If there is an explosion or leak in a nuclear power plant accident, radioactive iodine is one of the first substances to be released into the atmosphere. If that radioactive iodine enters the body, it can damage thyroid cells and lead to cancer.
This radiation enters the body through inhalation or the skin. This ray is an invisible threat due to its inability to see and smell.
Some of the worst effects of overexposure to radiation include thyroid cancer, tumors, acute leukemia, eye diseases, mental or psychological disorders, or even damage to your genes for future generations. In acute cases, high doses of radiation can even cause death within a few days or hours.
People with non-radioactive iodine can take high-dose iodine tablets, or potassium iodide tablets (KIs), at the right time to prevent the accumulation of radioactive iodine in their thyroid.
As mentioned, the thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine. KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that helps the thyroid gland absorb radioactive iodine, thus protecting the gland from radiation damage.
KI may not provide 100% protection against radioactive iodine. Protection increases depending on three factors:
1. Post-infection time: The sooner KI is consumed, the more time the thyroid will have to fill with stable iodine.
2. Dosage of radioactive iodine: Minimizing the total amount of radioactive iodine to which a person is exposed reduces the amount of harmful radioactive iodine in the thyroid.
3. Absorption: The amount of stable iodine that reaches the thyroid depends on the rate at which KI is absorbed into the blood.
We need iodine for the body to function properly, and our bodies do not produce iodine, so we consume iodine through food or supplements.
You can take iodine in pill form. When consumed, iodine is collected or stored in the thyroid gland, where it is used to produce hormones. Iodine is needed for various body functions and even supports brain growth.
The thyroid gland may become saturated with too much iodine and therefore can no longer be stored, so the theory is that if you consume enough "good" iodine, there will be no room for "bad" or radioactive iodine in the thyroid. Eventually, that radioactive iodine must simply pass through the body and be excreted by the kidneys.
1. Consumption of KI (potassium iodide) should only be on the advice of public health officials or emergency management because there are health risks associated with consuming KI.
2. KI (potassium iodide) can not prevent the entry of radioactive iodine into the body or reverse the health effects of radioactive iodine after thyroid injury.
3. KI (potassium iodide) only protects the thyroid, not other parts of the body against radioactive iodine.
4. KI (potassium iodide) protects your body against radioactive iodine, not other radioactive substances. If there is no radioactive iodine, taking KI is not protective and can cause damage.
5. Salt and iodine-rich foods that contain enough iodine are not effective in preventing radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid gland. Do not use table salt or food as a substitute for KI.
6. Do not use iodine supplements instead of KI (potassium iodide). They can be harmful and ineffective.
4. KI (potassium iodide) can not protect the body against radioactive elements other than radioactive iodine - if there is no radioactive iodine, consuming KI is not protective and can cause damage.
5. Salt and iodine-rich foods do not contain enough iodine to prevent radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid gland. Do not use table salt or food as a substitute for KI.
6. Do not use iodine supplements instead of KI (potassium iodide). They can be harmful and ineffective. Only use products that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
7. Iodine consumption does not prevent radiation exposure after a leak or attack on a nuclear power plant.
After the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, Chinese citizens monopolized iodized salt, but iodized salt does not contain enough iodine to prevent radiation poisoning and is useless. Even 2 kg of iodized salt will not have enough iodine to protect against radiation toxication. The natural extract of kelp iodine is not enough to meet the needs of people who are exposed to radiation. Drug-grade potassium iodide tablets are formulated specifically with the right dose of KI to prevent radiation sickness, and these pills are the only way to get the right dose.
It can be said that all people up to the age of 45 should take iodine pills in the affected areas, and iodine pills are recommended for people up to the age of 45, including pregnant women and children. Of course, the correct dose depends on age, but for people over 45. Because for them, the risk of side effects outweighs the benefits of avoiding an increased risk of thyroid cancer. It is recommended that you do not take iodine tablets for thyroid obstruction.
For pregnant women, taking iodine pills especially helps protect the fetus.
Children and adolescents need to take iodine tablets because the thyroid is sensitive in children and adolescents up to the age of 18.
Potassium iodide, like other pharmacological agents, has side effects. While the use of potassium iodide tablets is beneficial for those who are immediately exposed to radioactive iodine isotopes, it is not recommended for normal use without a specific reason and prescription.
People who are allergic to iodine have a severe reaction to potassium iodide, and in infants, potassium iodide may cause skin rashes and thyroid problems. Potassium iodide can make tuberculosis-related conditions worse and increase the level of potassium in the blood.
Potassium iodide interacts with drugs such as warfarin, dicumarol, and acenocoumarol.