Potassium iodide (KI) is an over-the-counter drug that can be used to protect the thyroid gland from immediate and future radiation injury caused by radioactive iodine released during a nuclear accident. It is important to note that KI is only effective against exposure to radioactive iodine and only protects the thyroid. It does not protect you from other kinds of radioactive material. Numerous other radionuclides may be released in a dirty bomb or nuclear accident, and KI would not protect individuals from these other types of radioactivity. The primary method is evacuation and sheltering, and KI should be viewed as an adjunct to these primary measures.
Although KI is available over the counter, it is recommended that you discuss whether KI is right for you with your health care provider.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has made KI available to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for distribution to individuals living in Massachusetts towns within 10 miles of the Pilgrim, Seabrook, and Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Stations.
KI is available for purchase by the general public at some pharmacies and also over the Internet and through “800” telephone numbers, two of which are provided below:
Wallace Pharmaceuticals Inc.