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Emergency In Japan


By admin - Posted on 22 March 2011

Key Messages Regarding the Radiation Emergency in Japan
 
There are two key messages regarding the radiation emergency in Japan:
1.The experts say there is no public health risk expected in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors for radioactivity through a national network of monitoring stations called RADNET. Experts say no harmful doses of radiation will reach Alaska, Hawaii, or the West Coast. Visit www.epa.gov/radiation/html for more information on radiation monitoring.
 
2.At this time, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that people in the United States do not take Potassium Iodide (KI) supplements in response to the nuclear power plant explosions in Japan. No radioactive iodine has been detected in the United States. 
 
Iodine is needed by your thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. However, exposure to unnecessarily high levels of nonradioactive and radioactive iodine can damage the thyroid.The thyroid gland cannot tell the difference between radioactive iodine and non-radioactive iodine and will take up whichever is readily available for absorption. 
 
Radioactive iodine can cause cancer of the thyroid gland. Radioactive iodine is produced during the operation of nuclear reactors and in the detonation of nuclear weapons. It can enter the body by ingestion or inhalation. Under the right conditions, radioactive iodine can disperse rapidly in air and water (drinking water, marine and freshwater fish), and combines easily with organic materials in the soil (fruits and vegetables that we eat).
 
When there is a threat of exposure to radioactive iodine, then KI may be recommended to increase the absorption of non-radioactive iodine by the thyroid, and essentially block the absorption of harmful iodine. However, the absorption of KI only lasts 24 hours and use of non-FDA approved iodine supplements cannot be guaranteed for safety or efficacy. There are NO recommendations to take potassium iodide supplements at this time. For more information about radiation and radiation protection, visit: www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/related-info/faq.html#4
 
It is important to note that other radioactive materials can be released during a nuclear incident. Damage can be done to the body and it’s organs from radiation exposure and/or contamination-none of which are prevented with over the counter supplements. If protective measures are put in to place, then guidance will be issued by the State of Montana and the CDC.   Stay tuned for local advisories and updates at www.lepc.meaghercounty.net.   

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