Update Surgeon General: Buying Iodine a "Precaution;" Potass. Iodide Runs LowSubmitted by SteveMT on Mon, 03/14/2011 - 22:30
Surgeon General: Buying Iodine a "Precaution"
Conflicting messages appear in the effort to buy iodide tablets
By LORI PREUITT
Updated 2:27 PM PDT, Tue, Mar 15, 2011
The fear that a nuclear cloud could float from the shores of Japan to the shores of California has some people making a run on iodine tablets. Pharmacists across California report being flooded with requests.
State and county officials spent much of Tuesday trying to keep people calm by saying that getting the pills wasn't necessary, but then the United States surgeon general supported the idea as a worthy "precaution."
U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is in the Bay Area touring a peninsula hospital. NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo asked her about the run on tablets and Dr. Benjamin said although she wasn't aware of people stocking up, she did not think that would be an overreaction. She said it was right to be prepared.
Potassium Iodide Runs Low as Americans Seek It Out
By JONATHAN D. ROCKOFF
MARCH 15, 2011
Supplies of potassium iodide, a preventive against radiation poisoning of the thyroid gland, are running low at some manufacturers, as Americans seek protection amid fears that radiation from Japan could head to the U.S., according to the companies.
One leading supplier, Anbex Inc., quickly sold out of its supply of more than 10,000 14-tablet packages on Saturday, said Alan Morris, president of the Williamsburg, Va., company.
He said the closely held firm was getting about three orders a minute for $10 packages of its Iosat pills, up from as few as three a week normally.
"Those who don't get it are crying. They're terrified," said Mr. Morris. The company tells callers that the likelihood of dangerous levels of radiation reaching the U.S. is low, but some callers, particularly on the West Coast, remain afraid, Mr. Morris said.