Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pa. Department of Health offers free potassium iodide pills

I just learned this morning that the Pennsylvania Department of Health is offering free potassium iodide (KI) pills to people who live, work or attend schoolin a 10-mile radius of the state's nuclear power plants. That includes those of us who live in Elizabethtown thanks to our proximity to Three Mile Island.

Distribution is scheduled for one day -- from 3 to 7 p.m. this Thursday, Aug. 11. Four 65-milligram tablets will be provided to each person.

Two locations that are most accessible to E-town residents are the Londonderry Township Building, 783 S. Geyers Church Road, Middletown, and the Hummelstown Fire Hall, 249 E. Main St., Hummelstown. Other locations are listed below.

As I think we all know, TMI is the site of the worst nuclear accident in the United States on March 28, 1979.

According to a state Department of Health news release:

When taken as directed, KI helps protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine that may be released during a radiological emergency. Because not all radiological releases involve radioactive iodine, no one should take KI tablets unless directed to do so by state health officials or the governor.

This distribution is intended for people who were unable to take advantage of past KI offerings, have recently moved near nuclear power facilities, or are unaware that free KI tablets are regularly available through county and municipal health departments and state health centers.

The tablets will be offered at 12 locations across the state on Aug. 11. Individuals can pick up KI tablets for other family members or those who are unable to pick them up on their own.

Directions on how to store the tablets and when to take them will also be provided at each location.

Anyone can take the tablets unless they are allergic to KI. They are safe for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, people on thyroid medicine, children and infants. Individuals who are unsure if they should take KI should ask a health care provider.

Individuals who are unable to get tablets during the Aug. 11 distribution can pick them up at any time at county and municipal health departments or state health centers.

Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power plants are closely regulated, secure and well maintained. In addition to TMI, they are Beaver Valley Power Station, Limerick Generating Station, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station and Susquehanna Steam Electric Station.

Following are other distribution sites for KI pills :

  • Butler Township Community Center, 411 W. Butler Drive, Drums, PA 18222
  • Luzerne County Community College (Public Safety Institute), 1333 S. Prospect St., Nanticoke, PA 18634
  • Beaver County State Health Center, 300 S. Walnut Lane, Beaver, PA 15009
  • Columbia County State Health Center, 1000 S. Market St., Suite 5, Bloomsburg, PA 17815
  • Keystone Fire Company, 240 N. Walnut St., Boyertown, PA 19512
  • Solanco High School, 585 Solanco Road, Quarryville, PA 17566
  • Fairview Township Fire Department, 340 Lewisberry Road, New Cumberland, PA 17070
  • Manchester Township Municipal Building, 3200 Farmtrail Road, York, PA 17406
  • Peach Bottom Township Community Center, 5 Pendyrus St., Delta, PA 17314
KI tablets will also be available at the following locations and times on Aug. 11:
  • Montgomery County Health Department, Pottstown Health Center, 364 King St., Pottstown, PA 19464 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Chester County Health Department, Kimberton Fire Company, 762 Pike Springs Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460 between 2 and 7 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to know that the government rolled out this thing. The free potassium iodide pills will surely benefit a lot of citizens. Diseases related to iodide deficiency syndromes will also be lessen.


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