​Potassium Iodide and Radiation

​Potassium Iodide and Radiation

As the doomsday clock ticks onward in the shadow of a perceived threat, concerned citizens the world over reach for this product: potassium iodide, but why? Is it true that this compound can protect against nuclear radiation?

Radioactive contamination occurs when radioactive material comes into contact with a person. To start, potassium iodide, otherwise known as KI, will not cure radiation poisoning, though it can help. In particular, KI can protect the human thyroid gland from being damaged by radioactive iodine by saturating the available space in the thyroid with stable potassium iodide molecules.

Potassium iodide will only protect the thyroid from contamination, and will only protect against radioactive iodine. If the thyroid gland becomes damaged due to radioactive contamination, KI will not reverse the damage nor will it repair cells. Furthermore, KI will not keep radioactive iodine from entering the body, and a single dose will only protect the thyroid for up to 24 hours after administration. A single dose is normally all that is required for conventional circumstances, and multiple doses or overdoses can lead to side effects.

Because infants face the greatest risk of radioactive contamination from decaying iodine, it is recommended that every newborn infant receive a single dose of potassium iodide. It is also safe to take for children, adolescents, and youths at risk of contamination. As people age, they become less sensitive to radioactive contamination via the thyroid gland. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers can take a single dose of potassium iodide in an effort to protect their fetus in the case that they have been internally contaminated or are at risk of radioactive contamination. For concerned mothers hoping to shield their unborn babies, taking potassium iodide is not necessary unless you have been contaminated or are at risk of contamination. A single dose should suffice; children and pregnant and/or breastfeeding women should avoid repeat dosage unless otherwise instructed by a medical professional.

Adults over the age of forty should not take KI unless otherwise directed by public health or emergency management officials to do so. Adults are not only less sensitive to radioactive contamination via the thyroid gland, but also face a higher risk of experiencing adverse reactions to taking KI.

The information in the article was sourced directly from the United States of America Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Do not take potassium iodide unless explicitly advised to by a health professional. There can be risks associated with taking potassium iodide. Always consult a health professional before taking new medicine.

Please contact Finlandia for more information about potassium iodide and how it can help; we’re at your service.