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Fear of Radiation Causes Increased Demand for Potassium Iodide

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Fox News, 4:33, 03/17/2011

The demand for Potassium Iodide has increased amid growing concerns of the spread of radioactive contamination from damaged nuclear reactors in Japan. Potassium Iodide is a pill that helps to prevent radiation from damaging the thyroid gland, and is typically given to people with known exposure to high levels of radiation to counteract the effects.

UN health experts have said that a plume of radiation could cross the Pacific and reach California. US health experts however are saying that there is no need to be concerned. Dr. Samadi, member of the Fox News Medical "A-Team" and Vice Chair of Urology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York agrees with that assessment.

Dr. Samadi says that there is no need to panic, and no need to start taking Potassium Iodide pills (which carry their own risks and side-effects). The likelihood of damaging levels of radiation reaching the United States after traveling the distance between Japan and the west coast is extremely low.

The people who should be taking the Potassium Iodide pills are those close to the source of the problem in Japan. This includes workers trying to contain the radiation, people in the surrounding areas, and reporters working on the scene.

It's important to know that taking Potassium Iodide only helps against damage to the Thyroid gland and will not protect the rest of your body against radiation.

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