Skip to comments.County to distribute potassium pills
Posted on 09/25/2002 12:44:47 PM PDT by NYer
OSWEGO, N.Y. (AP) _ Oswego County officials will begin distributing anti-radiation potassium iodide pills this weekend to residents who live within 10 miles of the county's three nuclear plants. The free distribution, scheduled to begin Saturday, is part of the federal government's response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which raised concerns about the safety of residents who live near the nation's nuclear plants.
Oswego County is one of the last municipalities nationwide to dole out the pills, which were provided under a program developed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ``We wanted to first have a distribution plan in place,'' Patricia Egan, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management, said Wednesday. ``We also had concerns that people might think this was a miracle drug that could totally protect them from radiation. It's not. So we wanted to also develop a comprehensive education program,'' Egan said.
Officials in Texas decided earlier this month against distributing the pills because of concerns they would provide residents with a false sense of security. The potassium iodide pills _ also known as KI pills _ protect only the thyroid gland in a person's throat, and from only one form of radiation, I-131. People are still susceptible to possible exposure from other forms of radiation, she said. Egan estimated there are about 42,000 people who live with the 10-mile zone around the nuclear complex at Nine Mile Point in Scriba, which contains the James A. Fitzpatrick plant and the Nine Mile Point Unit 1 and 2 reactors.
The county has additional distribution dates scheduled for Oct. 5 and 24, Egan said. It also has plans for distributing the pills to homebound residents and others who cannot get to the free distributions, as well as area schools and nursing homes, she said. Additionally, a stockpile of more than 40,000 pills also will be available at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse, where zone residents would be directed if an evacuation ever became necessary, Egan said. Potassium iodide is already available at many pharmacies without a prescription for about $1 a pill for those who live outside the zone.
The pills work by filling the thyroid gland, which absorbs iodine, with harmless iodine before radioactive iodine can get in. The pills are supposed to be taken shortly after a nuclear accident and are effective for 24 hours. Before Sept. 11, most communities with nearby nuclear plants stockpiled only enough pills for plant employees and emergency personnel.
If you want a usable supply for your own medicine cabinet, try this link. I have one bottle per family member stashed. I hope I never actually need it, but waiting until you need it may be too late get it.
Who's there ?
Oswego who ?
Os we go
Into the wild blue yonder
Into the sun...
excellent articles regarding nuclear plant safety
That's right. The main protections against fallout radiation are either a solid massive barrier such as several feet of non-radioactive dirt, or distance, or a combination. In the center area [with no windows] of the second floor of a large 3-storey office building would be better than nothing. That might be the men's room.
If one must ingest radioactive substances in the water, air, and food, it won't matter how protected the thyroid is. If one goes outdoors for extended periods of time, it won't matter, it just won't matter after a while.