Potassium Iodide (KI) is now available to residents living or working within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone.
Potassium Iodide is a stable form of iodine that can be an effective prophylactic in reducing the risk of thyroid disease for those who might inhale or ingest radioactive iodine (radioiodine). Children are at highest risk. The threat of radiation induced thyroid disease diminishes dramatically with age.
If taken in time, the stable iodine saturates the thyroid gland, reducing the uptake of radioiodine. The radioprotective benefit of KI only applies to radioiodine, which make up a percentage of a radioactive release. It is not effective against cesium, strontium or other fission products, which could be released in a nuclear power plant accident. Potassium Iodide is not effective against direct gamma radiation from the plume or ground deposition that penetrates the thyroid. The Food and Drug Administration emphasizes that the use of KI should be as an adjunct to evacuation, sheltering and control of foodstuffs.
Potassium Iodide is currently distributed to emergency workers who may be required to remain in the vicinity of the power plant to perform certain tasks. It is also available for institutions (i.e. hospitals and nursing homes) that may not be able to evacuate quickly.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has made potassium iodide available to the general public. To obtain a supply, contact the Ottawa County Health Department at 419-734-6800.
Potassium Iodide Documents
Department of Health Policy Use of Potassium Iodide for the 10 Mile Emergency Planning Zone Population (DOC)
FDA Guidelines Regarding Potassium Iodide (PDF)
Guidelines for Iodine Prophylaxis Following Nuclear Accidents (PDF)