The question has now become... WILL ANY OF US BE
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 has opened eyes to more than a few who now realize that most products from potassium iodide to food and water supplies will become very scarce, if not impossible, to buy in an extreme emergency - fact being, most of these supplies were unobtainable after only 24 hours following the disaster! Manufacturers can only carry so much at one time - in most cases, not nearly enough to handle the needs required of those facing a large emergency crisis.
It's true the US government stockpiles Potassium Iodide tablets by the millions, however, in an emergency, it is only to be distributed in a fairly small radius around the root of an emergency radioactive area - perhaps a 100 mile radius. The rest of us are left to fend on our own.
Better to be safe than sorry.
“The FDA and authorities have
known for decades that taking potassium iodide before or right after
exposure to radioactive fallout can prevent some ill effects,
especially in young children,
who are most vulnerable to thyroid cancer.” Considering its price, it just
seems like a no-brainer. We should have been doing this a long time ago."
-David Lochbaum, nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists. -Source Washington Post
Iodide “Known to Cut Risk of Thyroid Cancer” -FDA
The benefits of potassium iodide in the midst of a radiation disaster are clear. -Source FDA
American Thyroid Association Endorses Potassium Iodide as “Essential” for Preventing Radiation Related Cancer. “The American Thyroid Association (ATA) endorses the use of potassium iodide (KI) to protect people from absorbing radioactive iodine released during nuclear emergencies. High levels of radioactive iodine exposure can cause thyroid cancer, especially in babies and children up to 18 years of age. KI reduces the risk of thyroid cancer in exposed populations. ATA advocates KI as an essential adjunct to evacuation, sheltering, and avoiding contaminated food, milk, and water.” -American Thyroid Association
Iodide safe for me and my children?
It's perfectly safe and has been used for decades by civilians and military
personnel with no ill side-effects. It can be taken by children of any age.
How much do I
take and when do I take it?
Adults take 2 tablets a day only during radiation exposure. Children
should take 1 tablet per day-age 1 month to 3 years take 1/2 tablet per
day and birth through 1 month take 1/4 tablet.
Potassium Iodide and how does it work?
Radioactive Iodine (radioiodine) is produced in nuclear explosions
and comes down in fallout. If inhaled or ingested, it resides in the thyroid gland
increasing a risk of cancer. Potassium Iodide harmlessly saturates the thyroid,
blocking absorption of radioiodine.
Is this the same
as Potassium Iodate?
THE ONLY FORM EVER APPROVED BY THE FDA,
Potassium Iodide as found in Pro-KI is recommended over
Potassium Iodate by the World Health Organization because the
Iodated form can cause gastro intestinal irritation and discomfort.
The 65mg. is a convenient source for the distribution to children and teens up to age 18,
without having to use a pill slicer to cut down larger doses.
Adult recommendation is 2 tablets per day.
What is the Shelf Life of Potasssium Iodide?
The expiration date of Potassium Iodide on bottles, packages, etc. are for FDA regulatory means only. In fact, they have an indefinite shelf life, as long as they are kept in a cool and dry area, based on the premise that the ingredients are all non degrading. The following information is taken from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commision and the Food and Drug Administration, with links below to back the statements.
* Is it safe to take KI tablets with an expired shelf-life?
Yes, potassium iodide tablets are inherently stable and do not lose their effectiveness over time. Manufacturers must label their products with a shelf-life to ensure that consumers purchase safe and useful products.
According to FDA guidance on Shelf-life Extension, studies over many years have confirmed that none of the components of KI tablets, including the active ingredient, has any significant potential for chemical degradation or interaction with other components or with components of the container closure system when stored according to labeled directions. To date, the only observed changes during stability (shelf-life) testing have been the failure of some batches of KI tablets to meet dissolution specifications. Some tablets tested required slightly longer than the specified time to achieve dissolution. Even in the case of a failure of this sort, the product remains usable. In such cases, instructions can be provided to crush the tablets and mix them with a juice or other liquid prior to administration as suggested for emergency pediatric dosing.
* This and other information on KI found at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commision:
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field: HPS (HEALTH PHYSICS SOCIETY) - Specialists in Radiation Health Protection for FDA.
* I have received conflicting information about the breakdown of potassium iodide (KI) over time or the half-life of the compound. Can you tell me if tablets that are past the "expiration date" on the label are still usable in the event of nuclear fallout or do they lose their effectiveness?
Stability studies over many years have confirmed that none of the components of KI tablets, including the active ingredient, has any significant potential for chemical degradation or interaction with other components or with components of the container closure system when stored according to labeled directions.To date, the only observed changes during stability testing have been the failure of some batches of KI tablets to meet the USP S1 dissolution specification, Q=75 percent in 15 minutes. Some tablets tested required slightly longer than the specified time to achieve dissolution, but even in the case of a failure of this sort, the product would remain usable. In such cases, instructions can be provided to crush the tablets and mix them with a juice or other liquid prior to administration as suggested for emergency pediatric dosing (see Home Preparation Procedures document cited above). In any long-term stability evaluation, appearance should be monitored as a matter of course. In the specific case of KI tablets, a yellowish discoloration would be indicative of stability problems. Since pure KI is known to be very stable (as long as it is protected from moist air),12 ongoing evaluation and testing of each batch is probably unnecessary as long as the market package remains intact and continues to be stored under controlled conditions as described in the labeling. Ronald E. Goans, PhD, MD, MPH
* This and further information on Potassium Iodide to found at the Food and Drug Administration:
2 - 30 ct. Bottles