Amidst the fear of nuclear attack in Ukraine, people are buying a lot of iodine tablets, know the reason2 min read
New Delhi. In Ukraine, people are buying iodine tablets in large quantities amid the continuing fear of a nuclear attack. The New York Times report, quoting a drug dealer in Kiev, said that there are many customers coming here every day in search of iodine tablets.
Just last week, the Kyiv City Council announced that potassium iodide tablets would be distributed to people “based on doctors’ advice” if a nuclear tragedy occurred. Along with this, he had said that these pills are also available in the drug shops of the city.
Some countries in Europe have already started stocking these pills. On the other hand, there is a shortage of these pills in many medical stores in Finland. In view of this, the Ministry of Health of the country advised the people that only in case of emergency, people should buy only one dose.
How effective are iodine tablets in protecting against nuclear radiation
Amidst the increased demand for iodine tablets in European countries, the question arises that after all, how effective will these pills prove to be in saving people in case of a nuclear leak or attack? In fact, potassium iodide, or KI, provides special protection against a type of nuclear exposure. In fact, in a nuclear accident, a large amount of radioactive iodine is emitted into the atmosphere. In such a situation, these tablets of iodine prevent the thyroid, a hormone-producing gland present in the neck, from taking this radioactive iodine.
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These radioactive substances can increase the risk of thyroid cancer if they enter the body through inhalation or through contaminated food. According to the World Health Organization, it is especially dangerous for children and its health risks can last for many years.
Iodine tablets fill the thyroid with a stable version of iodine, which prevents radioactive iodine from entering. If the thyroid is already loaded with potassium iodide, it will not be able to take up the harmful iodine that remains in the atmosphere after a nuclear accident.
These pills are extremely cheap and are easily available across the world. They have reserves in many countries including America. However, it is to be noted here that potassium iodide does not protect against any other types of radioactive hazards.
Will not work in nuclear attack
For example, if a nuclear bomb releases many different types of radiation and radioactive elements, which can damage many parts of the body.
Health officials warn that potassium iodide should only be taken in certain nuclear emergencies and that it works best if taken close to the time of radiation. Taking it as a preventive measure ahead of time will be of no use.
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Tags:, Russia, Russia ukraine war
FIRST PUBLISHED : October 16, 2022, 05:30 IST