The Definitive Nuclear Preparation Thread

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Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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The Definitive Nuclear Preparation Thread

As terrorists might use dirty bombs anywhere in the world, and nuclear plants are becoming more popular, I thought it might be a good idea to start a thread on how to respond to this threat. Let's start with a disaster at a nuclear power plant.

If you hear a "Breaking News" update using the following terminology, here's what it means.

* Early Warning: this means there has been no impact or very little impact so far, but the nuclear facility is in a "situation" and the problem could soon get worse. If you're really close to the facility, or in a potential "plume area" (more on that later), you need to get out of dodge.

* Disaster Alert: this means a hazardous release of radioactive material has already happened, or is very likely to happen. Sit tight, as going outisde right now is a bad idea. Try to stay in closed rooms – away from doors and windows, in basements etc. All mechanisms of air-circulation should be turned off. The idea is to avoid contamination from radioactive material in the atmosphere. When you made your home energy efficient you were already working on this:  just make sure that any remaining openings and air intakes are coverable. If you're building a litlle too close to a nuke plant (because you hope it keeps the lights on in a post peak oil world) just remember t hat wood lets radiation right through. Consider a long-lasting metal roof and maintenence-free aluminum siding.

Here's where your home stash of disaster food and water comes in handy. And note that if the electrical grid is down and your onlly source of water is outside, you have a problem: some bottled water indoors should solve it. I, personally, recommend that if you have nuclear-based electrical power you need a non-nuclear source of power to get information after an incident at your local plant. At a minimum you need have a battery-power radio to get updates, and I do not mean the one in your car.

Iodine tablets protect you from radiation collecting in your thyriod - but should you take them? A guideline from the World Health Organization (WHO), where one tablet means: 100 mg iodine or 130 mg potassium iodide:

* Adults - older than 12 years: 1 tablet per day.

* Children aged 3 to 12 years: ½ tablet per day.

* Infants aged 1 month to 3 years: ¼ tablet per day.

* Neonates up to one month: one dose 1/8 tablet. 

* Pregnant and breast-feeding women: two doses of 1 tablet each.

* Older people should not be given iodine tablets. They risk much more severe side-effects, mostly due to hyperthyroidism .

Your local disaster-response authrorities should let you know if your area is iodine deficient, which can change the dosage, but if you use iodized table salt that negates the issue.

Here is a decent link to how to deal with a reactor problem. Pay particular attention to the use of iodine tablets, as they are potentially harmful if misused.

http://www.disastermgmt.org/type/nuclear.html - it's not all that well written but gets the basics across.

 

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 Safewrite , where is the

 Safewrite , where is the best place that you have found to order the iodine tabs ?

 FM

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I have found KIO3 tabs

I have found KIO3 tabs here

http://www.medicalcorps.org/

The bottle comes with 60 tabs. Recommended dosage is 1 tab per day for 3-14 days depending on situation Children under 12 1/2 tab per day

 

Rich

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Safewrite - Good thread

Safewrite - Good thread idea, this topic is right in my wheel house so I'll take a swing at it if you don't mind.

The primary effect of a radioactive dirty bomb is the high explosive and the psychological impact of the radioactive "junk" packed in around the HE.  I wouldn't waste any time or effort planning a personal nuclear response plan around a dirty bomb.  If you are in an area and a dirty bomb goes off, it was your time to go.

It is absolutely critical to undertand the levels of nuclear incident/accident.  The NRC has a 4 level system to describe untoward events (my words).

  • Notification of Unusual Event:  Unusual events are in process or have occurred which indicate a potential degradation of the level of safety of the plant. No releases of radioactive material requiring offsite response or monitoring are expected unless further degradation of safety systems occurs.
  • NRC Alert:  Events are in process or have occurred which involve an actual or potential substantial degradation of the level of safety of the plant. Any releases expected to be limited to small fractions of the EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels.
  • NRC Site Area Emergencies:  Events are in process or have occurred which involve actual or likely major failures of plant functions needed for protection of the public. Any releases not expected to exceed EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels except near site boundary.
  • NRC General Emergencies:  Events are in process or have occurred which involve actual or imminent substantial core degradation or melting with potential for loss of containment integrity. Releases can be reasonably expected to exceed EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels offsite for more than the immediate site area.

The most important concept to ingrain in your response actions to minimize the impact of a nuclear accident is "Time, Distance and Shielding"

Time - minimize the time you must be in the area.  This may seem obvious, but understand that a nuclear incident/accident is for the most part an unseen event (Chernobyl was not).  Most people would not rush into a fully engaged burning building, but since a nuclear incident/accident doesn't have readily observable characteristics the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality may arise.  It is imperative to understand what the affected area is - anyone living in proximity to a nuclear power plant should know what the prevailing winds are for that are throughout the year.  Make it a habit to check and figure out what the weax conditions are each day for you area.  The Weather Channel broadcasts a "Local on the 8s" segment - it only takes a few minutes to determine the winds are from the N/S/E/W and where that puts you with relation to the power plant.  In the event of an incident/accident, disaster response authorities should be passing the word about which way the release plume is headed. 

Distance - maximize the distance between you and the radioactive source.  Radiation exposure drops as an inverse function of distance.  This works well for for fixed "chunks" of contamination or other radioactive sources.  Gaseous releases are another issue - but unless you are in an active plume (like the burning graphite moderator at Chernobyl) a gaseous release will be dispersed by the winds.  The issue with gaseous releases is the specific radionuclide (the Iodine isotopes are the issue here - more on that later).  Again, this is an obvious one - if you aren't where the incident/accident is occurring, don't go there.

Shielding - take advantage of existing shielding.  This is typically more of a 'tactic' for chunks of radioactive material that are somehow dispersed in the incident/accident.  This is where I will backtrack and talk about a dirty bomb.  Think of a chunk of radioactive junk scattered after detonation of a dirty bomb.  There are bound to be more immediate, acute injuries from the blast that need to be tended to.  EMT personnel may need to stabilize a victim before safe transport and may be near a chunk of radioactive material.  Just putting a piece of steel or concrete over the material will knock the radiation exposure down.  Of course, the chunk isn't going to be conveniently labelled as "Radioactive", so the best approach here is to follow the "Time" factor above  - stabilize the victim as quickly as possible and get out.  The effectiveness of the Shielding factor is entirely dependent on the type of radiation you are exposed to. 

Knowledge of the type of radioactivity is critical.

Alpha particles are stopped by your epithelial tissue so unless the alpha emitter is ingested or is introduced into the body via a wound, alpha exposure is not much of a concern.  Beta emitters are stopped by clothing, but can be a general radiation exposure concern if the source level is high enough.  Neutron emitters are attenuated by combinations of lead, poly, water and/or steel shielding.  The best approach if the source is a neutron emitter is to not be there.  Neutron radiation exposure is more of a concern following a NUDET, and less of a concern for a nuclear power plant incident/accident unless you have a containment breach coupled with a core integrity issue (Chernobyl).  Gamma emitters are high energy, low mass and are going to penetrate several inches into your body regardless of what you are wearing.  Iodine-131 is both a beta and gamma emitter and might be a concern.

More info can be found here:  http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/radiationtypes.html

I wasn't sure if your post regarding iodine was to add it to your daily supplement intake?  I would not do that.  Saturating your thyroid with iodine can bring significant issues as you get older, and this is a case where the risks IMO far outweigh the preventive benefits.  If there are any Docs out there who want to weigh in with amplifying info, please do.

If your post was suggesting that you keep iodine supplements on hand to take in the event of an incident/accident then I absolutely agree with you.  The uptake is quick and you should have plenty of notification and warning.  And since I am embracing the Time and Distance factors above by getting my butt out of the inciden/accident area as quickly as possible, taking an iodine supplement is a last resort for me.  I-131 has a half-life of about 8 days so any released I-131 is going to be gone after 40 days - after 5 half lives, a radioactive isotope is effectively zero.  If you can't leave, because of traffic congestion and/or public panic, the best approach would be to get inside and turn off your ventilation and take your iodine supplements.

Note that all of the above are tailored around a nuclear power plant incident/accident and not a nuclear weapon detonation.  I am making no plans whatsoever regarding a NUDET.  I only hope I am close enough to the fireball and mach stem so "what to do afterwards?" is not a concern.

 

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Here is another excellent

Here is another excellent article from the National Terror Alert Response Center regarding potassium iodide (KI).

http://www.nationalterroralert.com/potassiumiodide/

I bought mine from www.nukepills.com and they were individually packaged in foil on a card of 14 inside a sealed plastic wrapper.  We had read that buying in the bottled form could cause contents to lose their effectiveness and shorten shelf life due to being exposed to air the first time the bottle is opened.  Make sure of the date of manufacture before you buy!

Some states have programs that offer free pills to those living within a 10-15 mile radius of a nuclear power plant.

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 DIAP , SOOOO   a certain

 DIAP , SOOOO   a certain Engineer  who might be carrying  war heads and dirty dirt might as well kiss their [email protected]@ goodbye  if they have a derail ?  No good to carry the tabs ??

 FM

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Pucker Up
Full Moon wrote:

 DIAP , SOOOO   a certain Engineer  who might be carrying  war heads and dirty dirt might as well kiss their [email protected]@ goodbye  if they have a derail ?  No good to carry the tabs ??

 FM

FM -

A derail in and of itself is not going to cause a detonation.  You aren't going to get an I-131 release unless the warhead detonates - and unless the tablets allow one to travel backwards in time the fact that they would have protected you against I-131 is moot as the fireball raises said "Engineer's" entropic state (to a level probably incompatible with and unacceptable to Mrs. Engineer) or the mach stem turns you into jello, followed by the aforementioned entropic 'adjustment'

The "dirty dirt" might be a different story depending on it's flavor.  You would also need a derail with such forces that the integrity of the shipping containers is breached.  And then it is entirely dependent on what the material is and what type of radiation is present.  Remember, the KI tabs ONLY offer protection against released radioisotopes of iodine.  Any other sources will not be affected by KI tabs.

That said, taking a KI tab before the run will certainly buy some peace of mind for the Engineer (and Mrs. Engineer), but you would have to weigh the likelihood of a derail with compromised container integrity, release of material against the peace of mind.  I'd be more worried about being bounced around or chucked from the cab of the train if it derailed.

So, bottom line, Mr. Engineer probably doesn't need to pucker up - unless he is giving you, errmm, Mrs. Engineer, a kiss good-bye and then another one upon his safe return.  Cool

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A good Resource for Information

http://www.oism.org/nwss/

There's a lot of good information here.

Cheers,

Aaron

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iodine tabs

Thanks for the detailed info, Dogs - I made a specific comment to read the linked info on iodine tabs carefully and it says pretty much what you wrote. Iodine is dangerous if you take too much. However, having it around to take if you need it in an emergency is a good idea. The whole bit about "older people" not taking iodine tabs if there's a nuke plant accident made me a bit nervous, though, as my husband and I are 55 years old. And we live in South Carolina--there are five reactors nearby (one's on the Savanah River in GA and we might be in it's plume); plus SC is constructing reactors numbers six and seven and one of the ones being built is 20 miles northeast of us.

the four plants have radiation symbols and are labeled

So, Dogs - if there is a distant nulear bomb detonation and there is a plume of fallout coming to a town near you, do the same safety guidelines as a reactor incident apply?

 

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KI

My state, MA, for a brief period, handed out KI to those of us within 10 mi of "our" reactor. I have them sealed in a big envelope taped to my refrigerator -"KI-In Case of Nuclear Radiation". My wife thinks I'm nuts, as usual. She doesn't have to take them if she doesn't want to. There is no where to go here if the radiation comes unless I commandeer a boat or plane.

The bad part is that either the radiation goes SW and takes out a whole bunch of communities (50% chance) or goes NE and takes out Boston and environs (the other 50%).  The state rep Markey has been trying to get Pilgrim Nuclear closed for years.

 

CS

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Plumes and KI
safewrite wrote:

Thanks for the detailed info, Dogs - I made a specific comment to read the linked info on iodine tabs carefully and it says pretty much what you wrote. Iodine is dangerous if you take too much. However, having it around to take if you need it in an emergency is a good idea. The whole bit about "older people" not taking iodine tabs if there's a nuke plant accident made me a bit nervous, though, as my husband and I are 55 years old. And we live in South Carolina--there are five reactors nearby (one's on the Savanah River in GA and we might be in it's plume); plus SC is constructing reactors numbers six and seven and one of the ones being built is 20 miles northeast of us.

the four plants have radiation symbols and are labeled

So, Dogs - if there is a distant nulear bomb detonation and there is a plume of fallout coming to a town near you, do the same safety guidelines as a reactor incident apply?

SW -

If you are north and east of ANY of the plants I would have KI tabs on hand.  You are now entirely dependent on Emergency Response and notification of a release following and incident/accident. The conservative approach would be to take the tabs following issuance of an NRC Alert - even though the release is estimated to be fractions of the EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels.  I would definitely take the tabs as soon as a Site Area Emergency was declared.  There are studies that show KI tabs have some effectiveness even if they aren't taken until 4 hours after exposure to I-131 (or other iodine isotopes), so even if you have been in the plume breathing the radioiodine for awhile I would take the tablets.

The same guidelines pretty much apply in the event of a NUDET as a power plant accident. I am probably stating the obvious, but if you aren't in close proximity to the blast, irradiation and/or thermal energy deposition zones your situation is greatly simplified. In essence it becomes an issue of dealing with the radioactive plume. Since I-131 is released in great quantities in a NUDET I would probably start noshing on KI tabs like they were peanut M&Ms as soon as I heard word about a CONUS NUDET that was west of my location. Which is pretty much most of the US since the Atlantic Ocean is only 4 miles due east. It would also depend on the type of burst. If it was a surface burst or near surface burst, there will be a large amount of material lofted (yield dependent) and irradiated because the fireball touched or was on the ground. Most of the material is going to fall back to the ground closer to the immediate area, but the smaller, finer particles will remain suspended longer and could become an issue as they are dispersed by the wind. If the detonation is of sufficient size and physics so as to lift the material up into the jet stream, the transport of material will be quicker. As a point of reference, back in '86, it took about two weeks for us to start detecting signature radionuclide fallout in Charleston, SC from the Chernobyl accident.

Bottom line, IMO everyone should have KI tabs on hand. I would take mine if there was a NUDET or an accident involving core and containment breach at the nearby power plant (~40 miles away straight line), but I doubt I would ever take them following a dirty bomb event.

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Homemade Kearny fallout meter
Aaron Moyer wrote:

http://www.oism.org/nwss/

There's a lot of good information here.

Cheers,

Aaron

A very good site indeed.

For those who are interested and have time on their hands, in there are also instructions for making a KFM, or homemade fallout meter (http://www.oism.org/nwss/s73p938.htm).  That just sounds like a frickin' neat Sunday project even if you don't live near nuclear plants or likely targets  Smile

- Nickbert

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KFM

Those are a lot of work; I've looked ino them. I don't think you want to save that until the last moment, especially when my hands might be shaking...

I decided to go with Milsurplus dosimeters and old CD radiation meters, available on Ebay and elsewhere after appropriate research inot best types, though it was so long ago when I got them I no longer thave the info websites. There are folks who rebuild and test the old CD meters.

 

CS

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KFM

It's not easy either. 
I gave it a half-hearted attempt some years back, but I didn't have much time or resources, as I'd just arrived at a new duty station.
Cheers,

Aaron 

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 He is heading out now . 

 He is heading out now .  Said he will have to lick his finger and stick it in the wind ... run like He ** in the other direction . Tongue out    I might look into some more insurance .

 FM

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KI tab lifespan?

Do KI tabs become less effective with time in storage?  I have a small supply I procured in the heady paranoia subsequent to 9/11 (living as I did part-time in NYC and part time in a cottage potentially downwind from Indian Point nuke plant...

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KI tab lifespan?

Potassium iodide is an inorganic salt, and will remain stable forever as long as it is kept away from air.  In the presence of oxygen, the iodide ion in the salt will slowly oxidize to elemental iodine.  Elemental iodine is slightly more toxic than the iodide ion, and also will sublimate (i.e., evaporate) away.  Potassium iodide is also hygroscopic, so if left unsealed, it will attract water and become soggy.

Fortunately, it is very obvious if KI is oxidizing: it will be stained yellow and will smell strongly like iodine.  A small amount of oxidation is normal, and as long as it is kept in an airtight container, the oxidation will go no further as the oxygen in the bottle is used up.

My personal experience has been limited to the chemical crystals.  I've never actually seen a KI pill, and I have no idea how they are usually packaged.  But if the packaging is truly and reliably airtight, then the pills should be good forever.

(It is very likely that the box has an expiration date stamped on it, but this is more likely simply to limit the total liability of the company producing the pills, since at any given time there will only be a certain # of unexpired lots outstanding.)

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KI Tablet Shelf Life
jrf29 wrote:

Potassium iodide is an inorganic salt, and will remain stable forever as long as it is kept away from air.  In the presence of oxygen, the iodide ion in the salt will slowly oxidize to elemental iodine.  Elemental iodine is slightly more toxic than the iodide ion, and also will sublimate (i.e., evaporate) away.  Potassium iodide is also hygroscopic, so if left unsealed, it will attract water and become soggy.

Fortunately, it is very obvious if KI is oxidizing: it will be stained yellow and will smell strongly like iodine.  A small amount of oxidation is normal, and as long as it is kept in an airtight container, the oxidation will go no further as the oxygen in the bottle is used up.

My personal experience has only been with the chemical powder itself.  I've never actually seen a KI pill, and I have no idea how they are usually packaged.  If the packaging is truly and reliably airtight, then the pills should be good forever.

(It is very likely that the box has an expiration date stamped on it, but this is more likely simply to limit the total liability of the company producing the pills, since at any given time there will only be a certain # of unexpired lots outstanding.)

If you get the foil wrapped tabs, you can pretty much store those indefinitely.  If you go with the bottled tabs, consider replacing them every 5 years or so.  But keep in mind, any port in a storm, so if there is an accident with a release and your options are taking nothing or taken tabs past expiration date, take the expired tab.

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shelf life of KI
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:
jrf29 wrote:

Potassium iodide is an inorganic salt, and will remain stable forever as long as it is kept away from air.  In the presence of oxygen, the iodide ion in the salt will slowly oxidize to elemental iodine.  Elemental iodine is slightly more toxic than the iodide ion, and also will sublimate (i.e., evaporate) away.  Potassium iodide is also hygroscopic, so if left unsealed, it will attract water and become soggy.

Fortunately, it is very obvious if KI is oxidizing: it will be stained yellow and will smell strongly like iodine.  A small amount of oxidation is normal, and as long as it is kept in an airtight container, the oxidation will go no further as the oxygen in the bottle is used up.

My personal experience has only been with the chemical powder itself.  I've never actually seen a KI pill, and I have no idea how they are usually packaged.  If the packaging is truly and reliably airtight, then the pills should be good forever.

(It is very likely that the box has an expiration date stamped on it, but this is more likely simply to limit the total liability of the company producing the pills, since at any given time there will only be a certain # of unexpired lots outstanding.)

If you get the foil wrapped tabs, you can pretty much store those indefinitely.  If you go with the bottled tabs, consider replacing them every 5 years or so.  But keep in mind, any port in a storm, so if there is an accident with a release and your options are taking nothing or taken tabs past expiration date, take the expired tab.

Thanks jrf & DIAP -- my supply is in a ziploc that hasn't been opened since '01.  Perhaps I'll open the baggie and have a sniff and if it's not to iodine-smelling I'll re-seal it in an airtight jar w/an 02 absorber for continued safekeeping...

 

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For those with access to

For those with access to Asian cuisine 100 g of kombu (seaweed) should deliver about 130 mg of iodine.

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Milligram (mg) Versus Microgram (mcg)
SteveW wrote:

For those with access to Asian cuisine 100 g of kombu (seaweed) should deliver about 130 mg of iodine.

SteveW

No, that's only 130 mcg, or 130 micrograms in that much seaweed. 130 mcg = 0.013 mg.

Suggest KIO3 (ptassuim iodate) instead. There might still be some with everyone else panic-buying KI (potassium iodide).

Poet

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iodide vs. iodate

These dudes don't think so:

http://www.nukepills.com/potassium-iodate-vs-potassium-iodide.html

I have seen a suggestion (needs research, not sure, url not handy) that you can paint iodine tincture or Betadine on your skin to get some iodine absorption. Best to spend 10 bucks for a week of KI if you must. If long wait, maybe you can get a student to liberate some from a HS chem lab if USP or NF grade.

CS

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Potassium Iodide vs Potassium Iodate
capesurvivor wrote:

These dudes don't think so:

http://www.nukepills.com/potassium-iodate-vs-potassium-iodide.html

I have seen a suggestion (needs research, not sure, url not handy) that you can paint iodine tincture or Betadine on your skin to get some iodine absorption. Best to spend 10 bucks for a week of KI if you must. If long wait, maybe you can get a student to liberate some from a HS chem lab if USP or NF grade.

CS

I hear ya. But then there's this guy as well, who says potassium iodide (KI) causes cancer and KIO3 is what's used in iodized table salt, and how he used to sell both but now only sells KIO3.
http://www.kio3.com/faq.htm

And what's funny is, www.ki4u.com (which only sells KI), used to host a FAQ on potassium iodate (KIO3) but took it down. Here's the Google cache, talking about how it's also approved internationally, just as useful, not bitter like potassium iodide:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:JhWNeZpj3M0J:www.ki...

My opinion: If it ever comes to you needing it, and you got only one of them, potassium iodide or potassium iodate, use it.

Poet

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Iodine

Cape, Poet -

The ONLY one we had on hand in our emergency response lockers was potassium iodide.

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I Hear You, Dogs In A Pile
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Cape, Poet -

The ONLY one we had on hand in our emergency response lockers was potassium iodide.

Dogs In A Pile

I hear you. I was suggesting potassium iodate as a far better alternative than seaweed (which was suggested by another person in this thread), if there was no potassium iodide left.

Potassium iodate is approved by non-FDA governmental bodies for use.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_iodate

Poet

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Iodide v. Iodate
Poet wrote:
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

Cape, Poet -

The ONLY one we had on hand in our emergency response lockers was potassium iodide.

Dogs In A Pile

I hear you. I was suggesting potassium iodate as a far better alternative than seaweed (which was suggested by another person in this thread), if there was no potassium iodide left.

Potassium iodate is approved by non-FDA governmental bodies for use.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_iodate

Poet

As long as the appropriate amount of an iodate was taken at the right timing it is probably a viable alternative, certainly better than munching on a pile of kelp.  I'd have to do some research on uptake rates and transport mechanisms, but if memory serves me correctly the uptake rate in the thyroid is faster for the iodide variety is faster than the iodate. 

Any analytical chemists out there who can shed some light. 

I think there is a guy with a little experience with toxicolgy who sometimes frequents this site.......Laughing

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I am not an expert on the

I am not an expert on the iodine issue but i believe what we are doing with the iodine tablets is just saturation of our thyroids with iodine so they don't suck up the radioactive iodine to make thyroid hormone.  In this case plain old cod liver oil a tsp a day should suffice.  Has anybody read anything about this?

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Cod Liver Oil In Same Category As Seaweed
docmims wrote:

I am not an expert on the iodine issue but i believe what we are doing with the iodine tablets is just saturation of our thyroids with iodine so they don't suck up the radioactive iodine to make thyroid hormone.  In this case plain old cod liver oil a tsp a day should suffice.  Has anybody read anything about this?

Docmims:

Yes, I read that cod liver oil has something like 800 micrograms (or less than 1 milligram) per 100 grams. So even slurping up a kilo (2.28 pounds) of cod liver oil would only give you about 8 milligrams of iodine. (I don't know which kind, but it is likely potassium iodate.)

The idea is to effectively (warning: not without side effects) oversaturate the thyroids, and that's why they prescribe such a high dose 130 milligrams of potassium iodide per day over for the 14-day treatment course.

Unfortunately, even eating a lot of salted seaweed soaked in cod liver oil ain't enough.

Poet

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docmims
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Yikes! Poet, that is a lot

Yikes! Poet, that is a lot of Iodine!  I have done a little further research.  I'm not sure the treatment is better than the disease. The risk of thyroid cancer many years after therapeutic treatment with I131(doctors use it any many thyroid conditions to basicly fry the thyroid) is less than 1 percent.  I suppose the risk could be higher with continuous exposure, BUT if that is happening you may have more adverse health consequences from continuous use of the Iodine pills.  The Polish studies showed a decrease risk only in CHILDREN.  No improved outcomes were shown in ADULTS!

My current medical opinion on this is that Iodine is a simulacron or little figleaf of a "cure" for radiation exposure in order to give people a false sense of security that there is something they can "do" to alleviate radiation exposure.  Reality is that all you can do is hydration, palliation and IV nutritional support hoping the body will regenerate itself  after massive cell death due to radiation overdoses.

 

My opinion is still evolving. so I am open to other opinions.

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Dogs_In_A_Pile
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KI not intended for continuous use.....
docmims wrote:

Yikes! Poet, that is a lot of Iodine!  I have done a little further research.  I'm not sure the treatment is better than the disease. The risk of thyroid cancer many years after therapeutic treatment with I131(doctors use it any many thyroid conditions to basicly fry the thyroid) is less than 1 percent.  I suppose the risk could be higher with continuous exposure, BUT if that is happening you may have more adverse health consequences from continuous use of the Iodine pills.  The Polish studies showed a decrease risk only in CHILDREN.  No improved outcomes were shown in ADULTS!

My current medical opinion on this is that Iodine is a simulacron or little figleaf of a "cure" for radiation exposure in order to give people a false sense of security that there is something they can "do" to alleviate radiation exposure.  Reality is that all you can do is hydration, palliation and IV nutritional support hoping the body will regenerate itself  after massive cell death due to radiation overdoses.

My opinion is still evolving. so I am open to other opinions.

Doc -

KI tabs are not intended for continuous use.  They are only for radiological emergencies when I-131 has been released (like the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi accident).  There is nothing false about it - if you saturate your tyroid with non-radioactive iodine from KI tabs, you greatly reduce, if not eliminate the uptake of radioactive I-131 in the thyroid.  Depending on how much I-131 someone may be exposed to following an accident, you could very easily concentrate a much higher level of I-131 (and subsequent localized radiation exposure) than is used in medically evaluated and assessed therapeutic applications.

And like you said, it comes down to a risk assessment.  There's probably no point in taking KI tabs if you are 58 years old, but it may be worth the risk for a 15 year old. 

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docmims
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Dogs.  I agree with the

Dogs.  I agree with the theory of thyroid saturation for acute exposure to I131 will probably protect you from the remote risk of thyroid cancer decades down the line.  However the key is:

1) you need to have KNOWN SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE.  Taking it just because there is some in the atmosphere somewhere on earth is probably not a good idea.

2) As you said Iodine pills are not for chronic use, they should just be taken for 2 weeds after an acute exposure.  I131 exposure after a nuclear accident will probably be contunuous for weeks and months AND you will be taking significant rads from other types of radiation basicly killing all the rapidly growing cells in your body.

3) If you are getting significant I131 exposure from a nuclear accident, you should consider yourself one of the lucky ones if you get thyroid cance a dozen years down the road.  My priorities would lie in living for the next 48 hours -- but that's just me.

 

I'm not saying Iodine is useless, but I have an acute sense of smell for BS, and I smell BS.  (the iodine issue -- not you personally dogs. i like you.)Smile

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