Potassium Iodide Benefits
Most casualties in a nuclear accident or explosion are caused by radioactive iodine poisoning of the thyroid gland. Children are the most at risk. Potassium iodide is a thyroid blocker that deals with radiation emergencies. Taking potassium iodide before exposure reduces the threat by 95 percent.
A large number of reports indicate that the use of stable iodine immediately before or after the intake of radioactive iodine can prevent radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid or reduce the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid. Timely use of potassium iodide can help prevent thyroid cancer and other diseases. Otherwise, exposure to radioactive iodine, which leaks out of a nuclear accident and spreads through the air, could cause the disease.
By using iodide, nearly all (>90%) of the radioactive iodine likely to be ingested by the thyroid gland can be blocked, according to the report. In 1978, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that the use of potassium iodide was "safe and effective" in radiological emergencies and approved its sale as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug.
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