U.S. Supplies of potassium iodide gone…. Government takes control

potassium iodideU.S. Supplies of potassium iodide pills are taking a huge hit as people flock to the stores in search of protection from possible nuclear fallout.

A number of stores across the west coast are reporting that they are completely sold out. And a pharmacist at a Walgreen’s in California told us that they would not be getting anymore because the government has seized all supplies.

Fleming Pharmaceuticals, maker of ThyroShield a potassium iodide used in nuclear emergencies, said in a press release, that before the Japanese Quake the federal government already had stockpiled millions of doses. The company claims that some of the federal stockpile has expired and the remaining supply is set to expire over the year.

White House chief spokesman Jay Carney continued to tell the press that the U.S. is not in danger, but wouldn’t comment on the governments stockpiling program.

Potassium iodide, which is sometimes sold as anti-radiation pills, can protect your thyroid from radiation by blocking the absorption of radioiodine. Potassium iodide does not protect from all side effects of radiation poisoning and can have a number of side effects. It should only be taken in prescription doses if the radiation reaches the coast at dangerous levels.

UPDATE: 3-15-2011 11:24p.m pst
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement about potassium iodide policy.
Dori Salcido, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health, said that they will be looking into “every aspect” of the Japanese disaster including “Policy options relating to KI distribution.”

UPDATE: 3-17-2011 9:44p.m pst
Anbex, the largest supplier of FDA-approved potassium iodide announced on its website that it ran out of stock on Monday, March 14, 2011. The Manufacturer says they should have more available by April 18.

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  1. I would not really trust the Gov for anything much these days, get any Ki or iodine while you can, and have your bug out bags ready to go!

  2. This is freaky. It feels like Im waiting for the other shoe to drop. What would happen if they all had a meltdown??

  3. the radiation leaked from a reactor can do upto 200 plus times the radioactive damage of a nuke. that’s using uranium fuel rods. if their using MOX fuel (plutonium and uranium oxide) it can be 2 million times worse. take that into perspective before you say nukes let out more radiation. the endangered reactors use MOX

  4. richart, on thu 17 mar AD2011 103AM said:
    ‘This is all wrong.. ‘ & ‘iodide is useless’

    And I quote:
    “Where Does [iodine] Come From? Stable iodine (iodine-127) is naturally present in seaweeds, sponges, and other materials. Radioactive isotopes of iodine are produced by nuclear fission. When an atom of uranium-235 (or other fissile nuclide) fissions, it generally splits asymmetrically into two large fragments – fission products with mass numbers in the range of about 90 and 140 – and two or three neutrons. (The mass number is the sum of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of the atom.) Iodine-129 and iodine-131 are two such products.”

    Iodine-131 is a by-product.

  5. @Richard: All uranium fission reactors have plutonium in them, as the fuel is consumed over time. Plutonium is a byproduct of the fission uranium fuel cycle. That’s why a reactor is so important for the production of weapons grade plutonium. Burn the uranium for a while producing power, remove the fuel rod, reprocess and extract the plutonium.

    This is not a ‘big deal’ over any other reactor’s fuel rods. The Plutonium level is just higher to start out.

    Ignoring the MOX issue completly, radioiodine or Iodine 131 is only one of about 9 dangerous isotopes observed released from Chernobyl. Same stuff is involved here. KI is effective in blocking only Iodine 131 (half life of 8 days) and utterly useless for the rest, most of which are longer-lived, like Cesium 134 and 137. Also Xe, Te-132/I-132, Zr-95, Nb-95, Ru, Ba-140, La-140, and others.

  6. I am getting a kick out of these people that do not believe anything the goverment says, till this disaster. Christ sakes people, we have examples in history already for what will happen. Including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Relax…

  7. Scientists in Ukraine are about to start production of a fullerene or buckeyball C60 drink called Fullerene Water Solution or FWS which has been approved by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. One of its properties is that it offer radio-protection. I see a brisk extreme medical tourism market to Ukraine for FWS treatment if the situation in Japan worsens.

  8. I dont think there is anything to worry about and I live in California. Unless an earthquake takes down San Onefre Nuclear plant, I am not worried. I think a lot of people are over reacting. Remember when the bird flu was supposed to be the real deal, and we were all supposed to go out and buy Donald Rumsfleds’ Tamiflu to save ourselves?

  9. Walmart. I got 16 oz bottle liquid from walmart phaarmacy. They had to order it but it came next day. I paid $30. They have smaller but my bottle is huge. Good luck everyone. Maybe god be with you no matter which one you belive in.

  10. @Andrew LMFAOOOO dude, are you serious. There’s a huge difference between a first-gen atomic BOMB fallout and a modern nuclear plant MELTDOWN fallout. Please educate yourself

  11. btw misleading title is extremely misleading. A PHARMACIST AT A WALGREEN’S in California told us that they would not be getting anymore because the government has seized all supplies. LAWL @ UR SOURCE. Yellow journalism for the loss

  12. if the government keeps on saying ,its all ok there is nothing to worry about, then if you ask me its time to be very worried , just pray to God and take care as much as you can,may God be with us all.

  13. I can confirm this story, as I also personally went into Walgreen’s to obtain KI or Potassium Iodide pills and was told by a Walgreen’s Pharmacist that the Govt, or Nuclear Regulatory Commission, had previously seized all the supplies. What do they know that we do not? As an alternative, get a hold of anything with high content of kelp. Kelp is very high in iodine.

  14. Believe that the nuclear particles have already hit Washington State (as early as Last Monday or Tuesday). There were pretty high winds coming in from the Pacific in WA State. Anything nuclear probably arrived much quicker than normal. As you see, folks seem to be keeping pretty mum there. Only if you consider the Surgeon General to be stupid, will you not take some steps to protect yourself (assuming that the quotes I have seen reported about her are true). Her office would have been and still would be on RED ALERT!. It’s amazing that more of us don’t have Geiger counters, just like we have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We are like lambs to the slaughter.

  15. Everyone is worried about KI; what about measuring background radiation and tracking it. How many good radiation meters are out there?

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