When this current flap dies down, consider buying potassium iodine as a just-in-case drug for your emergency medical kit.
The current rush to purchase (by civilians) is likely due to Japanese nuclear debris which is now washing up on the beaches of the west coast of the United States. This development, combined with the U.S. government’s huge order for an unspecified purpose in the same time frame, demonstrates that existing stockpiles will instantly disappear if this emergency drug is ever needed; thus the need to maintain your own supply.
Liquid potassium iodine which is often sold for this purpose, is generally inadequate to the task. If you don’t have medical expertise to guide your purchase selection, you may want to follow the U.S. government specs which are included below.
A U.S. government purchase solicitation recently posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website
, indicates that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sought an emergency purchase of potassium iodide tablets, 65mg each, packaged in unit dose packages of 20 tablets. This DHS purchase was for 700,000 packages (of 20s), for a total of 14 million tablets. The supplier must deliver these packages of medicine before February 2, 2014.
Drug Purpose: Potassium iodide helps block the absorption of radiation by the thyroid gland which is easily damaged by exposure. These tablets will not stop severe radiation poisoning, but they may reduce the damage to a human body which has been, or may become exposed to lower levels of radiation.
These tablets have traditionally been used to aid victims of nuclear accidents, and proactively by members of the military and emergency workers who may become exposed to radiation in the near future.
Under current regulations, U.S. state governments which have populations living within 10 miles of a nuclear plant, are encouraged to maintain a supply of potassium iodide. However, this is not a federal mandate.
The current purchase quantity by DHS of these tablets is unprecedented in recent years and reflects a perceived need for this drug domestically. (
DHS does not stockpile supplies intended for military use.) Information regarding the size of the U.S. military’s inventory and recent purchase activity which may have been made by the Department of Defense, is not available.