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Sunday, August 15, 2010
On the use of Potassium Iodide (KI) in the Event of Ionizing Radiation Exposure
12:37 pm edt From my readers I have learned that Jolt:
a rural noir does have the effect of making nuclear disaster more speakable and encouraging people to think
more easily in terms of preparedness for emergency response. Many have shared their previous fear and resultant
ignorance of the topic. So as the need to gently weave nuclear survival information into the common culture
was of key importance in the writing of Jolt: a rural noir, a question from one who has
read it demonstrates to me that, in its own small way, meeting this need does come to some fruition for many who read
Recently, for instance, a friend of mine in Santa Cruz, CA, who read and enjoyed Jolt:
a rural noir, wrote to ask more about the usefulness of Potassium Iodide or, as it is better known, KI (said kay-eye).
I told her what I knew about its use and followed that exchange up to by talking with a physician who specializes
in the medical management of radiation injury and had work at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute who
also served as one of the contributors to the Radiation Event Medical Management (REMM) website. While he prefers to
remain anonymous here, I am, however, free to note that he is among those listed at http://www.remm.nlm.gov/Aboutthissite.htm#consultants
The doctor, an oncologist, appreciated what
he termed my friend's very thoughtful question and went on to clarify and explain as I have paraphrased below:
First of all it is good to understand and remember that KI only protects the thyroid from uptake of radioactive iodine.
It does not protect the body from other types of radiation. Further, if possible, it should be taken within 4 hours of a radiation
incident--although in the event of a radiation incident, it would be better to take cover indoors, than to search for a store
with KI if you did not already have it available.
In other, in such instances where exposure and intake of radioactive
iodine KI is likely, it is most important that it be taken by pregnant women and children. On the other hand, it is unlikely
to be needed by someone over 40 years of age.
Now for the nitty gritty on KI itself:
KI is the chemical abbreviation
for Potassium Iodide. It is available over the counter. As such, it is not controlled by the FDA in the exact same way
as are prescription drugs. The main contraindication to KI is an allergy to iodine and although KI is not a prescription
drug, the FDA has recommended only three brands which may be obtained as follows:
- Through commercial pharmacies.
- From state, local, and federal agencies
- From commercial sources:
- Anbex, Inc. makes Iosat tablets (130 mg) available to the general public via the
Internet (http://www.anbex.com) or telephone Anbex, Inc.
- Iosat tablets (130 mg) at 212-580-2810 (M-F 9 am-5 pm),
at 1-866-463-6754 (other times)
ThyroSafe tablets (65 mg): 1-866-849-7672 or via the Internet (http://www.thyrosafe.com/recip.html)
- Fleming & Company, Pharmaceuticals for ThyroShield oral solution;
phone 636-343-8200 or
contact via the Internet (http://www.thyroshield.com/)
As for my personal experience in ordering it, for no other
reason than at the time it was the only approved source of which I was aware, I purchased IOSAT tablets. They came in strips
of what appear to be strips of metallically enclosed, water-proofed packages of individually wrapped pills. But I also purchased
a bottle of loose KI pills, in case I ever thought I needed them in greater quantity. So for better or worse, within
my emergency 'go-box', that I cart around in the trunk of my car, I always have them with me. I can't recall what I paid for
them, but I do remember they were not expensive.
Now while I understand the possible need
for the use of KI in the event of a nuclear disaster and fall out exposure, certain nuclear events may require another protective
agent, it helps to know that KI, unless one has an allergy to iodine, is apparently generally safe for all ages, birth
to death. So, with no other information available, you can bet that if I am involved in the fallow out and ionizing radiation
emitted as a result of a nuclear event, I'd certainly be taking mine and handing out two week supplies to all of those
closest to me. Beyond that, I would then fall
into ignorance with everyone else and await direction and distribution of any preferred other form of protection from the
government . . . assuming one were to come.
9. What are the possible risks and side effects of taking potassium iodide (KI)?
Thyroidal side effects of KI at recommended doses
rarely occur in iodine-sufficient populations such as the U.S. As a rule, the risk of thyroidal side effects is related to
dose and to the presence of underlying thyroid disease (e.g., goiter, thyroiditis, Graves'). FDA recommends adherence
to the Guidance on Potassium Iodide as a Thyroid Blocking Agent in Radiation
Emergencies for intervention threshold and dose, though we recognize
that the exigencies of any particular emergency situation may mandate deviations from those recommendations. With that in
mind, it should be understood that as a general rule, the risks of KI are far outweighed by the benefits with regard to prevention
of thyroid cancer in susceptible individuals.
Also there is an exhaustive 15 page report on Potassium Iodide by the FDA in 2001 is at:
So in closing, let me quote from my friend, Joan Sheldon, author of Someone to Remember ,
available on Amazon.com. Joan Sheldon is from Santa Cruz, CA:
My last donation to the Red Cross resulted in
them sending me a thank you note along with a checklist of things needed for emergency disasters and your book made me take
a closer look at it and really feel that I should gather some things together.........for you never know when you might need
to evacuate. It sure would be easier if at least SOME things needed were in one place as gathering at the last minute is quite
My husband had to evaculate from our Santa Cruz house a couple summers ago when the
FIRES were only 1/2 mile from our house. He and many neighbors had to take their horses away to safer places.
grabbed our computers, our trust book and a beautiful bowl with animal carvings and loaded the horses and had to take them
to a further away neighbor who had a pasture they could stay in over night.
Thanks for your book making people
And thanks to you, Joan, for your kind interest and support.
in Po-Town, Still Thinkin' Safe and Truckin'
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Thinking Safe: Take the Ten-Point Quick Safety Check
I suppose it's a bit presumptuous of me to maintain this site
when there are organizations such as Physicians for Social Responsibility and Greenpeace that do it so
10:39 pm edt
Except information overload exists and joining a group to be regularly kept abreast of new
information on environmental concerns, actions, and recommended actions may be more than one is up to at the
time. While popping in to visit with me at least lets you keep in touch with some environmental and survival
My thought tonight is to provide a quick checklist to assess how ready you are to respond in
community emergencies. Should you answer 'yes' to all ten questions, then your family should thank you. And you
might care to share with them the below list or some of your other safety plan ideas.
if you cannot answer yes on all ten items, I think I'd consider setting yourself up so that within the week
you will be able to do so. None of the items are really complicated to achieve.
So here goes!
In case of fire, my family and I have discussed each of the following steps and know enough to:
Get out first and call 911 second.
2. Leave by the shortest escape or alternate escape route.
3. Crawl out
to avoid smoke inhalation
4. Check the doors for heat before opening them.
5. Meet household members at a pre-agreed
upon place when evacuation is necessary.
In case of storms, floods, or nuclear fall out, depending of conditions,
my family and I have discussed and:
1. Know the best place to shelter.
2. Have a supply of flashlights, preferably
3. Have a radio that can be cranked to recharge or a battery run one with a supply of
4. Have enough bottled water for 48 hours
5. Keep our gas tank full and cash on hand should
we have to evacuate and the electrical grid is down.
How did you do? 100%? Less?
Another day I'll
expand upon the above and you can assess your knowledge and preparedness further, either at a less basic level or for a different
kind of emergency. Meantime, your local Red Cross offers great free courses to improve understanding and preparedness in community
And do please comment on the Guest Share that is available under the picture to your
RMR in Po-Town, Thinking
Roberta M. Roy incorporated Alva Press www.alvapressinc.com on October 5, 2004. The express purpose of Alva Press, Inc., was to ensure a safe venue for
the publication of her works and those with similar focus. As such, upon the completion of the science
fiction novel Jolt: a rural noir, Alva would immediately publish it. Further Alva Press, Inc., would offer a
venue for Roy to publish her children's books, including Yell'n'Tell. (At this point Yell'n'Tell needs
only design as the watercolor illustrations by Dan Dyen are complete and the text fully edited. But then there is also Wedding
Ready, complete, but in need of an illustrator talented in the art of drawing forest animals. But all that anon.)
Currently, until the soft cover version of Jolt's Library of Congress Number
is in, Jolt waits to go to press. Usually the LCN takes but a few days after which will become available in hard cover
at $24.95 and Trade paper at $14.95 (plus $5.50 mailing).
was some five years in the writing; its research took longer. It's scientific basis for nuclear survival has been
carefully reviewed by oncologists and experts in the effects of ionizing radiation for accuracy of representation. Jolt
is a fast-paced novel that spans two years in the lives of a group of diverse urban, suburban, and rural residents brought
together in an imaginary part of the northern United States. There in Locklee, the small town to which those who are forced
emigrants flee, they become mutually caught up in the necessities associated with post-nuclear survival.
Check www.alvapressinc.com for a more thorough review of Jolt as well as the most recent updates on its publication
and availability. And should you be so inclined and care to help defray the last payment of its first printing, a check
in the mail to Alva Press for your very own pre-publication autographed copy of Jolt: a rural noir would be a
Thinking of self-publishing? Emergency response?
Send your questions, comments or ideas to RobertaMRoy@alvapressinc.com
With your permission, we may choose
to publish on this web site, questions posed of particular interest to the community with your or our
haven't ordered your prepublication copy of Jolt: a rural noir, now is the time to do. Go to www.alvapressinc.com |
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1) If you walk out uninjured from a nuclear event, you probably will survive.
bywords to survival from
a nuclear event are TDS: Time,
3) Use regular soap and water to decontaminate from fallout.Strip and shower or cleanse as best you can. Use bread.
4) Nuclear fallout contaminates open water and plants.If there is fallout (ashes),use bottled water and canned goods.
5) Babies as well as adults can take Potassium Iodide (KI) to protectthe thyroid against ionizing radiation.
6) There is no plume with a nuclear power plant meltdown.
7) A large event may seem ‘over there’ if you can’t define its impact.Ionizing radiation is invisible.
8) A family needs an escape plan.
9) A community can respond as a team to mass events.
10) After a mass event, a communitymay heal changed but well.
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