DHEC Receives New Round of Iodide Tablets for Residents

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By Crysty Vaughan

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina has received 1.2 million adult doses of potassium iodide (KI) for distribution to residents living within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone of five nuclear power plants in or adjacent to the state, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

“Potassium iodide provides additional protection for the thyroid gland against one form of radiation,” according to DHEC Director Catherine Templeton. “It is critical to remember this is not a magic pill that protects against all types of radiation. In the event of a nuclear power plant emergency involving the release of radiation, the best advice is to follow the instructions of public safety officials to either stay inside or to evacuate the area in an orderly manner.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has provided the doses to the state for distribution. Supplies of these potassium iodide tablets, also referred to as KI tablets, are being distributed to health departments in 13 counties for residents living within a 10-mile radius of nuclear power plants. Residents can pick up tablets for themselves and their families beginning Monday, April 29th. Participation by the public is voluntary.

Templeton said, “Our agency continues to explore ways to help the public understand that KI is not a radiation shield, and that residents should follow any recommendations given by the state in the event of a radiological release.”

Templeton said 2.4 million KI tablets, enough doses for 1.2 million adults, have been delivered throughout the state for distribution to residents. The expiration date for the new tablets is October 2017. Residents in possession of tablets with the May 2013 expiration date may dispose of those tablets once a new supply has been picked up.

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