Potassium iodide pills in demand in the Valley - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Potassium iodide pills in demand in the Valley

By Mackenzie Patterson - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The radiation scare in Japan continues.  Two workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant went to the hospital after being exposed to high-level radiation.  Japanese officials said the two workers accidentally stepped into an area where the floor was flooded with highly radioactive water.

Closer to home, some suppliers said stores across the nation are out of potassium iodide pills that are used to combat radiation poisoningWhat about here in the Valley?

Aundrey Pershin is not new to natural remedies.  However, lately, at Country Life Health Food Store, he has been seeing something a little different.

"We get calls everyday.  We get at least maybe a couple of calls everyday where people ask if we have potassium iodide," said Pershin.

Potassium iodide prevents your thyroid from absorbing radiation in the air.  Right now, it is being used to treat people in Japan who have been exposed to levels of radiation after the Nuclear Plant meltdown.  But, now the fears are if the radiation can travel almost 7000 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Plant to our area. 

Columbus Health Department told News Leader Nine there is no direction for the hand out of potassium iodide.  However, due to high demand, shops have put in orders for a product they have never carried.

"For us here, I don't see why you would need it right now here and expose yourself to the risk of side effects," said Pershin.

The FDA lists side effects of potassium iodide as anything from minor rashes to inflammation of your salivary glands.  Pershin said because potassium iodide is normally used to treat a hyper active thyroid taking it only as a preventative measure could affect your thyroid.

"I will explain to them because people can be just panicking in a sense and they just want to protect themselves from one threat," said Pershin.

Country Life has ordered about 24 bottles of the potassium iodide.  But, they will be warning their customers about the side effects and stressing for them to not panic about radiation scares.

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