor can it reverse the adverse effects of radioactive iodine exposure. The protection potassium iodide offers may also be influenced by these three factors: 

  • Time after radioactive iodine exposure – The sooner a person takes potassium iodide after radioactive iodine exposure, the more time the thyroid will have to fill itself up with stable iodine, leaving little to no room for radioactive iodine.
  • Absorption – The amount of stable iodine that gets absorbed by the thyroid depends on how fast potassium iodide is absorbed into the blood.
  • Dose of radioactive iodine – The total amount of radioactive iodine to which a person is exposed will affect the effectiveness of potassium iodide. 

To recap, here’s what potassium iodide can do for you during a radiation emergency: 

  1. Delivers an extremely soluble form of stable iodine
  2. Blocks radioactive iodine from being absorbed by your thyroid
  3. Protects your thyroid from radiation injury
  4. Offers 24-hour protection from the adverse effects of radioactive iodine 

Where to get FDA-approved potassium iodide 

In 1979, the U.S. saw its worst nuclear accident when one of the nuclear reactors at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania had a partial meltdown. Following the incident, Anbex, Inc. developed iOSAT, whose active ingredient is potassium iodide. The company received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell iOSAT in the U.S. in 1982. 

Today, iOSAT is the only full-strength potassium iodide tablet for blocking radioactive iodine that may be legally sold in the United States. Only iOSAT has passed all FDA tests for purity, quality, safety and efficacy. You cannot rule out the possibility of a radiation emergency given the quantity of active nuclear reactors in the U.S. as well as the current political climate in this chaotic world, so you should consider adding iOSAT to your survival stockpile. 

However, beware of fake or counterfeit iOSAT sold on at extremely discounted prices, as these are likely old. Many distributors of iOSAT purchased too many tablets following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 and have since been trying to get rid of them. You wouldn’t want to end up with fake or ineffective tablets that won’t help protect you during a nuclear emergency, so purchase iOSAT only from distributors you can trust. 

The Health Ranger Store offers 100% genuine, FDA-approved, full-strength iOSAT Potassium Iodide Tablets that we purchased directly from the manufacturer. There are 14 tablets per pack, and each tablet contains 130 milligrams (mg) of potassium iodide. The tablet is scored so that it can be cut into smaller pieces for lower doses. According to Anbex, Inc., each iOSAT tablet provides 24 hours of protection. [15] 

Take note that iOSAT Potassium Iodide Tablets do not cure thyroid disorders. Instead, iOSAT helps protect the thyroid from possible damage by preventing it from absorbing radioactive iodine. Therefore, it is important to take iOSAT as early as possible in the event of radioactive iodine exposure. 

Do not take iOSAT Potassium Iodide Tablets if you’re not at risk of exposure to radioactive iodine, as doing so could cause harm. You should also avoid taking more than the dose of potassium iodide recommended by your health practitioner. Doing so will not offer more protection against radioactive iodine and could even cause adverse effects. 

Take note that iodized table salt, foods naturally rich in iodine and dietary supplements do not contain enough stable iodine to block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid. Do not use any of these as a substitute for potassium iodide in case of internal contamination with radioactive iodine. 

Be prepared, and stock up on iOSAT Potassium Iodide Tablets before SHTF. Protect your thyroid in case of a radiation emergency by taking potassium iodide!