May 19, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Japan: Nuclear Tragedy, Not Ours

Doctor friends tell me that patients have asked them for potassium iodide (KI) tablets. I’ve received several emails warning me of a possible radiation cloud and that I should run to the hardware store and arm myself with duct tape, plastic and maybe even tin foil. Stop.

Doctors cannot hand out potassium iodide (KI) tablets willy nilly; they are not a useful prophylactic. Especially in light of the LA County Public Health Advisory issued on March 15, 2011, which advise residents to avoid ingesting said tablets.

“There is no increased risk of harmful levels of radiation exposure in the United States based on the situation to date at the nuclear power complex in Japan. Residents who ingest potassium iodide out of concern of possible exposure from this situation are doing something which is not only ineffective, but could also cause side effects,†said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. “If a need should arise for residents to start taking potassium iodide to guard against effects of radiation exposure, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department – along with other local, state and federal agencies — will inform the public. We do not anticipate this need.â€

There are an alphabet soup of domestic and international monitoring agencies analyzing the situation on behalf of all of the world’s citizens because the idea of a nuclear meltdown is horrifying. But, as things stand at present, it is the Japanese people’s horror, not ours.

So, enjoy an extra pack of seaweed if it makes you feel better but remember, this isn’t really about us; it’s about our brothers and sisters in the north east of Japan who’s lives have been devastated and will likely never be the same again.

For more information on potassium iodide (KI)see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: http://emergency.cdc.gov/radiation/ki.asp.

For information on potassium iodide (K1) from the National Regulatory Commission:
http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/potassium-iodide.html

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