The fear that a nuclear cloud could float from the shores of Japan to the shores of California has some people making a run on iodine tablets. Pharmacists across California report being flooded with requests.◼ West Coast Radiation Risk Minimal: Experts - MBC Bay Area
State and county officials spent much of Tuesday trying to keep people calm by saying that getting the pills wasn't necessary, but then the United States Surgeon General supported the idea as a worthy "precaution."
U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is in the Bay Area touring a peninsula hospital. NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo asked her about the run on tablets and Dr. Benjamin said although she wasn't aware of people stocking up, she did not think that would be an overreaction. She said it was right to be prepared.
On the other side of the issue is Kelly Huston of the California Emergency Management Agency. Hoston said state officials, along with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the California Energy Commission, were monitoring the situation and said people don't need to buy the pills.
"Even if we had a radiation release from Diablo Canyon (in San Luis Obispo County), iodide would only be issued to people living within a 10-mile radius of the plant," Huston added.
Call your doctor before taking any pills - is also good advice. There's a lot of hype and misinformation flying around.
◼ Fighting Radiation Effects - ABC news 13
Radiation exposure victims from the earthquake-damaged power plants in Japan are taking iodine tablets to stay healthy.◼ U.S. Drug Stores Report Sudden Increase in Potassium Iodide Sales - FOX
The potassium iodide tablets block the radiation from invading the thyroid gland, and causing cancer or other searious health problems in the future.
Health officials are giving exposure victims the pills that will allow the body to eliminate radioactive iodine.
A radiation safety officer at Mission Hospital says the potassium iodide tablets fill the thyroid up with all the iodide it can handle, and that prevents the body from absorbing the radioactive elements.
An emergency supply of those pills are only needed for people living within about ten miles of a nuclear power plant.
One drug supplier says it has sold 250,000 anti-radiation pills to people in the U.S. concerned about possible exposure from Japanese nuclear reactors.
Troy Jones, president of Nukepills.com, said his company sold out over the weekend of potassium iodide pills, which prevent against radiation poisoning of the thyroid gland. Jones, in an interview with FoxNews.com, said that the pills were sold to dozens of U.S. pharmacies, corporations, hospitals and nuclear labs....